ashmanra said

Help me pick a tea - maybe oolong!

I have recently had a chance to introduce two people to tea. They are seriously excited about their new discovery and want me to do a group tasting gong fu cha style. I was thinking about choosing a oolong because they have such great flavors and changes throughout resteeps.

What would you recommend – even if it isn’t oolong – and from what vendor? By the way, both ladies chose their first real tea by the scent and picked lapsang! They loved it. They also enjoyed Wenshan Baozhong. I was thinking an Alishan? Or a milk oolong.

7 Replies
Leafhopper said

One of the first teas I really loved was green Tie Guan Yin, and it’s pretty accessible to beginners. You could even do a comparison with roasted TGY since they like those smokey flavours. Alishan would work too, especially if it’s fruity. Good luck!

Sil select said

milk oolong would be a good choice. I dont like most green oolongs and even i love a good milk oolong :)

ashmanra said

Thank you! That confirms my first thoughts and I will go forward with confidence!

A medium roasted Dong Ding oolong would be a good choice as would a roasted Wenshan baozhong. Since they’ve already picked lapsang as a favorite, why not ingroduce them to some Wuyi oolongs, perhaps something like Shui Xian or Da Hong Pao? If you wanted something with a little lighter of a roast just for the sake of contrast, Huang Guan Yin or Qi Lan would also be solid choices. I think something like a Mi Lan Xiang, Song Zhong, Da Wu Ye, Ba Xian, Zhi Lan Xiang, or Ya Shi Xiang would even be defensible choices if you wanted to introduce a Dancong and see how it went over, but personally, I would wait to do that. Definitely go with something from Taiwan, Anxi, or Wuyishan before you throw a Dancong out there.

ashmanra said

I LOVE Dong Ding! I think those two ladies would like it, too. The people in the group tasting will not have tried any oolong yet, so maybe two very different ones would be good, a green or milky plus a smokey or roasty! Thanks!

An idea just hit me. Perhaps you could do a medium roast Dong Ding or Hong Shui (something along those lines) and then either a Four Seasons or Cui Yu. Four Seasons and Jade oolongs tend to be very accessible. An unflavored Jin Xuan, perhaps an Ali Shan Jin Xuan, would be another good choice to pair with something like a Dong Ding in a back-to-back tasting. A fruitier and/or more floral Li Shan, Long Feng Xia, or Shan Lin Xi could also be appropriate choices, though I think the aforementioned options would be a little easier on beginners. Ali Shan oolongs are great gateways to the world of Taiwanese high mountain oolongs because the terroir is more accessible and a little less challenging than some of the others. I would recommend pairing a roasted Dong Ding with a floral Dong Ding, but I have sadly yet to find a floral Dong Ding I have loved.

Love Li Shann or Dong Ding.

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