21 Tasting Notes
Bought a sample of this, bargain hunting.. Pretty much as expected for a “random” $45 2005 factory production. Sample leaf quality doesn’t resemble the photos of the outer cake, could not find a single near-intact leaf digging through 12g of spent tea, all finely chopped… and I venture to guess a fair bit of huang pian in here. Again, as expected.
Mostly floral and sweet with a thin body and some aroma. Fair bit of astringency, otherwise not a lot of activity. Not terrible for what it is, but I can think of better ways to spend the money.
Quick rinse to wash the leaves and heat the teaware; aroma is fruit and berries, made me salivate. It’s sweet and fruity with some minerals, light body but still buttery. Slight hint of “traditional roasting” which becomes more evident in following steeps, maybe because I pushed it a little harder. The tea has a lot of flavor, aroma, mouthfeel and energy. Leaves some astringency/dryness in the mouth, and I wonder how it will change with further aging..
At $3/g it’s obviously not a daily drinker, and probably too expensive for me to buy more. I’m still glad I bought it, because I haven’t been drinking much aged oolongs lately, and this is a reminder that I should not give up on them.
Thick, oily in the mouth and throat, astringency peaks in the early steeps but is still evident mid-session. Pretty sweet with stonefruits, a familiar profile for good quality young gushu. Body is above average. If I were to criticize, it’s less dynamic than I had hoped, but it could be in part due to my lack of focus. Overall a very enjoyable clean and active tea.
At ~$0.50/g it compares well to other 2015 productions in the same price range, especially if you value body/texture. There is excess moisture in my sample, but it may be in part due to the air-tight bag it’s been sitting in.
This is a rolled Jinxuan red tea, which I haven’t had before, so I added it to reach the free shipping threshold for my order. It is quite sweet with brown sugar and stonefruit notes; the “Jinxuan milk feel” is evident, but with some unexpected smoky/roast tones and spice when pushed. As expected it’s not super-dynamic, but it remained fairly interesting and lightened up with further steeps. The aftertaste is a little unusual for me; something like a mix of roast, sweetness, slight astringency and milky.
At ~$0.15/g, it’s not a terrible deal considering the educational value, but not a steal either. Doesn’t tick quite enough boxes for me. It’s worth trying and I will gladly finish my 50g to get a better impression of it.
I usually don’t buy lightly oxidized oolongs, because they tend to end up sitting around for way too long. I guess it just falls outside my preferences, generally speaking. But when I finally got around to trying this one, it did not disappoint; absolutely delicious, rich, sweet, floral, grassy and the longevity is excellent.
After a quick rinse the leaf aroma was amazing. Tea stayed thick and buttery throughout the session, I didn’t count the steeps but it was quite a few. I’ve had much more expensive teas that perform a lot worse for my taste. As far as lightly oxidized oolongs go, this is pretty much as good a buy as I could hope to make
Now discounted at ~$0.20/g it is the cheapest of Stephane’s 2015 oolongs. The price is very reasonable for the quality in my book, and at this point I regret not ordering one of his more expensive 2015 oolongs for comparison.
Gave it a couple of good rinses and let it rest while I made breakfast and cleaned the messy tea table.
The liquor is nice, dark brown/amber and clear. It’s a smooth tea, no doubt, slight citrusy bitterness hits the tip of the tongue, some lingering bitterness in front and sweet in the back. Woody with some spice, huigan is evident. Leaves a “rough” feeling in the throat which I’m not too fond of, it may be due to lack of airing out, or parameters, storage, just the tea, too few rinses, the fact that it’s early on a Saturday or something else..
Very pleasant overall though, and I will be beating it to death with many more steeps, wouldn’t mind a cake.. but for $400, I will definitely pass (that’s 2x w2t 90s HK style and $100 to spare)..
It’s not easy to find a 20 year old tea that I love and feel is worth the money.
It’s Friday so I decide to treat myself with a session of this. 11 grams in a 160ml glazed pot. Quick rinse, rest and flash brew at ~95C. Interesting from the first steep, good mouth and throat activity, medium “oily”. Compared to the other w2t productions, it’s rougher around the edges than the tuhao (but better longevity in my opinion), nowhere near as aggressive as 72 hours, but still has some zing to it. Worth the money to take the step up from the colbert (for my taste).
This is on the top of my list of w2t 2015 productions in terms of performance for price. A lot of variety in a single session, and the effect on the body is great; I’m salivating while anticipating the next steep. Absolute winner.
I’ve had a sample of this and a bunch of other stuff from royalpuer sitting around for a while. Didn’t know what to brew, so I decided to give this one a shot since I enjoy a good Jingmai.
7g in an 80ml gaiwan. The leaf quality is not impressive; chop and stems, but is it the curse of the sample? Is the cake better? Who knows, my guess is not by a large margin.
Give it a quick rinse and let it rest. Leaf aroma is sweet/floral. First brew is weak and flat, tastes like huang pian (probably mostly what it consists of). I push the second steep ~30 seconds to see what happens. More astringent, slightly thicker mouthfeel, still not very interesting.
All in all, it’s a clean and approachable tea with some sweetness. I could serve to my mother, but it’s not representative of what the region has to offer. For $33/bing you could certainly find a worse tea, but I don’t believe this will improve with age and I’d rather buy a $12 huang pian cake from chawangshop.
I was feeling like a new new experience today, as I’ve been drinking a lot of the 2015 harvest shengs lately. Pull out this mystery fermented tea from Japan, had forgot about it until I added some of my teas to the steepster cupboard the other day. I don’t drink a lot of shu, but I could not resist putting this in the cart when I saw it..
Immediately clear that this is something else. Dry aroma is a unique combination of .. dried bark, earthy/mushroom notes with a stingy nose. 90ml gaiwan and give it a ~15 second rinse plus a little rest. Product page recommends 4-5 minutes brew, seems a little excessive… but let’s trust it and go with 4 minutes.
.. Wow, amazing sour citrus aroma! The liquor is much lighter than expected, nothing like a shu at all, more like a sheng with a few years of age; clear bright orange/brown-ish. The taste is very pleasant, sour citrus with stonefruit and umami/salty quality with slight astringency. Light fermentation, but not at all unpleasant, no “funk”.
3 steeps so far; it’s lost potency but otherwise not a lot of change. My first impression is that it’s not very dynamic, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. Absolutely worth trying.
Flavors: Citrus, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruit, Umami
Back to this tea (again), the cake is disappearing faster than I like to admit. Chip off ~11g for a ~150ml yixing; that’ll hit the spot (where I dance involuntarily with a grin on my face while touching the music).
Quick rinse, leaf aroma is sweet woody with a little smoke; let it rest for 10 minutes and flash brew. Liqour is deep orange, aroma is predominantly sweet. Light bitterness and some astringency, probably in part due to my relatively high leaf:water ratio. Flavor is sweet and woody, medium body/texture, leaves an oily mouth and throat (that is offset by some lingering bitterness). On later steeps, I sense some new stonefruit notes and a hint of vanilla in the aroma.
It’s not an exceptional experience in terms of dynamic taste, but the energy is unusually strong, and I find myself going back to this tea more often than I thought I would. Not exactly a bargain at almost $1/g, but if you want to experience a tea with strong qi, this is a good one to sample. Recommend focused brewing with your favorite music.
edit: it’s two days later and I’m still steeping this tea; the longevity is excellent..