Fo Shou Wuyi Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Bergamot, Butter, Char, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Fruity, Lime, Mineral, Pine, Rose, Smoke, Tobacco, Roasted, Floral
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Jim Marks
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 oz / 175 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Yancha, my love, it’s been too long… Over a month without your comforting embrace. I decided to branch further out with my favorite style of tea by purchasing a few handfuls of Wuyi oolong samples...” Read full tasting note
    82
  • “Fo Shou is an interesting oolong cultivar. Known for its large leaves said to resemble the palm of a hand when completely unfurled, it is better known today as a Taiwanese oolong, though it...” Read full tasting note
    91
  • “This is a weird tea, and I don’t know what to think of it. Going by the description on the site, there is no way I would have bought this. It was a sample from a friend. The first steep was a nice...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “From the look of the leaf to the aroma it produced in the open air around it, this is one wonderful tea. I use about 6g per 100ml which is heavy or me, but there is just something about the rich...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Fo Shou, or “Buddha’s Hand,” varietal is one of the most exotic and luscious teas in the Li Family collection. True its name, there are strong notes of temple incense and rosewood prayer bead aroma. The Li Family’s masterful roast accentuates the spices and dark fruity notes that make this a unique and worthy tea. The unusually large leaves are a beautiful site as they unfold in a gaiwan or yixing pot.

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6 Tasting Notes

82
251 tasting notes

Yancha, my love, it’s been too long… Over a month without your comforting embrace.

I decided to branch further out with my favorite style of tea by purchasing a few handfuls of Wuyi oolong samples from Verdant. First ever Fo Shou; I also have the Reserve Fo Shou in line.

I think I’m going to dedicate my new teapot to yancha instead of high mountain oolong. I would’ve loved to try my typical heavy leafing for yancha but all I had was this sample.

Spring 2017 harvest. 5g, 100ml, 205-212F. 10s rinse followed by 9 steeps at 10s/15/20/25/30/40/55/1m15/2m

The dry leaf smelled only of roast and cocoa powder with the roast dominating. Warmed and rinsed leaf smelled like rich dark chocolate. The cocoa/chocolate notes didn’t pass through, though. Early on, I could smell a faint incense and brown sugar in the clear orange-brown liquor. I was left with a tea that stayed fairly light in taste. The roast did have a small presence in the second steep, but I otherwise couldn’t pick out anything discernible besides the mineral, which gave an active mouthfeel. The tea offered a clear aftertaste of passionfruit, later moving into a very light grilled pineapple with brown sugar. Around the seventh steep, the tea began fading with some building light astringency. The spent leaf showed a high level of roasting and smelled of pipe tobacco with only a few large leaves. Warming, calm energy that mixed well with a stick of incense.

Overall, there was some flavor missing for my preferences but it was an easy-drinker with a nice, fruity aftertaste. This tea could be a daily drinker if you have $ and is a good introduction for those looking to try Wuyi oolong.

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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91
727 tasting notes

Fo Shou is an interesting oolong cultivar. Known for its large leaves said to resemble the palm of a hand when completely unfurled, it is better known today as a Taiwanese oolong, though it originally comes from mainland China. This particular Fo Shou is part of Li Xiangxi’s collection and is a product of the spring 2015 harvest. The darker roast on this tea has allowed it to hold up very well.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. I then followed this infusion up with 11 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute 5 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, a sniff of the dry tea leaves was quick to reveal pronounced aromas of dark chocolate, pine, pipesmoke, tobacco, bergamot, and char. After the rinse, the dark chocolate, pine, tobacco, and char aromas intensified somewhat. The first infusion produced a similar, though fruitier and more floral aroma, as mild lime and rose scents were just barely detectable. In the mouth, I detected strong notes of dark wood, pipesmoke, dark chocolate, char, pine, minerals, tobacco, and bergamot balanced by interesting notes of fresh kiwi, rose, and lime. Subsequent infusions were fruitier and more floral, offering stronger kiwi, lime, rose, and bergamot notes balanced by wood, char, tobacco, pipesmoke, minerals, and a lingering hint of dark chocolate. The later infusions were mild and mellow. As expected, the mineral aromas and flavors were considerably stronger than in the earlier infusions. I could still detect traces of pine, char, lime, tobacco, and dark wood, though I also began to note a slight buttery quality at this point.

Having researched this tea a little, I find myself both agreeing with and chuckling at part of Verdant’s tasting note. They described this tea as tasting like temple incense and Buddhist prayer beads, and well, I definitely see that. Like a lot of the teas released by Verdant as part of Li Xiangxi’s collection, this one is both challenging and tremendously rewarding. It also fades just a little sooner than I would like. Still, those early and middle infusions pack quite a wallop in terms of aroma and flavor. I would recommend this tea highly to open-minded tea drinkers who admire the complexity and quirky aroma and flavor profiles of classic Wuyi oolongs.

Flavors: Bergamot, Butter, Char, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Fruity, Lime, Mineral, Pine, Rose, Smoke, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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80
239 tasting notes

This is a weird tea, and I don’t know what to think of it. Going by the description on the site, there is no way I would have bought this. It was a sample from a friend.

The first steep was a nice roast flavor on top of a green oolong flavor, which is interesting because there is nothing green about this tea. After the leaves have opened up a bit, that bright, lime flavor starts to come through. You probably know by now my disdain for citrus.

I’m kind of both ways on this tea. It’s…odd.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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1110 tasting notes

From the look of the leaf to the aroma it produced in the open air around it, this is one wonderful tea.

I use about 6g per 100ml which is heavy or me, but there is just something about the rich mineral content that comes through this fireroastedmaddess that I call a warming cup of tea.

Out of most 2016 productions this may be one of the top 10 because 2016 and oolong variations did not get along; and I will also chime in and say the 2016 Japanese green season wasn’t all that great either, but I only tried 12 variations and over 30 oolongs from China and Taiwan so maybe I’m not a good picking man anymore.

Was my side comment longer than my actual tasting note?

mtchyg

What particular tea harvests in 2016 would you say turned out “good” if the oolongs and Japanese greens haven’t been up to par?

Daylon R Thomas

Yeah lol. You got to the point fine. I confess that it’s been harder for me to drink greens and oolongs lately myself, save for the goodies you’ve sent me.

Liquid Proust

@mtchyg there are exceptions of course like some particular Dong Dings this year or tencha (being ground to matcha) but overall this year has been a better spring harvest of raw puerh, higher grade quality ripe puerhs, and white teas. I’m not one to enjoy puerh to a high extent, but they have been the more quality per price this year versus $20/oz oolongs that I’ve been trying to get into. Dancong this year has been a crazy trip to figure out where and what to get because that market is incredibly flooded now as are many.

The laoshan black teas from all over turned out well though which is a plus, but again… the black tea market is crazy flooded so it’s hard to make an assumption as to the other sorts as I don’t drink them too often.

It’s just been a sad year because the SLX from 2015 is outperforming the 2016 stuff and green SLX doesn’t improve with age.

mtchyg

Thanks for the insight. I’ll have to take a look at some of the 2016 ripes. Haven’t gotten into too many so far this year.

I did however just get some of this Fo Shou in the mail yesterday so I’ll have to have a go with it soon.

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65
39 tasting notes

The scent of the steeped leaves is a curious combination of leather, cinnamon, and smoke. The actual tea tastes warm and toasty, a good bit mineraly, and slightly bitter. I drink it every now and again, but it’s nothing I’d purchase more of in the future.

Flavors: Mineral, Roasted

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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368 tasting notes

Again, had over the weekend as one of the November TotM samples, and so it will have to wait until second tasting for detailed notes.

But the one thing that stood out was how floral this rock oolong was. Not a tieguanyin by any stretch, no. Nothing like that.

But compared to Big Red Robe, or to the Mei Zhan it definitely had a flower thing going on.

Flavors: Floral, Mineral, Roasted

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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