Alright, it’s time to start blasting through some more of the backlogged reviews. I’m planning on posting them all by Monday, but we’ll see how that goes. In case any of you think that I have almost exclusively been drinking green teas lately, I just want to inform you that I have a number of oolong reviews coming down the pipe aside from this one. They have been piling up in the backlog as I have been mowing down samples and I am at a point where I need to start posting them to keep the backlog from getting out of hand (like it did a few months back). This was one of my more recent sipdowns. I do not know all that much about this oolong aside from the fact that it originated in Zhushan Township, Nantou County, Taiwan. I found it to be pretty decent, not the sort of Taiwanese oolong I typically lose my mind for or anything like that, but certainly drinkable enough.

I gongfued this tea. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 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 detected aromas of cream, butter, vanilla, narcissus, and gardenia. After the rinse, I noted the emergence of a honeysuckle aroma. The first proper infusion then yielded hints of custard on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered delicate notes of cream, butter, vanilla, and custard underscored by hints of narcissus, honeysuckle, and gardenia. Subsequent infusions allowed for the emergence of stronger narcissus, honeysuckle, and gardenia notes in the mouth. New impressions of bamboo, sugarcane, green apple, pear, honeydew, and minerals also showed themselves. The later infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, cream, vanilla, sugarcane, and green apple. There was hardly any lingering floral character that I could detect. I also kept expecting some grassier, more vegetal notes, but oddly never found any.

In a sense, this was a pleasant, but also very two-dimensional tea. There was a pretty even split between the fruity and floral characteristics and the tea’s more savory qualities. I think had this tea offered some of the vegetal characteristics typical of many Taiwanese oolongs, it would have been much more satisfying for me. Throughout the session, I could not shake the impression that it was lacking in depth because it was missing those qualities. Overall, this was a decent enough tea, and while I am glad that I took the opportunity to try it, I would not go out of my way to order it again.

Flavors: Bamboo, Butter, Cream, Custard, Gardenias, Green Apple, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Narcissus, Pear, Sugarcane, Vanilla

195 °F / 90 °C 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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