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Hong Shui is an oolong type I have little experience with, especially when it’s slightly aged. (This version is from 2014.) Thanks to Tea Side for the sample. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot using boiling water for 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma of these small, dark, uneven balls is of berries, wood, dark chocolate, and roast. The first steep has notes of chocolate, honey, and banana bread. The second steep adds notes of tart cranberry, blueberry, plum, spices, wood, and darker rye bread. The next steep offers lots of red berries, with a pronounced strawberry aroma, balanced by dark chocolate, wood, tobacco, and roast. The roast isn’t overpowering and there’s no astringency. The raspberry is particularly prominent in the fourth steep. The chocolate, bready, roasty flavours continue for the next few rounds, with the berries gradually fading. The last few steeps concentrate on chocolate, baked bread, malt, wood, and minerals.

This is a fantastic oolong that will make anyone with a sweet tooth very happy. It’s like a Laoshan Black combined with a Gui Fei. I foresee many more Hong Shui oolongs in my future!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Berries, Blueberry, Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Plums, Raspberry, Roasted, Spices, Strawberry, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
Valerii Levitanus

Thanks for the great review!

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Valerii Levitanus

Thanks for the great review!

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).

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