Floating Leaves Baozhong Blind Tasting Event

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FloatingLeaves
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Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:54 pm

Round Two! We're doing it again, but with Baozhong :o

We had a lot of requests to do a blind tasting sampler with our Baozhong oolongs this season, so here you go :D We'll be sending out four 10 gram samples labeled A, B, C, and D, and Shiuwen will drink the teas live over Facebook and Instagram for another "big reveal" on July 23rd (Tuesday) at 11:30 AM. I'll keep her in the dark again like last time, that way she has to guess along with the rest of you. I hope it doesn't drive her crazy :lol: :lol: :lol:

The teas this time around are our Competition Style from Pinglin, our Farmer's Choice from Pingling, our Smooth Water from Nangang and a competition winner (9th place of the 1st place winners, 2019 Spring Competition). We usually only do competition winning teas by pre-order, so since we don't have much of the competition winner we'll be keeping the number of samplers down to 35 total (about a third of how many high mountain samplers we sent out).

Once again, the point is not to challenge you to guess them all correct, but to taste the teas blind all together, without the influence of names. But it is SUPER fun for us to guess, as well. Basically, we hope this is super fun, educational, and gets some good conversation going in the online tea community.

It will be an interesting contrast with the high mountain version, because three of the teas are from the same location, two from the same exact farmer but harvested on different days. But they are all Baozhong after all.

You can find it on our site, like before. Check out our homepage (floatingleaves.com). There is a silly stock photo holding the place right now, but it will link you through. Look forward to drinking the teas with you in the virtual world!

Noah
Floating Leaves Tea
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debunix
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Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:57 pm

Sounds great, I'm in!

The first tea that gave me the confidence to start exploring beyond the ever-recognizable bright red tin of SeaDyke TKY was a BaoZhong, so utterly distinctive that I could hardly believe it was from the same plant.
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Dresden
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Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:22 pm

And with that... I am in!
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Dresden
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Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:53 pm

Got my samples in today.

Looks like it's going to be a Baozhong style hurricane party this weekend!
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Victoria
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Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:00 pm

Dresden wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:53 pm
Got my samples in today.

Looks like it's going to be a Baozhong style hurricane party this weekend!
We’ll be thinking of you. I see it is getting very windy and you’ll have a lot of rain for many days. No surfing with your teacup :) .
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Dresden
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Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:41 pm

Victoria wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:00 pm
Dresden wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:53 pm
Got my samples in today.

Looks like it's going to be a Baozhong style hurricane party this weekend!
We’ll be thinking of you. I see it is getting very windy and you’ll have a lot of rain for many days. No surfing with your teacup :) .
At least I won'r run out of fresh water :lol:

Seriously though... They found flesh eating bacteria in the gulf and now there is a hurricane bringing storm surge inland. It's like mother nature watched Sharknado and said, "Hold my beer and watch this!"
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Victoria
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Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:09 am

Dresden wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:41 pm
Victoria wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:00 pm
Dresden wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:53 pm
Got my samples in today.

Looks like it's going to be a Baozhong style hurricane party this weekend!
We’ll be thinking of you. I see it is getting very windy and you’ll have a lot of rain for many days. No surfing with your teacup :) .
At least I won'r run out of fresh water :lol:

Seriously though... They found flesh eating bacteria in the Gulf and now there is a hurricane bringing storm surge inland. It's like mother nature watched Sharknado and said, "Hold my beer and watch this!"
Yes, I read about a guy in Destin near Seaside, swimming in the gulf who died 48hrs afterwards from the bacteria. He had a very small cut when he went swimming. This bacteria is also now along east coast beaches in the Carolinas, Maryland, Delaware, Jersey...

Keep us posted how you are doing. Hopefully your elevation isn’t too low and you aren’t eating raw oysters :?
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debunix
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Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:17 am

Teas arrived!
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FloatingLeaves
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Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:53 pm

The Teas Are:

.
.
.
.
.

** Spoiler Alert **

A=Competition Winner (Pinglin), B=Smooth Water (Nangang), C=Competition Style (Pinglin), D=Farmer's Choice (Pinglin)
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debunix
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Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:09 pm

I did this without reading the solution posted already--I avoided the topic until ready to post this. Between travel and heat it took a bit to find a time & place for a tasting.

The dry leaves are deep green and long thin twists, with a lightly floral and grassy scent. They're visually virtually identical, although sample A's leaves sit more compactly at the bottom of the gaiwans.

Image

1 gram of each tea in a 60 mL porcelain gaiwan

60 mL of water just off the boil

First infusion 1 minute

A: very light and floral, background hints of summer hay

B: very similar, can't yet detect any difference from A

C: more deeply floral maybe, very similar

D: little less floral, more summer hay

Second infusion, 2 minutes, goal of more concentrating the liquors

Image

A: Trying to decide how this differs from the high mountain oolongs; it is warm, floral, slightly vegetal, a little sweet, but without perhaps the depth of flavor of those; pale liquor

B: a little less floral than A; slightly deeper gold liquor than A

C: More delicate, rich and sweet, pale liquor like A

D: warm, rich, a little less floral, deepest gold to the liquor of them all and it tastes most of that summer meadow with drying grass or fine hay

Third infusion, 3 minutes--didn't take notes, because distracted by baking, but all were delicious

Fourth infusion, untimed, but long--about 10 minutes. They're all starting to give a hint of astringency; but still all quite tasty, and they will make wonderful cool-infused teas as well as being delightful reminders of spring and summer in the fall. They're not as buttery-rich as the high mountain oolongs, but they'll be lovely daily drinkers, and forgiving for larger-scale brewing in the office for afternoons away from my teawares.

The leaves for A are smaller than the others, consistent with their stacking more densely in the bottom of the gaiwan; the leaves for C are the largest, most intact, and have a little more of a red margin than the others; the leaves of B and D are in between in size.

Image

I'll set up the gaiwans with another batch of leaves, cover with hot water, and let sit a few hours, to be enjoyed diluted with cool water during the heat of the afternoon. But for now, the heat is coming and it's time to close up the house and switch to cool tea.
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FloatingLeaves
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Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:59 pm

@debunix It was fun to read your post. I hope the heat subsides and you get a chance to try them again.

*Hint* The texture is the giveaway, you can brew them a bit strong to get a clearer feel for what the texture is trying to say.
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debunix
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Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:05 pm

Yes, now that I've tried them in the one way, I hope to do another hot tasting with all of them. But the weather forecast is high 80s through the weekend.
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