Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

65

This is my third review in a series of six samples of Wuyi Oolongs from China Cha Dao

Updated 10/12/12 after doing the third and forth steepings

Experience buying from China Cha Dao: I responded to an offer on Steepster for free samples. Received exactly what was stated in the offer: fresh tea and very generous sample sizes. On their website on eBay they have a good variety of tea for reasonable prices.

Age of leaf: Stated as harvested in 2011. Received in mid-summer, brewed in very early fall 2011.

Packaging: small, clear bags with small label printed with the full name of the tea.

Dry leaf: slight roasted aroma, otherwise the same at the other Wuyi oolongs: long, slender, dark brown leaves. There were very few small broken pieces.

Brewing guidelines: four 8-oz cups of water used, leaves loose in glass Bodum pot. Stevia added. (I tried to keep the following guidelines as consistent as I could throughout the series)
…………….1st : 190, 2’
…………….2nd: 198, 3’ (Over a week later, tea sitting, sealed, in fridge)
…………….3rd 195, 5’ (Same day as 2nd steeping)
…………….4th: 200, 7’ (Two days after 2nd and 3rd steepings)

Aroma: mildly roasted, with possibly a hint of caramel.

Color of liquor: pretty much the same as the other Wuyi oolongs: medium brown—like a lightly roasted coffee.

Wet leaf: aroma is slightly different than the others, milder, and slightly more pleasant. Half of the leaves were on top, half on the bottom of the pot during the first steeping. All were on the bottom for all of the remaining steepings. Most of the leaves/buds are whole, many are large, and they are a dark green color, where some have roasted edges on them, and there are a few brown leaves.

Flavor: sweet and mild, with a slightly roasted flavor.

Value: Free 10-gram sample (Thank you Jerry Ma @ China Cha Dao tea on Ebay!). His regular tea is very reasonably priced, I judge ($7/125grams).

Overall I consider myself a newbie when it comes to oolongs. Based off of the first two steepings I didn’t see anything really notable about this tea other than the fact that there are very few broken pieces in the leaf—-leaves and buds are almost all whole—-and that it was a little sweeter tasting than the other two Wuyi oolongs I have tried. But the third steeping changed everything. I honestly don’t know what happened, but something did, and it tastes different, carmal-ly, like a Yunnan black. It’s good! It’s sweet, good, amazing. Since the flavor was so good on the third steeping, I decided to do a forth. Amazing, there is still good flavor in my cup! It’s good, mellowed from what it was on the 1st and 2nd steepings. Even the color is now mellowed to a clear rosy hue. I already composted the leaves, but I bet this could have easily stood up to at least a one more steeping! This is a tea I would definitely brew up and drink.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

(Updated 3-23-2014)

You can call me, Joe.

What, How and Why I steep:

I typically expect, and shoot for, at least three flavorful steepings out of (just about) any tea I brew up.

I generally start at the times and temps below ( = minute(s), " = second(s) ), then add 5F and 30" for each successive steeping:
Chinese Green - 175F, 1’ ;
Japanese Green - 160F, 1’add 15F, then decrease by 15";
White - 160F, 2’;
Oolong - This varies;
Indian Black/Chinese Red and Herbals - a little off the boil, 2’; why do I start with such low temps & short steep times? So as to ‘spread out’ the flavor over multiple steepings. I have found this to work with every tea I have tried so far. Also, I am not looking for intense flavor in that first cup (i.e. Western style), I would prefer to taste it—and savor—it over many steepings.
Pu-erh - Beginning in 2014, I finally chose to dive into pu-erh! Standard parameters when I brew ripened pu-erh in my 11 OZ Yixing:
First I do a 15 – 20 second rinse with near boiling water. Then for each successive steeping I add Stevia to my 8 OZ clear-glass teacup (thus, typically not added to the teapot).
……….1st: Near boiling, 0.5’
……….2nd: Boiling , 1’
……….3rd: Boiling , 1.5’
……….4th: Boiling~(poured usually right after the previous steeping, so the teapot and water are as hot as possible)~, 2’ (if it’s the final steeping, then sometimes longer)
……….If 5th and/or more: Boiling, < If I do more than 4 steepings, I basically add 0.5’ for each. >

I hope to ‘streamline’ my reviews going forward, so, hopefully, they are a little less technical and dry (and perhaps even stilted), and a little more organic and experiential (and hopefully, flowing); this somewhat new approach to reviews is a kind of metaphor for where my life is headed right now, and is one reason why I write reviews: as a kind of time-capsule of where I was in my life at that time.

Tea Rating scale:

1 – 29: There is no reason to even think about drinking this stuff again.
30-49: I may drink it if someone else brewed it up, but I would not bother brewing it up myself let alone bother buying any.
50 – 59: I like something about it, and I may brew it up if I already have some, but I would not buy any more of it.
60 – 69: I like a few things about it, and I may buy it if the price is right.
70 – 79: This is a tea I enjoy and would drink fairly regularly as long as it is reasonably priced.
80 – 89: A tea I will drink as often as I can, and will likely try to buy some when I run out (as long as it’s affordable).
90 – 99: This has everything I look for in the best of teas: beauty in appearance, a delightful aroma, and most importantly, depth and yummy-ness in its flavor.
100: Perfect.

My primary interest is in artisan loose-leaf green tea, although I enjoy Chinese red (or Indian black) and white tea somewhat regularly (during the summer, iced ). Here and there I brew a few of the other true teas and an occasional herbal.

Since I choose to live on a very limited income (‘Voluntary Simplicity’), I have to be very conscience about how much I pay for tea. In reading their Tea Enthusiast’s books, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss sold me on the wonders of artisan teas. Thankfully I have found that there is affordable, artisan tea out there; it’s just like anything else that has true value: it takes hard work, dedication and at least a little persistence to find it.

I came to tea out of a desire to find something to help calm and focus my mind as naturally as possible. My mind is very active, so to speak, and at times I find it very difficult to focus and keep myself centered. For years now I have been practicing Yoga daily along with others things to help me to stay relaxed and present, but I found I wanted a little something extra to help me start the day; the theanine in green tea seems to help me in this.

I have been enjoying loose-leaf tea since November of 2010.

I enjoy connecting with others about tea.

I drink Stevia with just about all of my tea (no sugar or artificial sweeteners).

I drink a pot of green tea every day in the AM (usually steeped three times over the course of the day), sharing it with my wife.

Each tea in my cupboard is carefully and colorfully labeled in a tin or in a jar that used to hold something else (I love to reuse things!) .

I have five teapots: a simple six-cup and four-cup ceramic (red/black/herbal teas), a glass Bodum – I don’t use the metal infuser/press anymore (greens), a 16 oz glass Victorian (to brew greens and whites, and to use as a pot to decant other teas into), and a Yixing (Pu-erh only).

I tend to be direct, straightforward and honest when I post anything to the discussion boards. I take the approach that everything I say is stated with the implied disclaimer: In My Humble Opinion (i.e. IMHO). I may occasionally emphasize this point, where appropriate. I view your comments in the same way. You are in no way obligated to read what I have posted. And I am in no way similarly obligated to you.

Sitting with my cup of tea I greet the day in anticipation of new discoveries along the way.

Location

Midwest, USA

Following These People