Taiwan 'Faux Spring' Baozhong Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
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
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
6 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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From What-Cha

An inexpensive Taiwanese oolong which offers excellent quality for the price, it has a smooth and bright floral taste.

The sunny winter period this year tricked the tea plants into producing fresh leaves before the usual Spring harvest, resulting in a very rare pre-Spring harvest I have named ‘Faux Spring’.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth texture
- Vibrant floral aroma and taste

Harvest: ‘Faux Spring’, 14th February 2019

Origin: Ming Jian, Nantou County, Taiwan
Altitude: 350m
Sourced: Specialist tea ‘finisher’ who buys and processes the tea leaves of local farmers

Cultivar: Si Ji Chun (Four Seaons)
Oxidisation: 10-15%
Roast: None
Picking: Machine

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 1-2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 3-4 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

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1 Tasting Note

1048 tasting notes

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

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Martin Bednář

I assume you write down all the tasting note down and then you just re-write or copy that, right? :D I couldn’t remember what I drank last week, not mentioning last year :D


Martin, I keep a couple notebooks in my kitchen that I use for nothing but tea reviews. Sometimes I will write full reviews as I am drinking and then rewrite them at a later date, but at other times, I just write down a series of steep times, notes, and impressions and then construct reviews from them. It kind of depends on how focused and energized I am when I am brewing. Right now, I can tell you that I have two reviews I am dreading because my session notes are such a mess. I have no clue where I was going with them, so I may just end up not posting them. I have also been known to occasionally assign a tea a numerical score but not keep detailed notes of my drinking sessions, so if you ever see me just assign a score to something and not write a review or just jot down a couple sentences, that’s why.

Martin Bednář

I was thinking writing them with hand too, but it just was so messy and I couldn’t express myself that well as I am able when writing on Steepster AND in English. I wonder why, when it’s not my native language. So I prefer writing them when I am actually drinking it or really shortly after.

But thank you for an introduction how do you do it :)

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