964 Tasting Notes
It’s my birthday, and I had an awesome morning despite the schlew of grading, writing, thinking, resume writing, a leak from a whole into the tar roof into my mother’s rooms walls, and the sharp, icy rain. My bloodsugar is still high from some salmon and steak hibachi, and I had this tea, so I should not be complaining.
I had to visit this one to see how it pans as my favorite. I started out with the Qilan What-Cha offers at midnight, and woke up this morning with the new Taiwan Amber GABA Oolong, and this tea to gage how my preferences have changed at age 23.
I’ve found that I’ve like a little bit more baking and maturity in my oolongs, and I have not drank my nucelar Gaoshans as religiously as I used to….never mind I still cling to them like the occasional Hail Mary of an uncommitted Catholic, but a little more. The crisp apple notes and fruity florals are still there in its soothing creamy texture, but it actually came out as being noticeably grassier than the GABA and not quite as sweet. This was creamy verdant sweet, whereas the GABA is its own category of mineral, rock sugar, pear, and light yet “rocky” roast. A part of me preferred the GABA, but I still would have a hard time parting with this tea or its type. The GABA has the benefits as having the pear notes a high mountain oolong would with very short steeps, but it is not going to be as verdant or spring like as this one when I need it to be.
So in short, I have gotten more attached to oolongs with more roast, but I still cannot part with my gaoshans, or this tea for that mattter, for a while, though I might not get as large quantities of it as I used to.
Frick, did I love this one…though frick, my reviews of Old Ways tea are gonna get a little generic, but they are all of good quality.
I was whipped with an intense leathery note, followed by some florals and minerals. This is what I expected out of a wild style wuyi tea-it had the mineral notes I like, and a little bit of cocoa hidden in the thick viscous malt, but it ended leading up from something robust to something very sweet, mildly citrusy, and a little spicy. It had a little bit of a rhaspberry sweet note, and having some spiciness like blackberry leaves. I did do this gong fu with the 30 second rule, and the second and third steep were the best, and then the later eighth brew was incredibly sweet and minerally.
I hate that I am giving a recreated memory of this tea, but I would certainly try it again to give it better treatment. It was a good purchase, and Old Ways tea had some of the best service I’ve had with a great presentation of its sampler. Then again, I am finding that I prefer WuYi blacks anyway-specifically, without the roast.
Gong fu a long, long time ago, and this had a really great and full bodied profile. Like any old tree, it was rustic, leathery, and dry, but gentle with lingering malt and dense mineral in the texture accompanied by some fructose sweet hints that kinda reminded me of cherry tobacco, or even blackberry and spice. Emphasis on the berry. The earlier steeps were the densest and the more thick, and later steeps got sweeter with ever remaining mineral.
I’d have to drink this again to give a better review, but I do remember it being more woodsy and faint than the wild style…though they were pretty darn close in terms of taste. I highly recommend this tea to Wuyi lovers, and to those who like well rounded and dense black teas. It also has enough sophistication to appeal to lighter hong cha drinkers.
Thank you Alistair for the sample! I was tempted to try this one, though I was kinda hesitant because I had my sights on the Vietnam Gui Fei. I’m guessing that this might be an underappreciated oolong based on the reviews that were on the website.
This oolong is described as having a stonefruit quality with background florals, and that is right with the sample. I was barbaric with the preparation and used 8 grams in 11 oz of hot water beginning at one minute, two, then three and half, and four.
The dry leaf reminded me of roasted plaintains, and the teas taste matched it. It was as red, viscous, and a little malty as some hong chas, but it was light and floral enough to be an unmistakable oolong. The stonefruit qualities are there like plum, but the mix with the florals make it more like the plantain I got in the smell. It has a nice fructose sweetness too, and although the soft plantain and syrupy sweetness assert themselves in a fairly thick to medium texture, it has some of the floral notes of a si ju chun like violet, orchid and perhaps magnolia, but they are very, very faint. Sometimes, there were hints in the texture that reminded me of coconut milk because it was that thick, but I side more on the plantain note. Overall, it still tastes like, well, tea.
The tea was very flexible and very easy to drink. It was maltier with longer steeps, and creamier and more floral with shorter steeps. It’s a good and naturally sweet oolong, but the plantain note might divide some people. My main problem is being spoiled by Alistair’s other selections since they do tend to have more depth as another reviewer has noted. This would make a pretty great daily drinker, and it is nice in not being too green, but that is up to the buyer and their preferences.
The following teas were in suit with eastteaguy since he picks out great teas and has a frickin’ similar palette. I have more to write about, especially the other Old Ways Tea blacks (which are awesome), I am one of What-Cha’s drugees and had to sample this one out.
I’ve gotten more into Nepalese lately because of Alistairs suggestions, and I actually like them more than some of the Darjeelings I’ve had, so I was curious to try this one. The dry leaf was immensely dry, like opening my nostrils up to pollen floating on hay and almonds.
I had it at work, so I soaked it in one of my own sachets in a grandpa-esque style using between 2 and 3 grams. It started out buttery and vaguely floral like honeysuckle, then the butter was followed along by a very thick almond note. The texture was viscous, and the longer it steeped, the notes became drier and more floral. It transitioned into that dry bee pollen note amidst the butter honeysuckle and became slightly bitter and a woody green. Dandelion is spot on because it is sweet, but so, so dry….never mind the texture is smooth and as tongue coating as ever. The mild astringency reminded me more of a white tea or a first flush black than an oolong, but I expected that with the terroir.
I’ll have to experiment more with this one to get better parameters. I think this one might be suited to gong fu or very short western with more leaves. It worked in my lazy grandpa, but I need get to know it better before I judge it. I can at least recommend it to people who know the terroir and are a little bit more snobby based on the price tag. I’m not too sure about new drinkers. The notes were pretty akin to a semi sweet to medium dry white wine, so that’s the best match I could make.
Orchid, butter, violet,macadamia, and almonds, oh my. A little bit of a sweetness, some viscousness, a lingering floral aftertaste, and medium longevity. I did gong fu in my 30 second increments, grandpa and western a while back and I greatly enjoyed it. It tasted like a lightly baked baozhong, and this was very approachable and goes in my category of “Need to try again,” even my own small amount. If I did not already order a decent amount of teas…
I am going to have to try this one again because it has been a while. This was very similar to the grass fragrance by having a bit of a citrusy and sagey hint in the aftertaste, the overall notes were like honey infused dark chocolate with something floral going on in the texture. There were some medium malty notes in the body and taste, but they were not as thick as the Old Tree or the Wild Blacks. The honey fragrance and flavor surged through in the aroma and the teas viscous texture. The little bit of a bitterness was actually very pleasant. I was able to re brew a cup 8 times using the whole sample, the first steep being thirty seconds, and adding 30 seconds times to in the latest steeps. I cannot go into more detail than that because I can’t remember, but I can say that I would make this as a pick for a daily drinker because it is priced decently at $18 for 100 grams, even $34.20 at two hundred grams. It was also that good.
I don’t have a lot of time to waste, so I’ll keep it short. This was a gas station surprise and a pleasant surprise in terms of taste. The Assam base was mega smooth and the raspberry flavor was naturally sweet. I drank this in a 12 oz cup, so that could have made all of the difference in flavor. I’d consider a box for easy work sachets, though it might be more astringent and fake in a smaller cup. However, it was soaking for a good five minutes and barely had any astringency and was odd bitter sweet with a cocoa note…never mind the note was raspberry all around. It was also nicely floral with hints from the rose and a slight tart-grassiness from the strawberry leaves.
Here’s to a BWB sachet tea.