This was my final sipdown of December and thus 2018. This was also the last of the What-Cha Zhengyan oolongs I got around to trying. I tend to be a pretty big fan of Wuyi Fo Shou, and this one did not disappoint. Overall, I did not quite enjoy this tea as much as the Zhengyan Qilan and Shui Xian, but it was still an excellent offering.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of black cherry, blueberry, cinnamon, cedar, and blackberry. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, orange zest, cannabis, smoke, and rose. The first infusion introduced aromas of rock sugar, vanilla, and some sort of melon. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of roasted almond, roasted peanut, cream, black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, rock sugar, and orange zest that were backed by hints of smoke, melon, and vanilla. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cream, earth, grass, and mushroom. Notes of rose, cinnamon, and cedar came out in the mouth along with hints of cannabis and new impressions of minerals, earth, grass, baked bread, caramel, malt, and mushroom. Clearly defined watermelon notes also emerged. As the tea faded, the liquor settled, emphasizing lingering notes of minerals, rock sugar, watermelon, earth, malt, cream, and baked bread that were underscored by hints of grass, roasted almond, roasted peanut, caramel, and orange zest.
Compared to What-Cha’s other Zhengyan oolongs, this one was not quite as deep and was also much more front-loaded. A lot of its most appealing qualities came out at the start of the session, and it did not reveal much more or change significantly as the session progressed. Still, this was a very satisfying Wuyi oolong, one that would probably be able to satisfy even some of the most discriminating Wuyi oolong enthusiasts. It can be hard to find good Zhengyan Fo Shou on the Western market, so if you are looking for one, definitely consider snapping up some of this tea if What-Cha ever restocks it.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cannabis, Caramel, Cedar, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Grass, Malt, Melon, Mineral, Mushrooms, Orange Zest, Peanut, Roasted, Rose, Smoke, Sugar, Vanilla