Oolong Hairy Crab

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Edit tea info Last updated by Heyes
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “When I first learned about this tea, I was instantly intrigued. I just had to try some. The name and lore behind the tea was so different. So, when I visited Tea Trekker a few weeks ago, this...” Read full tasting note
    85
    Cody 64 tasting notes
  • “I recently reviewed "Tieguanyin Traditional-Style Traditionally-Grown" Oolong tea, as purchased from from the Tea Trekker store. In this instance I might suggest that you read that review to get a...” Read full tasting note
    90
    heyes 58 tasting notes

From Tea Trekker

Hairy Crab Oolong is grown on the coastal outcroppings of Fujian Province’s prime tea-producing region. It is named in honor of the edible crabs that populate the waters near its habitat. Related to the Blue crab of the Chesapeake Bay, the Hairy crab sheds its shell in autumn, and is a gustatory delight for the Chinese who live along the eastern coast. There is even a festival during the crab harvest, and Hairy Crab Oolong tea plays a prominent role in the celebration.
Hairy Crab Oolong is one of the few teas that benefits from a long coastal growing season that stretches into the cooler weather of autumn. It is at this time that the size of the leaf is perfect for forming the unique shape of the finished leaf: as the tea unfurls during brewing, it replicates the image of the crab’s leg when swimming.
First cousin to the Imperial Gold Oolong, Hairy Crab Oolong has more depth of flavour but not the focused concentration of Tiequanyin.

Steep 2-5 infusions at 30-90 seconds each
or 1-3 infusions at 2-3 minutes each.
Water temperature should be 180° – 190° F

(quoted from http://www.teatrekker.com/store/tea/oolong/Oolong+-China-Fujian/11/HairyCrab.php)

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2 Tasting Notes

85
64 tasting notes

When I first learned about this tea, I was instantly intrigued. I just had to try some. The name and lore behind the tea was so different. So, when I visited Tea Trekker a few weeks ago, this oolong was the first on my list. I’ve had it a few times so far gong fu style, experimenting with the amount of leaves. About 3.5 to 4 grams in a 100ml gaiwan seems to grant the best results.

The leaves give off a scent of fresh hay and minerals, with a very subtle dried fruit aroma when dry, and a fresh and clean organic green scent with hints of flowers and what I finally came to describe as a sweet, mossy smell when wet. First inhaling the dried leaves, I didn’t think I was going to get any floral qualities at all from this tea. I was almost correct. This tea is certainly not like a tieguanyin with its intensely floral qualities, although it does possess some. No, what Mao Xie brings to the cup is something I can only describe as “briney.” Now, I may be getting carried away by the name of “hairy crab,” but I think this is a perfect example of the influence of terroir on taste. Mao Xie is grown on the Fujian Province’s coast throughout a long growing season, which probably has something to do with the slight mineral taste that blends oh so well with the relaxed floral tones and and humble sweetness that sometimes reminds me of saltwater taffy. Whenever I drink this tea, images of the beach and ocean mist always waft through my mind. Upon cooling though, the liquor does assume a thicker, salty/sour taste that can be somewhat unpalatable, but this is probably my only real complaint.

The liquor has a nice golden-green color and a soft, medium body. After a sip, the flavor rolls through the mouth in small, long waves. There isn’t really any “burst” of flavor, but with this tea there doesn’t need to be. It’s strength is that it has depth of flavor (instead of strong flavors) which spreads wide, lingers pleasantly, and fades slowly. Definitely a unique tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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90
58 tasting notes

I recently reviewed “Tieguanyin Traditional-Style Traditionally-Grown” Oolong tea, as purchased from from the Tea Trekker store. In this instance I might suggest that you read that review to get a baseline.

This particular tea is similar enough in description, but all in all a better tea. It enjoys better results from multiple steepings, has a richer and more complex flavor. On the other hand it doesn’t seem to tolerate cooling in the mug very well – gets that dusty flavor – blech. Drink while warm to hot for best results!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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