We’re jumping in the wayback machine for this review. I know I have mentioned in the past that I have a number of unposted reviews from 2019, and until now, this was one of them. I actually finished what I had of this tea back in July or August of last year. Yeah, I really am that far behind. Anyway, I found this to be a very nice, solid oolong. It did not strike me as being as rich or as enjoyable as most Taiwanese baozhongs I have tried, but it was still a more or less very good tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 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 emitted aromas of baked bread, cream, vanilla, lilac, and gardenia as well as a subtle scent of orchid. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of custard, sugarcane, and butter. The first infusion introduced something of a brothy umami scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered up notes of grass, cream, vanilla, butter, baked bread, and sugarcane that were balanced by hints of umami, spinach, green apple, bamboo, and apricot. The subsequent infusions coaxed out subtle aromas of green peas, sweet pea, and violet. Stronger and more immediately evident notes of umami, green apple, and apricot appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of sweet pea, lilac, orchid, gardenia, green peas, lettuce, minerals, and custard. I was also able to pick out hints of white grape, plum, violet, pear, and tangerine zest. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, grass, lettuce, cream, butter, and baked bread that were underscored by subtler impressions of orchid, violet, apricot, pear, green apple, white grape, umami, tangerine zest, and spinach.
Compared to many of the other baozhongs I have tried, this one was much subtler, much creamier, and more vegetal. Though it did display a number of very pleasant fruity and floral characteristics, this tea struck me as leaning more heavily on savory and vegetal notes. In some ways, it almost seemed to occupy an odd middle ground between a green tea and an oolong. It was a very balanced and enjoyable offering overall, though I doubt I would ever reach for it over a truly great spring Wenshan baozhong.
Flavors: Apricot, Bamboo, Bread, Butter, Citrus Zest, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Green Apple, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Pear, Peas, Plum, Spinach, Sugarcane, Umami, Vanilla, Violet, White Grapes