108 Tasting Notes
Crisp and toasty with a sweetness gently delivered through the aroma. The first infusion offers a floral bouquet and a creaminess reminicent of high mountain Taiwanese oolongs. Further infusions are more subdued, more dry, and lacking the sweet touch, yet still soothe the spirit.
A light, buttery infusion. This is a spring harvest and even in this late month I can taste the new growth, still fresh in this rolled oolong. More energizing than grounding. Golden yellow in the cup. Big leaves (for a spring Ali Shan) in mostly full leaf sets with sawtoothed, red edges. Lots of infusions for this one.
2010 Ya Bao from Dobra Tea. Buttery and very sweet with a banana-like texture and no color to speak of. This is the last of my 2010 batch and the leaves (“buds”, I suppose) were looking a little frayed and tired, but it does not disappoint. The first sip, as usual, is a real shock of beauty that reaches all the way into the mind from the mouth. A perfect beginning to Thanksgiving Tea.
A mild celery sweetness that fills the mouth, but doesn’t blaze SWEET in the back-of-the-mouth like some Gao Shan oolongs (although I’m not really sure of the elevation of this tea). Very green tasting, with an bit of an energizing kick at the end. Dry aftertaste. Honeysuckle aroma in the leaf. Reminds me a lot of green San Lin She or fresh Pinglin Baozhong.
Infused in my light roast Yixing pot.
Simply one of the most remarkable teas I’ve ever tasted. It’s easy to forget why Bai Hao is so well-known when I haven’t had it in a while. I infused this tea in a (rather generic) yixing-style pot, probably about 220ml in size. We were filming the infusions as a ceremony and so the timing was a little rushed at times and overlong at others. Once I even poured the infusion back into the pot and re-poured it to get a pouring shot! Absolutely every time was a meditative experience. The honey-rich flavor jolts you out of your thoughts for just a moment and you remember why life is great.
San Lin She from Ming Tao Xuan in Montreal. This is a light roast with very green leaves in nice sets of three with a few fourth leaves around. Probably a Spring 2011 harvest. The rolled leaves are quite large and expand more than I was expecting. I had to remove some from the pot after the third infusion to allow the rest some room to expand.
The aroma of the leaves is sweet and green. The flavor of the pale yellow liquor is very mellow and soft with hints of the sweetness of lemongrass.
I brewed this in my purple Yixing pot from Maokong, Taiwan which I reserve for light roast Oolongs. I tried various timings, but the results were mostly the same.
Much lighter than it appears. Comforting and soothing in the way of many dark roast oolongs (and dark puer). The roast was probably a little too hot, as the leaves never fully open before breaking, but my friend told me that there are few true hand charcoal roasters left in Taiwan.
Roasted and soothing. The aroma is so sweet it reminds me of sugarcane, but the flavor is sweet woodsmoke and plum. Golden amber in the cup. Not as fruity as other Phoenix Oolongs I’ve tried, but the very long twisted leaves are brimming with flavor nonetheless.
The taste of a fresh fruit salad. Light with the aromas more noticable more in the mouth than the nose. Strawberry and peach sweetness. The mouthfeel of sweet cream. Even though the roast is minor compared to the roasted Bao Zhong I bought, I can definitely remember why I picked this one up as well.