What Oolong Are You Drinking

Semi-oxidized tea
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Shine Magical
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:45 am

Today I’m drinking Organic Wenshan Baozhong from Tea Masters. It’s a nice alternative to my favorite tea, Da Yu Ling though the flavor profile is focused more in the low and mid tones than the highs of DYL. Still, very nice and floral. I’m drinking out of celadon glazed cups which increases the slippery texture of the tea and makes it more juicy.
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LeoFox
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Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:33 pm

Recently, I tried a Darjeeling oolong for the first time: high mountain darjeeling second flush oolong from vahdam

https://www.vahdamteas.com/products/hig ... oolong-tea

The dried leaf has a roast smell that reminds me of some medium roast yancha.

First i brewed it gongfu in porcelain, assuming it was like wuyi oolong. Didnt go so well because the tea behaves much more like an Indian black tea - in fact it is not too different from other second flush DJ black teas I have had.

Next i brewed it 4 min at 90 C with 5 g in 450 mL (western). The result was amazing. An explosion of muscatel fruit and almost no bitterness. I think i like it more than comparably and even higher priced second flush muscatel DJ.
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Victoria
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:45 am

Sounds like a good session @LeoFox. I also enjoyed a second flush Darjeeling from Thunderbolt Teas that was processed as an oolong. Especially remember liking the resinous camphor and sweet musk notes. My leaf/water ratio is much higher than yours 5.5g/150ml/198f/3.5min in Yohei Konishi’s thin walled dense kyusu.
Victoria wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:33 pm
2nd Flush
Castleton Moonlight 2019 Second Flush, Oolong, DJ-248, SFTGFOP1 ** good. Processed as an oxidized oolong. Tippy buds are copper colored, and infusion has background malty fruity nutty notes. Tastes like oxidized oolong. Aromatics pleasant, camphorous pine sweet warming. Smooth. Warming. Thick sweetness covers mouth. some sweet musk notes. Good through 3 steeps.
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Victoria
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:02 pm

Got back to my California home after many weeks away and am able to taste tea again as I remember it. For some reason when I’m away tea’s I know well just taste different, even flat. Maybe it’s because I’ve adjusted how I steep to environmental conditions at home, hard to pin point the exact variables.

Today I’m savoring HY Chen’s Exquisite Special charcoal roasted DongDing from his 100 year garden. The aroma and flavor is indeed exquisite, full of complex camphorous herbaceous sweet notes. Hmmm so good. Yesterday, had great sessions with his high roast DongDing and Long Feng Gorge. Good to have my west coast senses back 🍃
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LeoFox
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:58 pm

Victoria wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:02 pm
Got back to my California home after many weeks away and am able to taste tea again as I remember it. For some reason when I’m away tea’s I know well just taste different, even flat. Maybe it’s because I’ve adjusted how I steep to environmental conditions at home, hard to pin point the exact variables.

Today I’m savoring HY Chen’s Exquisite Special charcoal roasted DongDing from his 100 year garden. The aroma and flavor is indeed exquisite, full of complex camphorous herbaceous sweet notes. Hmmm so good. Yesterday, had great sessions with his high roast DongDing and Long Feng Gorge. Good to have my west coast senses back 🍃
Are you using your hokujo?
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Victoria
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:11 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:58 pm
Victoria wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:02 pm
Got back to my California home after many weeks away and am able to taste tea again as I remember it. For some reason when I’m away tea’s I know well just taste different, even flat. Maybe it’s because I’ve adjusted how I steep to environmental conditions at home, hard to pin point the exact variables.

Today I’m savoring HY Chen’s Exquisite Special charcoal roasted DongDing from his 100 year garden. The aroma and flavor is indeed exquisite, full of complex camphorous herbaceous sweet notes. Hmmm so good. Yesterday, had great sessions with his high roast DongDing and Long Feng Gorge. Good to have my west coast senses back 🍃
Are you using your hokujo?
Yes, I mostly use my 180-250ml Hokujo stoneware kyusu for morning roasted oolong. Later in the day I’ll switch to smaller hongni yixing, mayake kyusu for roasted oolong, and or nosaka clay by Shimizu Ken for some greener high mountain. I travel with one Hokujo just for roasted oolong.
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LeoFox
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Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:36 am

Victoria wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:16 pm
Enjoying Tieguanyin ‘Iron Goddess‘ from Té Company in NYC. Aromatics are off the charts, musky, malty, and deep. Liquor parallels aromatics, and is super-rich. Elena described it well, “like an old man smoking cigars on side street hickory benches. It is the peat whiskey of teas.” The empty cup aroma is thick. Maybe the best TGY I’ve had yet.

Steeped in Yamada Sou mayake 160ml kyusu.


Image
@Victoria
Your review that this may be the best TGY you have ever had inspired me to look into this tea. I think they have a free shipping special right now.

Seems to be a Taiwan Muzha- style of heavily roasted TGY made from a blend of Ying Zhi Hong Xin & Jinxuan.

I haven't had ying zhi hong xin before: most of the TGY from taiwan ive had is jin xuan, tgy or tgy +jin xuan blend cultivars - all typically for a lower price point from taiwan vendors than offered by Te company. Would you say the ying zhi hong xin added a particular quality attribute to the brew?
Last edited by LeoFox on Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LeoFox
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Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:41 pm

Does anyone have experience with the taiwanese tea company tea struck?
I was recently sent 150g sealed bag of their longfeng xia from 2016 from my dad. Hopefully still good to go after so long.

http://teastruck.com.tw/en/process.php

Price is 2800 NTD for 2 x 150g bags, which works out to be about $100 for 300 g

At TTC, LFX sells for $92 for 250g
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Bok
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Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:42 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:41 pm
Does anyone have experience with the taiwanese tea company tea struck?
I was recently sent 150g sealed bag of their longfeng xia from 2016 from my dad. Hopefully still good to go after so long.

http://teastruck.com.tw/en/process.php

Price is 2800 NTD for 2 x 150g bags, which works out to be about $100 for 300 g

At TTC, LFX sells for $92 for 250g
If I’m not mistaken it’s shopping mall quality tea. Meaning, fancy packaging, lots of shop displays but average and high priced tea. You got a few outlets in the larger shopping malls in Taiwan. Mainly for people who are occasional tea drinkers or buy gifts.
Ethan Kurland
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Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:58 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:41 pm
longfeng xia
First, try the tea that your dad gave you. How is it?

I could be wrong, but I think that few people have bought longfengxia from multiple vendors. Moreover, quality could vary so all of the vendors' prices might be reasonable prices. Why don't you tell us about how much you like drinking that longfengxia (LFX); LFX in general; &, perhaps gaoshan in general?

For what you like in goashan, you might want to be drinking similar, cheaper tea grown at lower altitude; or, maybe you should be drinking costlier DYL; or maybe you are perfectly happy with what your dad gave you, & when that is gone you will replace it with LFX from the same vendor.
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LeoFox
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Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:46 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:58 pm
LeoFox wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:41 pm
longfeng xia
First, try the tea that your dad gave you. How is it?

I could be wrong, but I think that few people have bought longfengxia from multiple vendors. Moreover, quality could vary so all of the vendors' prices might be reasonable prices. Why don't you tell us about how much you like drinking that longfengxia (LFX); LFX in general; &, perhaps gaoshan in general?

For what you like in goashan, you might want to be drinking similar, cheaper tea grown at lower altitude; or, maybe you should be drinking costlier DYL; or maybe you are perfectly happy with what your dad gave you, & when that is gone you will replace it with LFX from the same vendor.

I had some from TTC recently, and really enjoyed it, though i enjoy their DYL a lot more. Do you still have any 2020 LFX left in your inventory? Maybe i can order some and try to understand this terroir better.
Ethan Kurland
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Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:29 am

LeoFox wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:46 pm
Do you still have any 2020 LFX left in your inventory? Maybe i can order some and try to understand this terroir better.
Thanks for the reply.

Sorry, I don't have any LFX. To my surprise, about 6 weeks after trying it, it became my favorite* gaoshan. I did not buy more mostly because I have a lot of shanlinxi and dayuling. Missing LFX, I tried combining SLX & DYL. I have been using 4 or 5 infusions of SLX with 6 or 7 infusions of DYL. This is okay for me for now.

After sampling this coming Winter's oolongs, LFX might be the only gaoshan that I buy. (Months away from those decisions. At the moment I like the idea of one having the confidence to decide on one tea for a type of tea; but real businessmen don't stop stocking what sells :lol: laughing at myself here.)

My biggest concern for you is that purchasing lightly oxidized oolong in 150 or 250 gram packs might force you to use more than you like of it at its peak (in 2 or 3 weeks after opening the packs); or, that the remaining leaves of packs that were opened a few weeks earlier, lose some of their flavor.

*I don't think that all of my favorite teas are some of the best teas. Some of my favorites are the teas that I enjoy the most though they might not be the most delicious or impressive. Words fail to express totally why, but the closest explanation is that those teas are the most "comfortable", perhaps most "comforting"....
faj
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Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:54 am

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:29 am
Some of my favorites are the teas that I enjoy the most though they might not be the most delicious or impressive. Words fail to express totally why, but the closest explanation is that those teas are the most "comfortable", perhaps most "comforting"....
I wrote in my notes about a tea not long ago that it was "strangely satisfying to drink, enjoyable rather than spectacular". It was not a very expensive tea, not anything special at all.

Some teas have distinctive characteristics that make for memorable tastings but may deter from repeated enjoyment. Maybe it has to do with balance, with excessive traits being fun at the beginning, but sometimes becoming tiresome after a while (some people are like that...). Other teas may make less of an impression at first because they do not throw anything excessive at you, yet they may reveal themselves very enjoyable through repeated tastings.
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LeoFox
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Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:47 am

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:29 am
LeoFox wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:46 pm
Do you still have any 2020 LFX left in your inventory? Maybe i can order some and try to understand this terroir better.
Thanks for the reply.

Sorry, I don't have any LFX. To my surprise, about 6 weeks after trying it, it became my favorite* gaoshan. I did not buy more mostly because I have a lot of shanlinxi and dayuling. Missing LFX, I tried combining SLX & DYL. I have been using 4 or 5 infusions of SLX with 6 or 7 infusions of DYL. This is okay for me for now.

After sampling this coming Winter's oolongs, LFX might be the only gaoshan that I buy. (Months away from those decisions. At the moment I like the idea of one having the confidence to decide on one tea for a type of tea; but real businessmen don't stop stocking what sells :lol: laughing at myself here.)

My biggest concern for you is that purchasing lightly oxidized oolong in 150 or 250 gram packs might force you to use more than you like of it at its peak (in 2 or 3 weeks after opening the packs); or, that the remaining leaves of packs that were opened a few weeks earlier, lose some of their flavor.

*I don't think that all of my favorite teas are some of the best teas. Some of my favorites are the teas that I enjoy the most though they might not be the most delicious or impressive. Words fail to express totally why, but the closest explanation is that those teas are the most "comfortable", perhaps most "comforting"....
Thank you for the update! You are right: my main concern is that this will force me to binge on this tea, and then i may not want more of it. It is also very possible this is low quality tea, in which case i really won't know what to do.

I read in your description of your LSX that some people taste a distinctive umami like note in the third steeping. I like that a lot, and i sometimes on purpose brew a rich sencha in the same vessel before a gao shan session.

Also very interesting to read about your blending efforts with top teas. I have only done that with black teas so far: mixing chinese black teas that have stronger honey and cream characteristics with the more astringent but fruity darjeelings. But i have only been doing that at the dry leaf level, not the infusions.
Last edited by LeoFox on Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LeoFox
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Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:58 am

I just enjoyed an amazing session with Mr. Chen’s Heritage Wenshan Bao Zhong Spring Tea from taiwan tea crafts.
According to the vendor:
Mr. Chen is 92 years old. He was born under the Japanese occupation and was 28 when they left the island in 1945. At about the same, time he started producing tea in the hills not far from Pinglin next to the family’s ancestral stone house where he still resides and continues, to this day, to practice his craft with the help of his son and daughter-in-law (not the other way around!). His Bao Zhong tea is slightly more oxidized, like it used to be, before today’s trend to greener teas.
I brewed 5 g in 125 mL 100 C water in a porcelain pot:
Rinse/ 1 min / 1 min / 1min30s/ 2min / 3min /5min / 8 min / 10 min / 15 min / 25 min!

The liquor is quite dark, confirming the stronger oxidation.

Early steeps: light celery and sea salt mixed with some muscatel reminiscent of bug bitten black tea and white teas without any of the astringency. This is very unusual for me: not a characteristic ive found in green bao zhong in the past. But i really liked it.

Later steeps: the tea sheds the muscatel notes, allowing the floral notes to shine. The tea is more creamy and develops some nuttiness. Celery notes remain. Aftertaste is exquisite and complex


It seems to deposit an interesting dark green powdery layer on the porcelain
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