High Mountain Tong Tian Xiang Oolong

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Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Kasumi no Chajin
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200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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11 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea (Special)

Tea of the Month Reserve Club – January

This Dancong oolong comes from the large old tea bushes at 1500 meters elevation in the Fenghuang Mountains, and has won several gold medals in tea competitions. Our Chaozhou friend who sent this over for us is an expert at finding top shelf Dancongs with a particular tingling sensation that builds up on the the tongue. We love the large beautiful twisted leaves, and the many infusions this tea yields.

This has none of the woody qualities common to Dancong, instead moving into the realm of lychee, goji berries and cinnamon. The sweet mouth watering sensations on the tongue is like wintergreen mint gum without the minty flavor. Light rocky qualities from the high mountain soil make this a great synergistic tea to have before the Yabao or the Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong in a tasting.

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11 Tasting Notes

13230 tasting notes

Finally caught up with my tea logs from yesterday! i’ve been drinking this one today as i’m trying to spend some time going through my verdant reserve club teas today. They won’t be sipdowns but they are my oldest teas and the ones i have a tendency to hoarde. This is actually quite a nice oolong as far as oolongs go. it has that oolong taste that i don’t mind, but also don’t love. I have a tricky time with oolongs. Green ones often have that oolongy taste that i don’t like…and roasted oolongs sometimes have a particular taste that i also don’t like. this particular oolong has the same sort of taste, but it’s much less in this particular version. Overall it’s a nice tea.

Terri HarpLady

I know what you mean about hoarding the reserve teas. Mostly mine don’t get drank because they are the kinds of teas that take time to really savor, & I just don’t tend to have time to fully appreciate them as much as I feel they should warrant. There for awhile I was trying to drink one tea a day, from either reserve or classic, but I’ve gotten sidetracked from that agenda. Maybe I’ll try to start it up again this week.


yeah… that’s also why i stopped getting the box because i wasn’t taking the time. Now i just need to make myself do it on weekends with at least one tea each day.

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3294 tasting notes

I have a ton of things to do: replace a broken string on my electric harp & check the other strings to see if any are worn; restring a Troubadour harp for one of my students (she’s 74, & in Italy for the month on vacay!); pick the last of the head lettuces before they get bitter, pick the first of the leaf lettuces, & wash & spin them all; start learning the music for the wedding I’m playing this saturday (another “no classical” wedding); start prepping my front porch for paint!
That’s a start! It’s almost noon, & I haven’t really done anything yet today.

This tea…from the January reserve TOMC of 16 months ago. It is still delicious, & I’ve reviewed it several times, so not much else to say except the warmed leaf smells amazingly awesome, the flavors of this tea are delightfully complex, & I’ve got an amazing tea-buzz going on right now, the kind of headspace that is only appropriate for mindful zen-like activities. I think I’ll start with the lettuces…

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2201 tasting notes

Thanks to David and the awesome folks at Verdant I got my January Reserve club tea shipment despite the address mix-up. I have been waiting until the weekend so that I could devote some time to these teas, and here it is. I decided to go with this one first.

The dry leaf is long and twisted dark strands, definitely beautiful. I put my 6g into my 6oz teapot and exhaled into it then breathed in to get a good aroma. The smell I have come to associate with dancong was there (roasted grains, wet minerals), but also an intense fruitiness. I thought apricot at first, and then I read David’s description and lychee fits as well. I could smell this for a while! But I did a quick rinse (as fast as I can pour the water in and out) and then a short 4 second steep.

The flavor was primarily fruity, with the lychee very prominent, with a kind of roasted cinnamon in the background. I got a sense of juiciness, and a slight tingling sensation in my mouth that lingered long afte the sip. The next few steeps were less fruity and more minerally, and with growing florals. A little later some of the fruity notes returned, this time accompanied by hints of cacao.

Definitely a real experience. Did this tea blow my mind? No, but I don’t tend to be super into dancongs. The fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did really says a lot for this tea. I’m glad I got to experience this one!

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676 tasting notes

Thanks to my family who gifted this to me!
The instruction said to set aside an hour to enjoy this tea (which I did). I set aside my whole morning! (I recommend at least that much time)
This tea swept me off my feet. Not only did the cosmos shift but I felt it physically. Bravo!

I kept my steep time short (8-10 sec.) after one test which was just on the verge of becoming bitter.

Having time to properly enjoy tea feeds my spirit.
We tea people have learned to step back from the World and relax.
No frenzy. It’s why the people here on Steepster are so nice!

I remembered learning from someone here to warm my Gaiwan first, place in the dry Oolong leaves then put on the lid and smell the aroma.
The feeling is like hugging fresh warm linen plucked from a clothes line on a Summer day. When I smelled the tea, it was soft and floral with a hint of forest under the covers. There were very long, brown leaves like fingers of tea.

One quick rinse and the leaves smelled like light smoke and buttery gardenia.

The liquor was light champagne yellow, glistening in my glass cup.
This color never changed.

I sipped the tea and there was a strong floral aroma. My first flavor impression wasn’t flowers at all, but pineapple. The taste was clean, lightly sweet and not astringent or dry but still, pineapple was what I thought of and nothing else.

I continued to enjoy the scent of gardenia and brown sugar in the wet leaves, and the flavor began to taste like that aroma with a texture that was smooth but not buttery.

As the steeps continued, a background savory taste appeared…not associated with any vegetable in particular, just savory.

There was soon a complete Umami flavor. Sweet, sour, savory, and bitter in all the right proportions, that came together and caused a puckery feeling in my nose.

Sometimes, certain really good tea’s hit me hard. I get a very intense feeling in my sinus between my eyes…BAM!
I think this happens because we taste flavor with our nose not just with our mouths.
When the mouth gets hit with Umami and the L-Theanine hits the brain too…oh my goodness…it’s wonderful, but later on, I need a NAP!

What I thought of when I was drinking this tea was my parents home in the Sierra foothills. (I took care of them for several years)

The house was nestled in a forest of Pine trees with flowering pink Dogwood in the front yard. The property had a hedge of Camellia around the front that bloomed in Winter, and a Gardenia bush that did it’s best to produce fragrant flowers under the dappled shade of the trees.

When you’ve lived in a forest community, you don’t forget the sound of leaf blowers and chainsaws, the smell of wood-smoke and rain on leafy soil, the sweetness of pine and bark or flowering jasmine and gardenia wafting powdery perfume on a sunny day.

It was our Summer garden that I remembered when I was drinking this Oolong.

I’d sit at the old redwood picnic table with my dad Bill, under a tall pine tree with the warm sun at my back. My friend the chipmunk chattered at me from the fence to give him walnuts (I had trained the little thing to take them from my hand).
At noon I would bring my mother Pat’s wheelchair out the front door of the house and down the wheelchair ramp first, then dad’s wheelchair came next. Both were brought through the garage and into the backyard so that we could have our lunch in the fresh air. Dad would read the paper and mom would nod off to sleep.

It smelled wonderful out there, like life and hope.

Sometimes I can’t describe the flavor of a tea very well, but I say instead where it took me in my heart or memory.

This has been a memorable tea for me and for all those who drink it, take your time.

Terri HarpLady

Beautiful memories, Bonnie. I pulled this one out a little while ago, then decided I was too busy with students this afternoon to give it the attention it deserves, so I put it back unopened for tomorrow.

Invader Zim

I always love reading your stories Bonnie, and I’m glad that your family was able to get you into the reserve club!


It might just be a few months but I am soooo happy about it! You have No Idea!!!!

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