This one and the next few notes are going to be quick (after reading the length I wrote-LIES), as they are late submissions of teas that were released and out of stock last year.
First of all, this one is a bit unusual. It’s a Chinese Meizhan varietal processed as a greener oolong, and it’s very comparable to a Baozhong in its buttery body and array of florals. I’ve had it grandpa, western and gong fu. Gong fu would give me 5-7 servings using 20-30 second increments, Western 3 brews with a 2 minute beginning, and grandpa 2 rebrews in the tumbler. Gong fu is best to pay attention to the nuances in the tea, but it can do well with the other two styles as well since it’s fairly forgiving.
Like most of the green oolongs and Baozhong like teas I’ve reviewed so far, honeysuckle, orchid, and butter notes stands out. Some osmanthus, but it’s mixed with something softer I can’t quite pin on. There’s something kinda tangy I can’t put a word on yet, which contradicts the overall soft profile. Gong fu, there was more hyacinth than I anticipated. I could see some people using vanilla as a note, maybe coconut (texture, NOT FLAVOR) due to the creamy texture. Some grass, but more floral and creamy than vegetal. Soft sensation on the tongue, but thick enough to be viscous. There’s also a little bit of fruitiness, but it’s faint, and likely my brain telling me it’s a little bit sweeter when it’s probably just floral.
I probably would have guessed this was a Baozhong blind, yet the overall profile is a different direction with its softer florals and flavor. It’s not as vegetal, “tropical” or “acidic” as a Qing Xin oolong, and bears a lot of similarities to several Zhangping Shuixian I’ve had in its softened floral quality. I feel like I’m missing something in my description. I know it’s due to me constantly reviewing green oolongs, but I feel like there’s more to this one than its similarities to other teas.
Either way, I was really happy to get to try a greener version of this varietal. Meizhans tend to have a lukewarm reception on this site, and even when they’re darker, I tend to really like them without prejudice. Liking this tea was a given for me. I know that traditional styles of oxidation and roasting are better to preserve tradition and prevent a nuclear wave of green monotony from happening, but I like being able to try teas in different forms. Most of my 2020 tea selection were experimental teas that I really enjoyed, and some of which I’m excited to see again in the future.
I’m not sure if this one will come out again, but I do recommend Liquid Proust for unique developments for Tea Nerds.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Orchid, Osmanthus, Vanilla