. My friend Vu, tea guru extraordinaire, hooked me up with a substancial supply of Tiwanese Formosa Fancy 1st Grade Ming Xiang Oolong.
Lately, I have been drinking my Oolongs in the eastern style: single measures in a clay Yingxing tea pot, less than boiling rinse and 1st infusion, boilng after, minute steeps, steep multiple times (3-10 times, depending on mood & leaf), 3-4 oz’s of water a serving, take all day to expirience, and contemplate the tea. This allows for a understanding of how the tea developes, and I find it ridiculously relaxing and calming.
When you invest in a traditional brewing vessles, you tend to go with the style of your favorite varietal or style. Yingxing tea pots and giwan style cups go best with multiple infusion/short infusion time/low volume teas – mostly oolongs, pur-eh and the like. You dedicate that vessle to the style, and never “clean” the inside of the vessle with the exception of a rinse of fresh hot water to pre heat – and allow them to build up this “funk” that actually enhance the flavor and aromatics of related varietals. My Yinxing is oolong, my good giawan is Pur-eh, and I have othre vessles that are general purpose. (A glass one that is mostly green teas, a ceramic/china for blacks, etc). If you only have one brewing vessle, try to rinse out the vessle more often with hot water, never soap, unless it is a glass pot. My point is go with what you have – until you feel you are ready for something else. No worries.
Anyway, the Ming Xiang is a rare 1st Quality (1FF for you geeks) that evolved in aroma flavor and taste over 6 infusions of 4oz 180-212f -1 minute each. The nose developed from flowery, light nose to a assertive oolong purfume, and then diminished. The color went from orange copper to red copper, and was bright and clear throughout. Good assertive flavor, flowery/spicy/exotic meaty flavor, with a brothy mouth feel and a thin, not unpleasant bitter after, to entice another sip. The best infusions were 3 & 4, and i could have maybe pushed a little further past 6. I look forward to getting to know this one better.
I have a hunch the Long Su I was having so much trouble figuring out may benefit from a strict application of the brewing style – so I hope to explore and update that in the coming days.