Brewing up a bit of this, towards the end of a batch purchased probably more than a year ago. I had loved the pouchong I bought at TenRen—my first experience of a lightly oxidized oolong—and was looking for more of the same. What a surprise! This is a darker, spicier, fruitier tea, not as earthy and toasted as the SeaDyke Ti Kuan Yin I ‘grew up’ drinking, but not much resembling the lighter TenRen tea. I keep forgetting and rediscovering it in the back of the cupboard. Shame on me. It doesn’t deserve forgetting. The spice is reminiscent of the Rou Gui I recently tried for the first time.
The dry leaf is dark, long, relatively straight but twisted around the long axis. It smells fruity/spicy already.
Brewing about 1 gram of leaf per ounce or 30mL of water in a small gaiwain, water at about 195 degrees.
The liquor is amber to reddish, sweet, spicy, but like Rou Gui, doesn’t have the really long legs of a Dan Cong or Wuyi Oolong: it’s tiring at 5 infusions, with spicy still there but more astringency and the fruity gone. Even after all 5 infusions, the leaves aren’t fully unfurled, seems like there should be more to give, but tonight a 6th infusion is pretty much just spice.
If rated on the first infusion alone, this would be a 90; on the first-through-5th, it’s lower.