What Oolong Are You Drinking

Semi-oxidized tea
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teatray
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Tue Mar 19, 2024 10:07 pm

teacreacha7 wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2024 9:35 am
teatray wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 6:48 pm
Halfways through my (first) yancha order from Wuyi Origin. Finished (aged) Lao Cong Shui Xian 2013, Bai Ji Guan 2023, Rou Gui 2023, some more to go. Pretty good tea, esp. the first two were excellent (lots of leaf in a small porcelain teapot, brewing by feel but weighing the leaf). This is the first time I'm truly enjoying a yancha haul, but maybe I was in the process of acquiring the taste for the previous ones (from other vendors). Though, considering that the prices are reasonable and the tea is fun, I wish I did start here. The BJG was fascinatingly finnicky: either superb or meh, depending on parameters not too far apart (or, who knows, leaf variety in the pack?).
Glad you are enjoying it! It took me a while to learn how to brew Yencha. I probably blew through an embarrassing 4 or 5 sessions before I realized flash brewing is the way to go for me. Now my philosophy is pouring the first 1-3 steeps as FAST as humanly possible to avoid bitterness and preserve the fruity, floral notes (10 second steep, max). PS - Bravo in the "other" wuyi thread.
Yeah, also doing shorter initial infusions (though not quite as short as 10s for me), but also putting some more leaf (by weight) than what I prefer for TW oolongs. There weren't many fruity notes to preserve in the old LCSX (more like wood, cinnamon, onions), but it was the same. Experienced drinkers here say that you shouldn't brew yancha too many times, but I found these last ones particularly long lasting (with very long infusions towards the end, the resulting cold brew still sweet & rich).
Andrew S
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Thu Mar 28, 2024 9:17 pm

I'm enjoying my second session of a small sample of an AiJiao yancha from HuiYuanKeng.

I've been trying to get into the habit of writing down some notes when I try new teas, and it's been quite useful when I revisit them, especially if the samples are only small and I won't get to try them more than two or three times.

My notes from the first session said to push it harder, and that was definitely some good advice from past me. I'm getting plenty of grapes and jellybeans in this session, and a very nice long aftertaste along those lines.

Andrew
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debunix
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Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:09 pm

Andrew S wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2024 9:17 pm
grapes and jellybeans
Curious: I get the grapes reference, that sounds quite tasty. But I don't think of a 'jellybean' flavor, perhaps because I was introduced to JellyBellies at an early age--a cousin started carrying them in her shop long before they were staples of every sort of candy and gift store. So I can think of my favorite JellyBelly flavors, but not really of a single 'jellybean' flavor. Can you expand a little on that?
Andrew S
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Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:34 pm

debunix wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:09 pm
Andrew S wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2024 9:17 pm
grapes and jellybeans
Curious: I get the grapes reference, that sounds quite tasty. But I don't think of a 'jellybean' flavor, perhaps because I was introduced to JellyBellies at an early age--a cousin started carrying them in her shop long before they were staples of every sort of candy and gift store. So I can think of my favorite JellyBelly flavors, but not really of a single 'jellybean' flavor. Can you expand a little on that?
It's probably not a very useful description to anyone but myself, but perhaps I could say that it tasted more like a grape-y jellybean than the act of eating some actual grapes (but not in an artificial way, just a delicious way).

I've got one session of that tea left before it's gone forever - hopefully I can repeat the experience.

Andrew
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debunix
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Fri Mar 29, 2024 1:57 am

I hope you get the same experience or better this time too
Ethan Kurland
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Fri Mar 29, 2024 2:34 pm

Not all grape jellybeans taste the same. Australian ones may be quite different than jellybeans in California. :roll:
Andrew S
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Fri Mar 29, 2024 4:15 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2024 2:34 pm
Not all grape jellybeans taste the same. Australian ones may be quite different than jellybeans in California. :roll:
And the last time that I had jellybeans could have been about two decades ago... they may well taste better in my memory than in reality.

Same tea today, but different teapot, different water, one different cup, and a different time of day. Cherries come out more in the straighter modern cup, and plums come out more in the wider old cup - plus some (actual) grapes after a while, and a touch of cocoa powder (both the flavour itself and the gently powdery mouthfeel).

Perhaps this is a reminder that when we describe a tea, we are often just describing an individual tea session or a particular way of brewing it, and not all that the tea itself can offer.

Anyway, a nice farewell to a nice tea.

Andrew
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TaiguliRebel
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Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:02 am

Siam Oriental Beauty, 2023 Spring; received as a sample gift. Cha Nang Ngam
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Andrew S
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Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:49 pm

Beginning a slow, steady exploration of dancong - one of the many categories of tea which I've pretty much completely ignored so far due to misconceptions and bad early experiences.

I've had to re-adjust my expectations and preferences towards using far fewer leaves than with yancha, and aiming to emphasise aromas and flavours over mouthfeel and aftertaste (or at least, not to forget about them). I seem to be getting decent results with that lighter approach (although I probably used too many leaves in this session). I've even been trying the teas in a gaiwan, and actually timing my steeps for once.

It'll be a little while until I feel comfortable about actually having an opinion on the tea itself, as opposed to trying to brew it without too much maltreatment.

Andrew
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Darrel
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Sun Apr 21, 2024 8:25 am

Image

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2013 aged Qi Dan from OWT.
GaoShan
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Location: Toronto, Canada

Wed Apr 24, 2024 7:27 pm

I'm working my way through a spring 2023 Longfengxia from Ethan (6 g, 120 ml, 195F, 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 45, etc.). This tea is very soft, with flavours that are hard to pin down. I get some nice orchid florality, cream, apricot, and beautiful, slightly overripe peach. It lasts for seven or so steeps. It's very nice, though I still have a soft spot for Ethan's coconut-heavy spring 2021 LFX.
Andrew S
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Fri May 03, 2024 6:37 pm

Enjoying an aged XinBei oriental beauty from 2013 - tastes very bright and zesty, with a smooth mouthfeel and a cool refreshing aftertaste.

Looks like the person who decided to leave it alone for ten years made a good decision. Hopefully I can exercise a similar level of self-control for some teas that I want to age for a decade or so.

Andrew
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Andrew S
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Sat May 11, 2024 8:20 pm

Another cloudy and rainy yancha day, comparing two examples of BaiRuiXiang, grown in different locations, and one from 2013 and the other from 2018.

The 2013 was very aromatic (apricots and perfumed aged notes) while the 2018 had a richer and rounder peachy flavour profile. Both of them were in what I'd call the 'yellow stone fruit' end of the flavour spectrum, and both of them had nice cooling touches and a pure bright mouthfeel. They were still flavourful at the 'untimed' or 'fill and forget' stage of the brewing process.

Andrew
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