Work has been nuts this week. My job is rather physical and involves a lot of time spent outdoors, thus the unseasonably warm weather we have been experiencing has required me to spend more time working outside and less time indoors cleaning and doing paperwork. On the one hand, I love getting to move around and be out in the sun, but on the other hand, I no longer have the time or the freedom to sit down at my desk and pop off a tea review or two when no one else is around. Believe it or not, I am still at work, and this is the first opportunity I have had to just sit down, take a break, and do something for myself all day. With that in mind, I wanted to review something appealing and fairly easy, so I figured this tea would fit the bill. I finished a sample pouch of it last night and found it to be a very smooth, drinkable oolong, the type of tea that would be suitable for regular consumption.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I found very light, creamy, fruity aromas. After the rinse, I started to get hints of orchid, daylily, and sugarcane with a much vaguer hint of butter. I could not tell that the first proper infusion yielded anything all that different on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor offered notes of cream, butter, orchid, and daylily backed by an unexpected broth/umami note. Subsequent infusions offered stronger floral notes, a slightly stronger umami presence, and emerging mineral, bamboo shoot, daylily shoot, lettuce, grass, spinach, green apple, pear, vanilla, seaweed, and honeydew notes. I also started to pick up sugarcane in the mouth on these infusions. The later infusions offered subtle notes of minerals, butter, cream, and sugarcane alongside fleeting traces of grass, orchard fruits, lettuce, and daylily shoots. I even thought I could pick up lingering bamboo shoot notes, but I may very well have been reaching.

If you are familiar at all with Jin Xuan oolongs, this tea will probably not offer any real surprises for you. It was a very smooth, subtle tea and the roast was incredibly light; in fact, I would even go so far as to say that it was barely perceptible. Due to the subtlety of the roast, I could see this tea going over well with many fans of high mountain oolongs since this tea came off far more like a jade oolong than anything to which a roast had been applied. The low price of this tea relative to its high quality also established it firmly as a potential daily drinking candidate. At this point, all I can say is that I enjoyed this tea, found it to be very good for what it was, and would have no qualms with ordering it again in the not too distant future.

Flavors: Bamboo, Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Honeydew, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Pear, Seaweed, Spinach, Sugarcane, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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