drank Bai Hao by Smacha
106 tasting notes

Not as sweet as I was expecting from the description, although there are sweet notes in there that become prominent over more steepings. The dry leaf has a very strong aroma after hot water is added, although it smells very much like the taste of the first steep and a hint of the full flavor with a bit of sweetness. The color in my glass pitcher was a beautiful deep claret on the first steep that lightened to a fall-sunset-in-the-forest hue by the end of the session.

I used Smacha’s very own autobrewer to taste this (a very nifty, stylish, and super convenient number that I’ve been very pleased with, FYI) so I’m not sure how long each steep actually counts as as it automatically filters down from the top in a slow, controlled trickle that is probably not that long in terms of steep time, although the instructions are to wait 2.5 minutes to allow all the water to flow through. It seems to be somewhere closer to the gongfu style of brewing than western brewing judging by the number of steeps I seem to get out of leaves, though.

The first steep was a full woodsy taste with a light, but full body. Just a hint of sweet, and very slightly musty in flavor. Second steep lightened up the flavors considerably, was more aromatic and with a more prominent sweet taste. Third steep was similar to the second, but with a more floral, fragant element. Fourth steep was the sweetest of the bunch and my favorite with a light taste. Fifth steep was thin, to my taste, with more aroma than taste, so I stopped there. Overall, impressed by how long it lasted for such a delicate seeming oolong!

Flavors: Floral, Sugarcane, Wet wood

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Favorite Tea Type: Darker oolong and sheng puerh

Rating Scale:

90-100: Amazing. Will buy and keep on hand all the time if finances and circumstances allow.

80-89: Strong argument for keeping it around all the time, even more than the prospect of trying more new tea. It’s that good.

70-79: Pretty solid. Glad I tried it, several factors that were unique or that I highly enjoyed.

60-69: Nothing that stands out for the most part, but with a quality or two that speaks to me.

50-59: Fairly run of the mill, pleasant but not much more to be said.

40-49: Something here is off putting in an otherwise decent tea.

30-39: There are a few things wrong with this tea. I did not enjoy.

20-29: Disliked this, could maybe see something, some redeeming quality in it others might find worth drinking without spitting back out.

10-19: Begin to question whether any tea is actually, in fact, better than no tea.

0-9: This causes actual food poisoning.



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