What Oolong Are You Drinking

Semi-oxidized tea
Ethan Kurland
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Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:09 pm

FOUSHOUSHAN of Spring 2021:

I am tea drunk. Rather quickly I drank about 600 ml of this. I have not had any goashan for a few weeks & wanted to feel it as well as taste it. I used what I estimate to be a little less than 3 grams of tea (I do not have a working scale now) to steep an average of 140 ml of water about 96C for about 20 seconds per infusion.

I prepared 6 rounds & drank half of each them individually. Then I drank the stacked (combined) halves of the rounds.. The first 2 rounds featured the most powerful flavor. The strength of these 2 rounds led me to put more water in my Taiwanese pot (glazed on the outside, unglazed inside) for the 3rd through 6th rounds. I like to leave some space for air between the lid & the water being steeped. I sometimes think that air in the pot makes a difference. But I feared my ratio (leaf to water) was off so used a touch more water for the 3rd to 6th infusions.

As individual rounds, the first 4 were about the same. The green oolong giving what I want (freshness, some vegetal flavor) & a good dose of minerals & broad effects that I look for in the higher end of gaoshan (complexity that I cannot analyze). I am not really comfortable using this word, but there might have been a light taste of camphor.

The huigan is fantastic. My mouth is coated so nicely. I can feel the insides of my mouth above my upper front teeth & along the outside of the rest of my teeth. This astringent effect is so nice because it is not bitter, nor is there much other taste until I suck in my cheeks to add pleasant flavor to the feeling.

Individually drunk, the 5th & 6th infusions were too thin but added to the first 4 infusions, the weaker rounds did not diminish the stacked brew which tasted as rich & flavorful as the first 4 rounds tasted individually. The stacked brew was about room temperature when I drank it & unusually for me, I think I prefer FSS hot.

I am happy with this FSS. I will try fewer leaves (just a bit less) & about 5 seconds longer steeping. I will not stack this tea. The fullness of it makes an individual round quite satisfying. I'll take the lid off the teapot & maybe even dump leaves into a bowl to keep them from steaming while I pause before preparing more infusions. I'll try more steeping time when going past 4 rounds hoping 1 or 2 are really good.

I don't say that this FSS tastes better than all of the gaoshan of this Spring. I do say it provides a better experience in some ways that makes drinking tea a sort of mini event: A bit of a thrill just drinking tea. A cup or 2 before venturing out into the world seems a great start to a day. A cup when coming back home something to look forward to.....
Last edited by Ethan Kurland on Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LeoFox
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Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:25 pm

@Ethan Kurland you must be a super taster to feel overwhelmed by brewing only 3g of gaoshan in 140 mL for only 20s!
Ethan Kurland
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:53 am

LeoFox wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:25 pm
...... a super taster to feel overwhelmed by brewing only 3g of gaoshan in 140 mL for only 20s!
:D I'll take the compliment, thank you. I will also laugh at myself because I realize yesterday was a day for being overwhelmed. With high heat & humidity & the air quality far from ideal, I had walked to the supermarket to buy some fish. There I decided to buy an ice pop instead & lost most of it walking home because it slid off the double sticks. Hot, when I returned home, I stood in bathtub & poured a couple of quarts of cold water over my head & decided that I knew why I could not think straight: I wanted to open some of the tea that I was going to let settle for a few more days. Then I decided to drink a lot of it quickly to feel it & have a serious sweat to release the heat.... sort of. :(

I don't find the words for flavor that you, Victoria, & others do. I don't sell an organic, well-oxidized Thai tea that I drink & one of the reasons is that I have no words for how it tastes. "Super feeler" maybe; super taster, I don't know. Anyway, it feels good to open some of the teas & to have teas in the house for me & others. Cheers
Andrew S
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:02 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:53 am
LeoFox wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:25 pm
...... a super taster to feel overwhelmed by brewing only 3g of gaoshan in 140 mL for only 20s!
"Super feeler"
I think that your experience with taste versus feeling reflects mine, save that I haven't yet been brave enough to call myself a "super feeler".

Andrew
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LeoFox
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:13 pm

Been playing around with this Zheng yan rougui from lazy cat
viewtopic.php?p=36864#p36864

Brewed as @Andrew S suggested and also tried different approaches in my yancha pot

My conclusion remains that the roast is still very assertive and may benefit from at least one more year of resting. I cant say this is a bad tea because all the elements of greatness are there- just with the roast being too forward.

What is interesting is that in my yancha pot, the tea becomes a bit too harsh: the roast becomes almost overpowering and I start getting some bitter notes. The fruity leaf flavors show up much earlier in the pot but die away also faster. The minerality is very strong strong even from the first steep. I can only describe it in the pot as a kind of unpleasant cubist nightmare - again all the elements of greatness present but jumbled up in unexpected juxtapositions and at disturbing scales. Sometimes such an experience can be good - sometimes
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Victoria
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:22 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:13 pm
I can only describe it in the pot as a kind of unpleasant cubist nightmare - again all the elements of greatness present but jumbled up in unexpected juxtapositions and at disturbing scales. Sometimes such an experience can be good - sometimes
Image
A cubist nightmare tasting! Classic 🍃
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Bok
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:45 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:22 pm
LeoFox wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:13 pm
I can only describe it in the pot as a kind of unpleasant cubist nightmare - again all the elements of greatness present but jumbled up in unexpected juxtapositions and at disturbing scales. Sometimes such an experience can be good - sometimes
Image
A cubist nightmare tasting! Classic 🍃
+1 :lol:

Have you tried it in a different pot? Sounds like it could benefit from Zini. sometimes mid-grade Yancha is better off with a litte shave to smooth out the stubbles.
Ethan Kurland
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:58 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:22 pm
LeoFox wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:13 pm
I can only describe it in the pot as a kind of unpleasant cubist nightmare - again all the elements of greatness present but jumbled up in unexpected juxtapositions and at disturbing scales. Sometimes such an experience can be good - sometimes
Image
A cubist nightmare tasting! Classic 🍃
+1 to Victoria complimenting your writing. Glad I am not the only to notice. Cheers
Ethan Kurland
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:01 pm

Andrew S wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:02 pm
that your experience with taste versus feeling reflects mine, save that I haven't yet been brave enough to call myself a "super feeler".

Andrew
Yes, super feeler sounds creepy. Even "normal feeler" sounds creepy. :)
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LeoFox
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Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:05 pm

Bok wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:45 pm
Victoria wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:22 pm
LeoFox wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:13 pm
I can only describe it in the pot as a kind of unpleasant cubist nightmare - again all the elements of greatness present but jumbled up in unexpected juxtapositions and at disturbing scales. Sometimes such an experience can be good - sometimes
Image
A cubist nightmare tasting! Classic 🍃
+1 :lol:

Have you tried it in a different pot? Sounds like it could benefit from Zini. sometimes mid-grade Yancha is better off with a litte shave to smooth out the stubbles.
Both of my zini have been dedicated to pu - one for shou/liu bao and one for sheng (hqsn). I have 2 more zini at my parents...and also a purion at my parents but will have to wait hahaha.

For this tea, I think I'm gonna let it age for a year or so
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Balthazar
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:39 am

LeoFox wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:13 pm
I can only describe it in the pot as a kind of unpleasant cubist nightmare - again all the elements of greatness present but jumbled up in unexpected juxtapositions and at disturbing scales. Sometimes such an experience can be good - sometimes
Gonna steal this with absolutely no sense compunction; if there is a Wikimedia Commons equivalent for vivid language this one belongs on the front page there :)
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LeoFox
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:12 am

Balthazar wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:39 am
LeoFox wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:13 pm
I can only describe it in the pot as a kind of unpleasant cubist nightmare - again all the elements of greatness present but jumbled up in unexpected juxtapositions and at disturbing scales. Sometimes such an experience can be good - sometimes
Gonna steal this with absolutely no sense compunction; if there is a Wikimedia Commons equivalent for vivid language this one belongs on the front page there :)
Hahaha I will admit I stole it myself, in a way, from a literature professor. In college, he commented in that awful professorial red in the margins of my essay on the significance of the island of Scheria in the Odyssey - "your style is a french symbolist nightmare". I got a B-..or was it a C+? Almost 20 years ago and still haunting me...Hahaha...
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LeoFox
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:40 pm

2020 winter Laoshi Alishan from @Tillerman
This tea is oxidized to the “traditional” level of about 35% and it has a moderate roast
The dry leaf has no scent. Looks beautiful:
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First infusion was very light and vaguely buttery.

And then...
....WOW

wow...

Am I drinking dancong?
A peachy honey sweet dancong?

No...not with this luxurious butteriness..

The butter!!!

Am I drinking a heavily oaked butter and fruit bomb Californian chardonnay?

Doesn't seem to quit even after 9 infusions with 5g in 85mL gaiwan..

Why did I only get 14g?

Nooooo...It's sold out...
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LeoFox
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Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:34 pm

Drinking the same tea as the above post now with peter kuo pot. It is as if someone turned up the volume several notches. Wow!

In the pot, the flavors and aromas are so intense...and it seems to add new aspects that weren't present in the gaiwan: a strong mineral aftertaste and a high register spicy aroma like white pepper
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Look at the color difference between this tea soup and the one from gaiwan from post above. I used same brewing parameters. Kuo pot is pushing this tea hard!
Look at the color difference between this tea soup and the one from gaiwan from post above. I used same brewing parameters. Kuo pot is pushing this tea hard!
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Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:56 pm

second go around with Hojo's black tie guan yin. I'm still warming up on finding and trying more high roast TGY of higher quality so I don't have a ton to test this against but... I will say its a step up from Sea Dyke... then again some of what makes Sea Dyke not so high quality is also maybe what I like about it. The Hojo is a lot smoother and more rounded, less astringent, more subtle... I still am not sure if I'm getting the most out of it brewing wise or if its just not quite as up there as I want it to be. Also this isn't exactly the kind of tea Hojo is known for, so I can imagine this is very much his idea of what he wants out of a high roast tea as opposed to what say a classic HK style oolong drinker thinks is good.

Went for 4g/80ml black zini, maybe could have upped the leaf a bit for doing some more proper gong fu type proportions, but also maybe I need to go for longer steeps. Its very roasty but in a pleasant way, also plenty of sweetness and caramel, actually very fruity in the first couple rounds, and while it remains pleasant enough for a couple more the complexity kinda nose dives really quick. Also I don't really get the juicy/yin yun kind of character one would hope for here. Again, small sample size for me, but I feel like this is a very friendly idea of what a high roast tea should be - it doesn't really go too far in any one direction and as a result winds up being kinda indifferent. I'll see how it goes with a bit higher leaf next time around, also maybe in a Tozo pot it will brighten up.
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