Qing Xiang Zhang Ping Shui Xian
Three Bears Tea
1 square, 7.7g (not sure if my scale is undercounting again?), 100mL gaiwan, Brita water, 212f
dry leaves have a light oolong smell, slight floral, something toasty and sweet, so pretty run of the mill oolong.
in a prewarmed gaiwan: more vegetal, like a Taiwanese oolong
1x 3s rinse. I let it sit a couple minutes and then picked apart the leaves since they weren’t compressed too tight to begin with. Wet leaves smell like any Taiwanese oolong with the vegetal, kind of creamy note and very light bare minimum touch of smoke.
5s: nondescript vegetal with floral and sweet undertones. Leaves a sort of sweet fruit on aftertaste for my first sip, but later cups seems to be more minty of vegetal.
10s: slightly stronger flavors + more pronounced minty aftertaste
17s: same as before, slightly sharper upfront.
30s: vegetal upfront, floral finish with minty aftertaste
off to the cold brew bottle. Not to suggest this is a particularly bad tea, by any means. It’s just not interesting enough for me to sit here and continue to take notes about since I can roughly predict how future steepings will turn out.
I bought this for the novelty of trying out a Zhang Ping shui xian since I found it about it a few months ago and it seemed interesting enough and a harmless add-on to my Three Bears order. I’ve figured out by now that I don’t like under roasted oolongs, but I’m glad I tried this because it’s helped me to connect the dots on processing and taste. Every Taiwanese oolong I’ve tried (not that I’ve tried a ton, since I just haven’t liked any very much so far) has fit a standard flavor and brew profile, and I’ve just come to associate every oolong with these characteristics as a Taiwanese oolong. I didn’t realize until trying this that these aren’t the characteristics of Taiwanese oolongs in general, but instead of a light roast processing similar to every Taiwanese oolong I’ve had before. So feeling a bit silly because of that. Anyway, now if I tried this in a blind taste test I wouldn’t automatically assume it’s a Taiwanese oolong (though I probably would still be inclined to think of it as such), but rather just indicative of a light processing.
Tasting notes reflect unedited thoughts during steepings, so keeping the Taiwanese oolong comparisons there.
Flavors: Floral, Mint, Smoke, Sweet, Toasty, Vegetal