Traditional Anxi Ruan Zhi

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Cream, Graham Cracker, Maple, Sweet, Vanilla, Baked Bread, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Mineral, Orange, Pepper, Violet, Wood, Toasted, Toasty, Vegetal
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 6 oz / 163 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “The first time I tried this tea, I didn’t care for it at all. Despite the enchanting cream and honeysuckle aroma, the tea itself was flat, insipid, and utterly lacking in flavor. It tasted muted,...” Read full tasting note
    86
  • “Quite a lovely experience. A sweet, creamy, green flavor that I’ve come to love from green oolongs. It’s not the best I’ve ever had (TU Snow Oolong?!), but still very nice.” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “This is another of the oolongs the folks at Verdant Tea were gracious enough to allow me to sample at no charge. I have to say that regardless of whether or not one believes some of their...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “This tea smells amazing. It reminds me of toasted and grilled corn on the cob. It has a very pleasant sweet, yet toasted, aroma and also smells faintly of nuts, wood, and vanilla. Best toasted...” Read full tasting note
    68

From Verdant Tea

Ruan Zhi (soft stem) is best known for Thai + Taiwanese (Qing Xin) oolong. The traditional finish emphasizes these similarities, making it easier to see the infuence of Daping’s terroir.

About Verdant Tea View company

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5 Tasting Notes

86
408 tasting notes

The first time I tried this tea, I didn’t care for it at all. Despite the enchanting cream and honeysuckle aroma, the tea itself was flat, insipid, and utterly lacking in flavor. It tasted muted, like a stale TGY and was more savory than sweet. Mind you, this was following the flash steeping instructions from Verdant.

Luckily I had a second sample because otherwise I might have never bothered with this tea again. This time I brewed it longer with steep times of 50s/40s/50s/60s/90s/2m/3m/5m. The first couple of steeps were bitter, probably because I used boiling water . But from the 3rd steep onwards, I used water just under boiling and that’s when its flavor began to come out: a honey graham cracker savory-sweet flavor with some vanilla and light maple. The aftertaste was syrupy and later steeps became sweeter but lost a bit of the biscuit taste.

This is one of the better Chinese green oolongs I’ve tried. It’s not obnoxiously floral as some of them tend to be and in many ways, actually resembles a Taiwanese Jin Xuan.

Flavors: Cream, Graham Cracker, Maple, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 135 ML

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92
239 tasting notes

Quite a lovely experience. A sweet, creamy, green flavor that I’ve come to love from green oolongs. It’s not the best I’ve ever had (TU Snow Oolong?!), but still very nice.

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

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90
835 tasting notes

This is another of the oolongs the folks at Verdant Tea were gracious enough to allow me to sample at no charge. I have to say that regardless of whether or not one believes some of their (admittedly rather ridiculous) claims, I do have to say that they really stand behind their products and care about their customers. So, I would like to thank the people at Verdant for helping me out with some issues with a previous order and giving me the opportunity to try some of their newer oolongs.

Ruan Zhi is a tea cultivar about which I know very little. I do know that it is more popular in Thailand and Taiwan than in China. According to the people at Verdant, it is used in Taiwan to produce both Baozhong and Dong Ding oolongs, and in Thailand to produce similar oolongs. Since I am a fan of both Taiwanese and Thai oolongs, I couldn’t wait to try a more traditional Chinese take on this cultivar.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. As usual, I followed the suggestions of the people at Verdant Tea. Following a 10 second rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. I followed this initial infusion with 10 additional infusions, with an increase of 2 seconds per infusion. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 14 seconds, 16 seconds, 18 seconds, 20 seconds, 22 seconds, 24 seconds, 26 seconds, 28 seconds, and 30 seconds.

Following the rinse, I noticed that this oolong smelled like no other oolong I have tried to this point. The aroma of the wet leaves was simultaneously bready, creamy, fruity, and floral. After infusion, I detected complex aromas of fresh baked bread, cream, custard, lilac, violets, wood, and minerals. In the mouth, notes of cream, custard, fresh baked bread, lilac, violet, wood, and minerals were very much evident. I did not pick up on the honey described in Verdant’s tasting note, though there was a very fruity sweetness there and a hint of floral character I found virtually impossible to identify. The only thing that came to mind was gardenia, but I don’t really feel that description fits what I was experiencing. The second and third infusions brought out lovely aromas and flavors of orange that meshed perfectly with the somewhat intensified aromas and flavors found in the first infusion. From the fourth infusion on, I noticed that the floral aromas and flavors started to fade as the mineral, cream, custard, bread, wood, and orange aromas and flavors began to slowly take center stage. I also noticed a subtle hint of white pepper began to emerge at this point. By the final two infusions, the tea had very little in the way of an aroma, but I continued to note flavors of cream, custard, wood, minerals, pepper, and orange underscored by fleeting sensations of flowers.

Now that I have had a day to process my experience with this tea, I can say that I found it to be lovely, though not perfect. I really enjoyed the mix of aromas and flavors on display in this tea. They work very well together, and I found that Verdant’s tasting note was amazingly accurate. I also appreciate that this is a very unique tea. It has a character all its own. Still, some of the most appealing aromas and flavors faded just a tad sooner than I would have preferred. If those floral aromas and flavors had lasted through maybe one or two more infusions, I would be giving this tea an incredible rating. Since that is not the case, a score of 90 feels about right to me because this is still very, very good.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Mineral, Orange, Pepper, Violet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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68
12 tasting notes

This tea smells amazing. It reminds me of toasted and grilled corn on the cob. It has a very pleasant sweet, yet toasted, aroma and also smells faintly of nuts, wood, and vanilla. Best toasted aroma I’ve smelled to date. After brewing, the aroma becomes distinctly more vegetal.

First brew was for 2 minutes at 200F, with 5g per 8 ounces. It tastes good, but not nearly as good as it smelled. It is still good, but after the first hit of toasty, the flavor becomes very very subtle and almost disappears completely. I apparently like my tea very strong, since I would enjoy this much strong.

The second steep (2:15 minutes) was actually better than the first steep. The tea becomes much more vegetal, while still maintaining the roasted flavor. It is because of the second steep I bumped my rating up from 62 to 68.

Flavors: Toasted, Toasty, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70
4496 tasting notes

The first tea I’m trying from Verdant’s June Tea Box.

This is an oolong unlike any I’ve tasted before; I’m of mixed feelings about it. In the aroma, it appears like a roasted oolong, minerally and toasty. Nothing overly unique there. The flavour begins like a roasted oolong (medium), and has a certain creaminess to it, but the finish is very different. I can’t pinpoint what it is – ‘chlorine’ is the closest I can come to a descriptor, but it’s really not that at all… my vocabulary is really escaping me. It’s this odd finish that throws me – it’s not bad, but I’m not sure I like it.

I’ll try a second infusion today and see what comes of it.

I used an entire 5g sample in a 10oz mug, brewed Western-style with just below boiling water. Didn’t time it but brewed for probably 2, maybe 3 minutes (it was strong, for sure).

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