What Oolong Are You Drinking

Semi-oxidized tea
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Bok
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Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:11 am

For a change something that others can maybe relate to and buy if they wish... a sample of aged Yancha from @octopus the lazy cat. Quite lovely that tea, lot of what I would call musky flavours, yet mellow. Just real nice. Sort of locally sourced in the greater neighbourhood. Holding up pretty well compared to what I got from others in the region.

Helped by that 60s Biandeng, which is seemingly appreciative of this tea as well, glowing. I have to say (repeatedly), this hongni is a very nice clay! Always found it difficult to get what people meant when they say a clay is nice(what is that even supposed to mean?), yet when a clay is nice, you know it when you see it. Okay, I’ll stop now with the subjective tidbits...
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Rickpatbrown
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Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:55 am

Opened my second to last pouch of last spring's Hehuan Shan (2018). I probably need to finish these off before I risk losing them. I've enjoyed this tea. It's quiet and subtle, but very appealing.

It will have to rest for a few days to open up, but I really love the look of a full tea tin 😁
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Noonie
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Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm

I like the contrast in teas from @Bok and @Rickpatbrown. Both photos are enticing and make me want tea (I just had a green tea frap from Starbucks, which is like 1 part tea to 100 parts other stuff :roll: )
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Bok
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Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:07 pm

@Noonieyuk! At least Starbucks gives you a fair warning, their sill names already tell you all you need to know...

In those cases I opt for water. Even their coffee is so bad, I literally can not stomach it anymore... don’t know how I could in the past.
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Shine Magical
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Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:41 am

After enough tasting, I've decided that year's Taiwanese green oolong harvests aren't as good as last year's. They overall seem less floral and I'm able to taste more bitter notes this year. Still enjoyable but I hope its really the harvest and not my taste buds changing.
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Bok
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Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:36 am

Shine Magical wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:41 am
Still enjoyable but I hope its really the harvest and not my taste buds changing.
By that you mean getting used to a certain quality of tea? That would be indeed hard to find better quality than Stephane’s and the like for Western customers...

If it’s body changes you just need to head out again exploring or challenging your methods of preparation.

But I thinks it’s more likely the harvest. Lucky I am still drinking away last Winter’s.
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Shine Magical
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Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:43 am

Bok wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:36 am
Shine Magical wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:41 am
Still enjoyable but I hope its really the harvest and not my taste buds changing.
By that you mean getting used to a certain quality of tea?
Yes, or just getting too used to the flavors in general that would make them seem to pop less. I had a similar experience when I was first getting into tea and got very into shou puer, but I suddenly completely lost interest because I felt like the flavors were too transparent and one note regardless of the grade and age of the tea I'd have. Basically I felt like I had experienced all it could give me and so I lost interest.

But I think its this year's spring harvest since there were some weather issues.
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Tillerman
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Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:44 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:43 am
But I think its this year's spring harvest since there were some weather issues.
There were weather issues this year; notably very dry conditions. Overall, this affected quantity more than quality. The Spring 2018 tea, however, was probably the finest harvest in some 20 years so the comparison to 2019 is a bit unfair. Rather, consider yourself privileged to have been able to enjoy the 2018 teas for they were (and some still are) very special; you are unlikely to see their like for many years.
chofmann
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Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:20 am

Tillerman wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:44 pm
Shine Magical wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:43 am
But I think its this year's spring harvest since there were some weather issues.
There were weather issues this year; notably very dry conditions. Overall, this affected quantity more than quality. The Spring 2018 tea, however, was probably the finest harvest in some 20 years so the comparison to 2019 is a bit unfair. Rather, consider yourself privileged to have been able to enjoy the 2018 teas for they were (and some still are) very special; you are unlikely to see their like for many years.
I agree with this. 2019 hasn't seemed "bad" or even "below average" to me at all. In fact, it may even be above average. 2018 was simply phenomenal, so that can't be expected every year.

Edit: Just so there isn't any confusion, I mean that 2019 is above average in terms of quality. It is well below average for quantity for the reasons that Tillerman mentioned.
Last edited by chofmann on Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Shine Magical
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Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:27 pm

I had 2 sessions today with 2019 Spring semi Wild Baozhong from Tea Masters. The wet leaves after the first brew had such a strong and complex floral aroma, if you closed your eyes and couldn't feel the steam you would not be able to tell if it were a flower or tea. It really smelled so much like a flower. :D

I'm still adjusting my brewing parameters for this season's spring teas. I was able to brew last year's teas for a longer period of time while not getting bitterness and still being able to increase the florality, whereas this year's harvest I need to brew for 10-15 seconds less.
Ethan Kurland
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Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:36 pm

Shine Magical wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:27 pm
I'm still adjusting my brewing parameters for this season's spring teas. I was able to brew last year's teas for a longer period of time while not getting bitterness and still being able to increase the florality, whereas this year's harvest I need to brew for 10-15 seconds less.
Yes, one needs to adjust every season. Also, some of this Spring's teas may get significantly better with some rest. Dayuling from February this year took months to reach its peak (for my palate). Even in a vacuum pack, storage helps some teas improve.
Also, sometimes one might enjoy what this season's tea gives & forget what that tea was like in past seasons. If one season floral flavor is missing, then one might stop trying to bring out what just is not there. So, for a green oolong, I might use a pot that is not glazed inside to take rough edges off vegetal flavor that can be delicious when bitterness is reduced by the pot. (Usually fully-glazed teaware would be my choice for green oolong to maximize aromatics.)

The shanlinxi tea that I drink is different in a way this Spring that took me many sessions to identify. Minerals! For years I have missed that component. It's there to enjoy. (Lose the pleasure of florals, gain the pleasure of minerals.)
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Shine Magical
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Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:20 pm

I'm actually testing this year the differences between leaving opened tea in a mylar bag closed with a chip clip vs porcelain tea caddies
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Bok
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Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:32 am

Shine Magical wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:20 pm
I'm actually testing this year the differences between leaving opened tea in a mylar bag closed with a chip clip vs porcelain tea caddies
I suggest to squeeze a sheet of rice paper in between the lid and body to get rid of excess humidity and prevent sour notes in the tea. Best would be of course a airtight wax seal. But then those caddies seem too small in volume to warrant the effort.
Ethan Kurland
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Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:57 am

Shine Magical wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:20 pm
I'm actually testing this year the differences between leaving opened tea in a mylar bag closed with a chip clip vs porcelain tea caddies
Those caddies are pretty but won't change the situation of the Spring gaoshan of this year not pleasing you as much as Spring 2018. The resting of tea that I suggested doesn't mean having the tea breath which is what will happen in porcelain. Most importantly, I remind you that for green oolong, after a vacuum pack is opened, one should use its tea within 3 weeks to enjoy it at its best. (Bok suggests 2 weeks--Taipei is very humid.)
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Bok
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Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:11 am

Yes, that is true. Greenish oolongs are best kept in their original packs and consumed asap. Caddies help to open the tea up before a tea session, usually 20min or a couple of hours are enough.
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