Why is my oolong grassy?
I got a couple of Jin Xuan oolong teas from Mountain Tea, and they turned out really grassy. From what I can tell on the site description and the Steepster tasting notes, I’m supposed to be tasting sweetness, creamy mouthfeel, and maybe some vanilla. I’m mystified as to why I’m not tasting any of that, and I wonder if I’m brewing it wrong. With various temperatures and infusion times, all I seem to get is a spectrum of taste from “fresh mown lawn” to “alarmingly vegetal.” Any advice would be most welcome.
Temps Tried: 160-212 F
Amount: 1-2g / 2 fl. oz.
Times: 30sec – 1-5min
Green Jin Xuan Oolong
USDA Organic Jin Xuan
I think I might have answered my own question just now…
I first opened the two teas, which were vacuum sealed, about a week ago. Since then, I removed the desiccant and left the teas on the counter with a clip to seal the bags. When I tried the tea again this afternoon, I noticed the grass-green smell was gone, and I could actually taste the much longed for sweetness and cream.
My personal takeaway: let vacuum-sealed tea breathe a little before brewing!
Maybe it is grassy from the beginning, some oolong are grassy. It happened also to light roasted Oolong has gone bad. How old is that tea?
In Chinese called “fan qing”. mean “back to green”
You can put it in the oven a couple hours to roast, it will take away the grassy taste.
You should never assume when you buy a tea that it will be just like the review said. Reviews are all subjective and people may totally ignore aspects of a tea in their review simply because they didn’t notice it.
I understand there are caveats to online shopping, especially for food items. However, I figure that if several people are tasting many notes where I’m only tasting one, maybe I’m treating the tea wrong. I grant I am more sensitive to vegetal flavors than others. Still, I’d rather not assume that the tea was bad to begin with. It’s improved with temperatures around 145 F, so I have hope.
I have seen many instances on Steepster where someone buys a tea because of a positive review and then they themselves turn out to hate it when they get it. Reviews should always be taken with a grain of salt.
I agree with Allan. Teas not only taste differently to people, but the way they’re steeped also brings out different flavor characteristics. I like Steepster’s tea review system because it let’s you log steeping parameters too.
I’m not sure jinxuan should be tasting grassy but looks like you figured things out already. jinxuan often tastes grassy for me too if I don’t let it rest before brewing. My experience is oolongs only need a short rest. don’t think you need a week. just 10-15 minutes on your countertop. But be careful with your stash, if you store your oolong on the countertop with just a clip, it will probably fade quickly and go stale (think about a loosely closed bag of chips) and you won’t have the strength of flavor down the road. Try taking out just what you’re going to brew that day and keep the rest of your stash sealed up air tight.
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