This is my 4th review in a series of six samples of Wuyi Oolongs from China Cha Dao
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 mid-summer, brewed early fall 2011.
Packaging: small, clear bags with small label printed with the full name of the tea.
Dry leaf: looks and smells the same as the other Wuyi Oolongs teas in this series: long slender dark brown leaves with a roasted aroma that reminds me of the smell of burnt gunpowder from my cap gun when I was a child.
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: 185, … 2’ Good.
…………….2nd: 190, … 3’
…………….3rd: near boiling (un-warmed teapot), … 5’
…………….4th: boiling (un-warmed teapot), … 7’
Aroma: smells mildly roasted and a tad burnt.
Color of liquor: pretty much the same as the other Wuyi oolongs: medium brown—like a lightly roasted coffee.
Wet leaf: aroma is mild and pleasant. Most of the leaves were on top, the rest on the bottom of the pot during the first steeping; all were on the bottom for the remaining steepings. Most of the leaves and buds are whole, many are large, and there are a few broken pieces (probably due to transport and handling); they range in color from dark green, through brown, to very dark brown (almost black).
Flavor: roasted and a little sweet.
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: Like the other Wuyi Oolongs, I liked the second and third steepings the best. The flavor comes out more when it cools. This tea is touted as Special Grade, and yet I can’t tell the difference between this grade and the standard version of Da Hong Pao. Like the other version, it tastes rich, robust, fresh. It’s good, but to me it doesn’t set itself apart from the others in this series.