Charcoal Roasted Yushan High Mountain Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Baked Bread, Bamboo, Butter, Herbs, Lavender, Menthol, Mint, Roasted, Sage, Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetal, Yogurt, banana, Blackberry, Char, Cinnamon, Coffee, Cream, Fruity, Graham, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Orchid, Popcorn, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Walnut, Wood, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Dandelion, Roasted nuts, Soybean, Zucchini
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 oz / 111 ml

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9 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Another one of the samples I got from derk, this is exactly what I was craving today. I haven’t tried the unroasted version, so I don’t have a point of comparison, but to me it seems like a very...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “Not much of another tasting note, just some additional info. Steeped in my 100mL teapot with short infusions and more leaf (6g) I picked up on hints of blackberry, banana leaf, violet, cherry,...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “Now that I have had some time to rest and have my head on somewhat straight again, let’s kick off this Sunday with a blast from the past. This was yet another tea I reviewed last month, yet like...” Read full tasting note
    89
  • “Tea Swap Session, Backlog I used to think that charcoal roasted teas were so horrendous to the point that I avoided trying and/or buying any at all. However, through recent tea swaps, I’ve been...” Read full tasting note
    80

From Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

This is the same tea as our Yushan High Mountain Oolong grown by Farmer Luo at 1,600m on Yushan but the processing is different. He gives it to a friend that specializes in charcoal roasting, not because he can’t do it… it’s just that it takes 3 days with no sleep to get it done!

This process mutes some of the top notes of this high quality oolong and replaces them with a satisfying roastiness. With a good viscous body, this is a thirst-quenching smooth drinker with long legs.

About Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company View company

Company description not available.

9 Tasting Notes

88
192 tasting notes

Another one of the samples I got from derk, this is exactly what I was craving today.

I haven’t tried the unroasted version, so I don’t have a point of comparison, but to me it seems like a very careful roast. It is not overpowering at all. The tea has full body and beautiful floral fragrance. I found it to be very refreshing in the mouth, cooling in the throat and body warming. The mouthfeel is bubbly, thick and soft.

The taste has a decent balance, but verges on the umami side. It has vegetal qualities of bamboo shoots, savouriness not unlike egg yolk and slightly sour, yoghurt-like, finish. Of course, there are also notes from the roast, but I dind’t find any of them to stand out too much. I feel like the roast created a very nice robust base, but at the same time preserved a lot of the character of the tea. The aftertaste is one of the most interesting I have experienced – I get an aroma of lavender (and eggs), throat-feeling of menthol and taste of sage. It is also super long and over time evolves into more sweet domain.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bamboo, Butter, Herbs, Lavender, Menthol, Mint, Roasted, Sage, Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetal, Yogurt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88
249 tasting notes

Not much of another tasting note, just some additional info.

Steeped in my 100mL teapot with short infusions and more leaf (6g) I picked up on hints of blackberry, banana leaf, violet, cherry, cinnamon and wtf… camphor? and tangerine zest? So. Much. Clean. Salivation. Maybe some more settling/airing out tamed the bamboo shoot, which is a bonus. Hm, I like it more than I thought, especially with more leaf. Doin’ the bump.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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89
727 tasting notes

Now that I have had some time to rest and have my head on somewhat straight again, let’s kick off this Sunday with a blast from the past. This was yet another tea I reviewed last month, yet like quite a few others, I never got around to posting a formal review on Steepster. So, without further ado, here goes.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of char, wood, caramelized banana, and graham cracker. The rinsed leaves presented new aromas of coffee beans and toasted rice. The first infusion showed hints of grass and fruitiness on the nose. In the mouth, I found flavors of sweetgrass, watercress, cattail shoots, cream, butter, char, graham cracker, cinnamon, wood, and caramelized banana. Subsequent infusions saw the notes of coffee and toasted rice appear in the mouth. I also picked up on hints of vanilla, elderberry, and blackberry. Subtler impressions of squash, minerals, orchid, roasted walnut, and honey flitted in and out of focus in the background. The later infusions demonstrated a more pronounced minerality on the nose and in the mouth. A touch of buttered popcorn emerged toward the end of the session, while lingering traces of wood, char, and cream remained on the palate.

As charcoal roasted oolongs go, this one was very nice. It was a complex tea, yet it was also very subtle. Each aroma and flavor component was integrated very well. If you are the type of person who prefers toasty, mellow teas, I could see this being a perfect fit for you. Personally, I greatly enjoyed this tea, but I ended up wishing that it were not so even-tempered throughout the session. In places, it was almost too mellow and balanced for my taste.

Flavors: banana, Blackberry, Butter, Char, Cinnamon, Coffee, Cream, Fruity, Graham, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Orchid, Popcorn, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Vegetal, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Ken

I really need to get some of this!

Evol Ving Ness

Where do you find cattail shoots? What are cattail shoots? How do you even know what cattail shoots taste like?

And so on.

eastkyteaguy

Evol, the term cattail refers to at least a couple of species of semi-aquatic perennial plants that are widely distributed in North America and Europe. They are sometimes referred to as bulrush, reedmace, or corn dog grass (the dry flower spikes look like corn dogs). They are generally found in ditches, along the banks of ponds, and generally, any marshy area. They’re prized by foragers, hikers, and survivalists because they are very useful. The dry stalks and flower spikes can be used as a fuel source, and top to bottom, many parts of the plant are edible. They can even be used to make flour. I know about them because I live on farmland that contains marshy drainage areas and two ponds and they grow everywhere. The plants are highly invasive and I have to cut them back every year. The shoots have a muddy, grassy aroma owing to the habitat in which they grow and kind of a starchy, but almost cucumber-like flavor. They don’t taste bad, but you should wash them very thoroughly in order to avoid sickening yourself.

eastkyteaguy

Just for clarification, the area in which I live is basically split between gently sloping, heavily forested hills and marshy lowlands. Space for commercial agriculture is and always has been pretty much nonexistent, so foraging was once a commom means of obtaining food. With hunting, fishing, and hiking being popular activities here, many people also still forage in the field partly due to it being a part of traditionally culture, but also to keep from exhausting available resources.

Evol Ving Ness

Ah, bullrushes! (And yes, they do look like corn dogs. :)

I had no idea that parts of them were edible. Nor did I know that they had other uses.

And yes, yes, google could be my friend for much of this, but I do very much appreciate your taking the time to explain. It all makes so much more sense with the information and how it pertains to your context. So, thank you.

eastkyteaguy

No problem.

Evol Ving Ness

Also, it is very helpful and interesting to understand more about the places that we all live as our environments are quite different.

Last week, I had the pleasure of being in the countryside here where there is a patch of bullrushes in a muddy, swampy place near the train tracks. Otherwise, I live in a densely populated multicultural city and have access to bullrushes only when I wander down to the ravines which thread through and under the city. This gives you an idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojd76550_n8

Evol Ving Ness

I am wondering why I often miss notices of your comments. Thinking to myself.

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80
342 tasting notes

Tea Swap Session, Backlog

I used to think that charcoal roasted teas were so horrendous to the point that I avoided trying and/or buying any at all. However, through recent tea swaps, I’ve been seeing them pop up in my boxes from tea friends. Lo and behold, I do like some charcoal roasted oolongs/tea if they’re done correctly.

Notes: I was surprised when I discovered that this tea wasn’t similar to licking the bottom of a piece of charcoal; rather, it had plenty of other, unexpected notes attached to it: cornflakes, mineral, and buttery notes throughout the cup.

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82
159 tasting notes

Comparing this to the winter 2016 unroasted Yushan available from BTTC.

So, what’s the difference in terms of taste? First, there is a definite charcoal flavor in the roasted version. Think charcoal briquette. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s there.

Second, the floral, vegetal, and herbal notes in the arrival of the unroasted version are not there. The arrival of the roasted version is a vague nuttiness with the phenolic notes of the charcoal roast. The salty umami of the unroasted version is also muted in the roasted version.

Finally, the finish and aftertaste are slightly different. The unroasted has a thick fruitiness while the roasted has a bit more tang to it – more citrus and lemongrass notes, even a little medicinal notes in it.

So, overall, it seems the roast does not add much to it. The nuttiness is vague and does not develop on the palate. The charcoal notes are interesting, but not delicious. The more interesting notes of the green version are muted or not present.

I’ve noticed this with several roasted Taiwanese teas, with the roasted versions being more ho-hum than the greens. The strange thing is that I love me some Wu Yi oolongs, and generally don’t drink much green oolong. But, as far as Taiwanese teas are concerned, the green versions have significantly more depth.
*
Dry leaf: peanut shell, dry chocolate, cocoa powder, Mexican chocolate, dill, parsley. In preheated vessel: more nuttiness and syrupy honey sweetness present.

Smell: charcoal briquette, soy/lima bean, buttery and sweet veg – sort of like glazed carrots

Taste: roast nut, peanut shell, charcoal, marine saltiness and umami. Some cilantro and parsley notes. Citrus, lemongrass, cherry, and cherry cough drop (Smith Brothers) in aftertaste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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1043 tasting notes

I liked the green Yushan, but I’m prejudiced. This oolong would probably store better anyway.

Shorter steeps Gong Fu worked best for me by starting at around 15 seconds and slowly adding to that range to emphasize the fruit. I also had to catch it while it was hotter to get the fruit and florals that I would want. The roast was pretty obvious and the tea was fairly savory bordering on butter toast or squash, but it was fruitier than I expected with honey in its profile. Some florals popped up though the roast dominated the tea. This took some skill to get a good balance between the more green elements and the more savory ones.

I’ll write another note. I still love me a good Da Hong Pao and Yan Cha-heck, I prefer them to many blacks for dark teas, but I still prefer greener oolongs to drink more often than dark ones. This one specifically was more medium in roast which I like, being very similar to a Dong Ding in more than one way-especially in the nutty fruity thing it had going on. I enjoyed it, but it would not be a go to tea for me.

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85
16 tasting notes

I received this tea from the 2017 Regional Oolong Group Buy hosted by Liquid Proust

I tasted this side by side with the un-roasted “sister tea” in a nice long session with a friend who is new to oolong, I will include comparison notes as well as reviewing the un-roasted tea. Both are brewed 5g of leaf in 200ml glass teapots with 190F water and 30 second infusion times (taking into account the ~10 second pour)

The dry leaf smells like a light-medium charcoal roast with a suprisingly strong floral scent, must stronger than the un-roasted tea. The teapot lid smells of dandelions and honey by an old campfire where only ashes remain.

The liquor brews up a delightful gold with a bit more opacity than the un-roasted tea. The smell is again like a field of dandelions. The taste is very good, sweet with notes of caramel and burnt sugar moving into a edamame like savory taste. The mouth-feel is thick and creamy with notable cooling effects upon inhalation.

Steeps two and three loose progressively more floral taste and sweetness in favor of the savory notes. It tastes like grilled zucchini or a fresh miso soup, and the mouth-feel is getting thinner as well.

Steep four tastes like roasted walnuts and has an oily consistency that it keeps until steep 10 developing into butter notes around steep 7. The tea was quite pleasant to drink throughout the session, but the first three were the best.

The charcoal roasted tea is notably more savory than it’s un-roasted partner, although the roasting seems to have increased the floral aroma. While not quite as good at first; the charcoal roasted tea holds good flavor for much longer than the un-roasted and was notably more complex. The un-roasted tea was a bit one note (although that note was glorious)

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Char, Dandelion, Honey, Roasted nuts, Soybean, Walnut, Zucchini

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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