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80 Tasting Notes

45

Longevity Oolong – Description on label: “This baked Ti Kwan Yin style oolong has been preserved and rebaked for each of the last four years. This produces a leaf that is almost coal-black and the steeped cup is dark, toasty, very smooth, and slightly fruity and sweet.” My aunt disliked it—said it tasted “smoky.” I liked it somewhat better—to me it tasted almost caramely—but I wasn’t so enamored of this I’d order it again over such favorites as Big Red Robe or Sweet Silk Oolong.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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72

It’s described on the package as “complex, silky, sweet, and slightly grassy cup of tea.” It’s one of the “Ten Famous Chinese Teas.” I didn’t find it very grassy at all, and I did find it slightly sweet—but also very, very mild. Enjoyable, but not distinguishing itself enough I could see myself ordering it again.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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71

I liked this one, but not so much I think I’d order again. It’s really unusual looking and textured—like green straw. Whiffing the bag the smell reminds me of mulch. The liquor is very light, pale green, and even steeping at 3 minutes—one minute over the minimum—with a generous amount it’s a pretty light, subtle tea. Not vegetal, but for the life of me I’m having a hard time distinguishing it from the other green teas tried from my recent order such as Anji Baicha, High Mountain Green and Iccha Kariban. Slightly sweet, very mellow.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70

This is also known as Anji Baicha—a very popular green tea. It’s lightly sweet, not to vegetal—and very, very light. Almost like white tea in that respect. We did like it, and it’s very drinkable, but we didn’t like it as much as the other new green teas we got in. Not destined to be a favorite we’d order again.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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66

The description on the label calls this “slightly sweet… without the characteristic grassiness of Chinese teas.” I’d say that’s accurate. This is a smooth tea, not vegetal or seaweedy. Very nice—although I think just a tiny little bit less appealing than the Icca Kariban we had for the first time yesterday.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

The description on the label describes this as a “soft, floral, Japanese tea.” The one Japanese tea I had before this was Senja, and I hated it. It tasted to me like water vegetables had been boiled in—much too vegetal, too seaweedy for me tastes. I like this one much, much more. It’s comparable to the two green teas I’ve tried I do like—Cloud & Mists and Pi Lo Chun. A little softer, more delicate than either—not vegetatal nor unpleasantly grassy. My aunt said she like it a little more than either.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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60

I received this as a sample with my TeaSource order. It’s a green oolong flavored with licorice and ginseng, not something I would have chosen, which may account for why I’m not raving about it they way other reviewers have. The tea itself looks rather strange—like kibble or pellets. To me it tastes a lot like a Ti Kuan Yin with a hint of toastiness. There is a fairly mint-like bit in the aftertaste that’s probably due to the ginseng. It’s enjoyable, but it’s fairly down my list of favorite oolongs, at least on first steeping.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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77

Smooooooooth. That’s how this tastes. Even my aunt I-only-heart-black-tea said she liked this one. This one is more on the green side of oolong. It steeps up a dark amber, has an almost creamy mouth feel and sweet, fruity, honeyed in taste. It reminds me of the Sweet Silk Oolong I had bought from TeaSource. I’ll have to brew that one up again tomorrow since I still have some to compare—decide which one is the go to light Oolong for me to stock. But this is definitely a contender.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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84

So, verdict, I rather like it, although mildly, my aunt does not. Not because she disliked the taste, but because there’s not enough of it—she complains it’s like having hot water. Admittedly, this is a common complaint for her with Green and White teas, but she did like the Darjeeling Green a bit more, and the Clouds & Mist a lot more. This doesn’t have the vegetal taste that puts me off so many Green teas. It’s mild and sweet and refreshing with almost an almondish and minty note.

Edit: I tried brewing this longer, three and a half minutes rather than the 2 minutes suggested minimum, and my aunt then found she liked it a lot more, especially since I alternated this with only a black tea until it ran out and we both had a better chance to get used to it. So this turned out a tea we quite liked and I’m raising the rating from 41 (would not order again) to 77 (would consider.)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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38

This was—Okay. And believe me, after trying the Chun Mee tea yesterday and having my aunt compare it to sewage, not a bad thing. But this is a very light tea—a kind of uber green. Not vegetal, which I dislike, and one we can tolerate enough to get through the two ounces we bought, but not one I’d order again. I found it rather bland. So far, of the five new green teas we recently purchased, the Cloud & Mist is the one we liked best. Tomorrow we’ll see if Pi Lo Chun can beat it.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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