What Oolong Are You Drinking

Semi-oxidized tea
Andrew S
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Wed Dec 01, 2021 5:02 pm

EoT's Zhang Hui Chun bei dou yancha. I've brewed it in my 'normal' yancha brewing style before, but only a few times in my 'strong' style.

It's still enjoyable for several infusions after the 'traditional' three, especially in the aftertaste, which makes me think that I haven't yet figured out how to extract all of its flavour over those first few brews using this method. Not that that's compulsory, but rather that I need to learn more about how this tea likes to be brewed using this style.

More experimentation is obviously required, and this is another example of where just one or two samples of this tea wouldn't have taught me much about it.

Andrew
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mbanu
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Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:10 pm

Bought some Foojoy "Monkey-Picked Ti Kuan Yin" from a vendor back in March that apparently doesn't sell much of that tea. Already too old for brewing the usual way, but in fine shape for gongfu. Still in fine shape for gongfu as of yesterday, brewed in a 90s unglazed clay teapot that I got for a good price a while back to fool around with. :)
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wave_code
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Thu Dec 09, 2021 9:39 am

Snow day here but wanting something lighter than wet storage tea called for high roast, but in a way it somewhat backfired coming out very different. While Hojo isn't really where I would normally shop for high roast tea I decided to finish off the 'black' TGY I got a bit of on a whim when ordering a pot. Previously it was just a somewhat roasty sweet if very subdued tea with no real bite - not surprising to me that a Hojo tea wouldn't have too much of a strong roast or sour profile, but also found it kind of strange why they would go to the effort to source and carry such a tea. I think today though I probably actually hit the mark of what Hojo saw in this and figured out why... the roast really only was in the nose a bit - the tea was much sweeter and actually very light and grassy tasting but not like a fresh nuclear green TGY. If I hadn't been making it for myself I would have sworn that someone had blended in some sencha. I hadn't made this tea since I got my tetsubin, so I wonder if the change in the water brought out this character I hadn't noticed before. While I have noticed effects from the tetsubin on other teas, if that was what was at play here this is actually the tea I've seen the biggest noticeable difference with. Not really what I was ultimately looking for today, but was an interesting result.
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Bok
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Sat Dec 11, 2021 7:49 am

My food for the soul tea - Dancong after a long day with too much food… ahhhhh
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Andrew S
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Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:19 pm

Last night I played with DXJD's Wuyi Heritage que she which I had enjoyed quite a bit on a previous occasion, only to find that it tasted rather different, and considerably more flat, compared to what I had remembered from that previous occasion...

Thinking it was perhaps my choice of teapot, I played again this morning in the same zhuni pot as the first time, but with similar results.

This week has been far more humid than the first time that I tried it; perhaps delicate styles of yancha do not like humid days. In contrast, I've had excellent experiences drinking old liu an on humid days, and I recall reading something suggesting that you should drink liu an on wet and humid days.

I wonder if others have had similar experiences.

Perhaps I'll break out some of that old liu an to make the most of today...

Andrew
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Benjamin
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Mon Dec 13, 2021 6:25 pm

Andrew S wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:19 pm
Last night I played with DXJD's Wuyi Heritage que she which I had enjoyed quite a bit on a previous occasion, only to find that it tasted rather different, and considerably more flat, compared to what I had remembered from that previous occasion...

Thinking it was perhaps my choice of teapot, I played again this morning in the same zhuni pot as the first time, but with similar results.

This week has been far more humid than the first time that I tried it; perhaps delicate styles of yancha do not like humid days.

I wonder if others have had similar experiences.
It's an interesting thought. The Wuyi area isn't particularly hot for most of the year, but it does get considerable amounts of rain, so you'd think local drinkers would at least have come across this before.

Many drinkers of liu an, liu bao, and puerh live in particularly humid areas, so my experience is similar to yours there. I've had tea people here in Taiwan try and explain that more humid areas tend to drink aged, humid teas like the aforementioned heicha, while less humid (and generally somewhat colder) areas often drink greener teas like northern china, Korea, and Japan. Far from being definitive but it's a thought worth sharing anyway.
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debunix
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Mon Dec 13, 2021 10:12 pm

Jing Xuen from Wistaria Tea House, grandpa style. 10 leaves from freshly opened vacuum-sealed pack in a moderately sized chawan, lovely soft silky buttery flavor. Fine stuff. Glad I bought two pouches of this.
Andrew S
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Tue Dec 14, 2021 12:37 am

@Benjamin: thank you, I'm grateful for your thoughts.

I tend to agree that humidly-stored teas behave best in humid environments, but that is only my own personal experience, and it is nice to hear from others (even if it is just personal opinions or stories from others).

I usually focus on the more heavily-roasted examples of yancha, so perhaps that has influenced me, and perhaps I haven't noticed the effects of weather on yancha before.

If I decide to roast / warm up my Que She next time, I will report on what happens, on the assumption that I don't destroy them, and don't set anything significant on fire.

Andrew
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tjkdubya
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Tue Dec 14, 2021 1:29 am

Andrew S wrote:
Tue Dec 14, 2021 12:37 am
Benjamin: thank you, I'm grateful for your thoughts.

I tend to agree that humidly-stored teas behave best in humid environments, but that is only my own personal experience, and it is nice to hear from others (even if it is just personal opinions or stories from others).

I usually focus on the more heavily-roasted examples of yancha, so perhaps that has influenced me, and perhaps I haven't noticed the effects of weather on yancha before.

If I decide to roast / warm up my Que She next time, I will report on what happens, on the assumption that I don't destroy them, and don't set anything significant on fire.

Andrew
Over the past year of drinking this tea, 20 or so sessions, I've witnessed it slowly evolve in quite interesting ways and become more well balanced and attractive, at least for my palate. But it has dipped suddenly and appeared to be hiding in its shell once or twice. The last time that happened I noted it was after a sudden change in weather, where the temperature dropped and we had fluctuating spells of dry and rainy days. My impression is that this kind of sudden change can also affect higher roast oo as well, but that lighter roasted teas can be more susceptible and temperamental. Maybe a bit of dry gentle heat to wake up the leaves, especially if there might be some accumulated humidity and/or cold-lock on the leaves, would be helpful, but heating to the point of potentially pushing the roast further should not be necessary.

The Queshe is one of the teas we enjoy the most out of our catalogue, and at the same time one that I find one of the most challenging to brew and express its full potential. I am still learning how to make it sing every time.
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wave_code
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Tue Dec 14, 2021 6:30 am

speaking of humidity and oolongs... I've heard a bit about aged and humidly stored oolongs and I'm kind of curious about them. I get the impression this is very much a Hong Kong thing, which would make sense but maybe I just have that association having seen marshaln mention liking them. I don't know if this is something that is ever really done intentionally to cater to those who like humid/wet stored tea but want things other than pu, or if its just a wet stored equivalent of tea that nobody bought 10-20 years ago and has been sitting around. given that even when high roasted a lot of oolongs are still not really to my taste and I tend to like teas made for/from humid climates I'd be interested to learn more or get to try some.
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debunix
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Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:55 am

When talking about humidity and teas, I certainly understand that local humidity would have potentially quite an impact on how a tea ages, but it's a little harder to understand the tea is going to change from one day to the next with changes in humidity when you're preparing to drink it unless the change is more about the drinker's nose and less about the tea itself. You're immersing the leaves in hot water, after all, so any difference made by humidity over a few hours or days ought to be reversed by that, at least when we're talking about short term effects.

And since I'm reading this in the morning, I wonder if you could reproduce some of the effect of drinking tea in a humid environment by using a simple salt water nose spray or sinus rinse a few minutes before a tea session, to make sure your nose was 'primed' as it would be in a naturally humid situation.

Musings happily brought to you by last night's Jing Xuen, the same dozen rolled pellets (most with two good-sized leaves) grandpa style on fill 4 of my chawan. It's going to be the last fill because it's silky smooth warm butteriness is fading now, and time to move onto sencha.
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mbanu
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Wed Dec 15, 2021 11:26 am

Drinking a 2021 shuixian from Seven Cups. Not sure if it's quirks of this season's harvest or intentional, but it only seems to do well with gongfu brewing for me. A fine tea made that way, though. :D

*Edit: Maybe should have had some more water beforehand, though -- this one seems to be a headache-inducer for me.
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BriarOcelot
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Thu Dec 16, 2021 12:34 am

I've been enjoying Lao Cong Shui Xian fairly regularly and it can definitely have a punch (especially if you add a bit of ground leaf). Eagerly awaiting some Wuyi Origin teas.

I had some charcoal smoked "Dragon's-Eye Charcoal Muzha Tieguanyin" delivered a while back from Mountain Stream Teas, just tried one pot so far - but I'm not hugely impressed, it seems to have very little taste/aroma. I may have to try brewing it differently.
wave_code wrote:
Tue Dec 14, 2021 6:30 am
speaking of humidity and oolongs... I've heard a bit about aged and humidly stored oolongs and I'm kind of curious about them. I get the impression this is very much a Hong Kong thing, which would make sense but maybe I just have that association having seen marshaln mention liking them. I don't know if this is something that is ever really done intentionally to cater to those who like humid/wet stored tea but want things other than pu, or if its just a wet stored equivalent of tea that nobody bought 10-20 years ago and has been sitting around. given that even when high roasted a lot of oolongs are still not really to my taste and I tend to like teas made for/from humid climates I'd be interested to learn more or get to try some.
I was just reading one of Wilson's posts on teapotnews he has some 1993 oolong for sale (I was pondering an order). I'd assume that would have been relatively humidly stored in Singapore.
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Bok
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Thu Dec 16, 2021 1:42 am

BriarOcelot wrote:
Thu Dec 16, 2021 12:34 am
I've been enjoying Lao Cong Shui Xian fairly regularly and it can definitely have a punch (especially if you add a bit of ground leaf). Eagerly awaiting some Wuyi Origin teas.
Just so happens that I had some LCSX myself, mine from Daxue Jiadao, from the heritage line... nice tea on a quiet evening with some pre-festivities feeling.

BriarOcelot wrote:
Thu Dec 16, 2021 12:34 am
I had some charcoal smoked "Dragon's-Eye Charcoal Muzha Tieguanyin" delivered a while back from Mountain Stream Teas, just tried one pot so far - but I'm not hugely impressed, it seems to have very little taste/aroma. I may have to try brewing it differently.
It might just be the tea. I have heard some pretty mixed feedback from that company.
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Andrew S
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Fri Dec 17, 2021 8:40 pm

On the topic of lao cong shui xian (which I feel is a redundant title; doesn't everyone call their shui xian 'lao cong' no matter how old the bushes are?), I had some of the Zhang Hui Chun 'cong xian' about a week ago, to relax after a tiring week.

All I can say is that it had a very strong effect on me. Almost to the extent of incapacitating me, in a good way (and in the way that some old teas can feel to me, albeit this was more forceful, and old teas are usually more 'persuasive').

Can't recall much about the flavours though...

I wonder sometimes why some teas give me a very strong feeling, whereas others feel like drinking flavoured water. Perhaps there's no simple answer to that.

Andrew
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