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Victoria
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Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:34 am

Here we go, they got it!



Thank you @EarthMonkey for sharing this at LATS
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Tillerman
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Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:40 pm

@Victoria, thank you for your insightful tasting notes!
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Victoria
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Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:59 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:18 pm
Hello everyone in this tasting, I hope you are all enjoying sampling Tillerman’s oolong from Alishan, LiShan, and Nantou. I could drink any one of them daily, all very good. What a crazy time we are in worldwide. Even so, I have been slowly sampling and comparing the oolong in the tasting set.

I managed to save spent leaves from my sessions during the week, so I could photograph them together to compare leaf size, levels of oxidation, and roast. What I didn’t take into account was, by waiting a few days to get all the spent leaves together, some of the leaves further oxidized and degraded. Lesson learned. Even so, looking at the leaves side by side is interesting.



Image


High Mountain, Qing Xin Wulong cultivar
#1 Alishan, 1300m, 22% oxidation, unroasted
#2 Cuifeng, 1800m, 21% oxidation, unroasted
#3 Lishan, 2200m, 20% oxidation, unroasted

Dong Ding, Qing Xin Wulong cultivar
#4 Chen Kuan-Lin, 700m, 25% oxidation, medium roast
#5 Chen Huan-Tang (Laoshi), 700m, 33% oxidation, medium charcoal roast
#6 Chen Kuan-Lin, 700m, 25% oxidation, high roast

The flavor profile differences between higher elevation unroasted Gaoshan, and lower elevation roasted DongDing are significant. Although, they all have in common viscosity and thickness in the mouth. Unroasted Gaoshan being more buttery, leaning towards floral, fruity, baked goods aroma. Roasted DongDing is wonderfully aromatic, rich and complex, full of malty sweet, spicy layering. The oxidation looks to be fairly consistent between the sample set at 20-33%, and the Qing Xin Wulong cultivar the same for all. So more important differences seem to be elevation, roast, and how the cultivar has adapted to each locations growing conditions and farming. Comparing the leaves size and shape indicates there is quite a variation between locations. Since I let my leaves sit for too long during the week, those differences look to be muted in the photo due to oxidation, although the different levels of roast are clear. Thank you Tillerman for coordinating this tasting.
Tillerman wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:40 pm
Victoria, thank you for your insightful tasting notes!
Thanks, any thoughts on leaf and tasting profile variations shown above, localized adaptation of cultivar and growing conditions @Tillerman, and members in this tasting?
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debunix
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Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:58 pm

Found a few minutes to concentrate on the Dong Dings, #4, 5, 6: first time with these teas.

As per my usual, I used less tea than recommended, 1 gram for about 60 mL water just off the boil in my gaiwans.

4 sweet, delicate, floral, roast on top
5 sweet, floral, delicate, roast feels more integrated into flavor of the tea
6 deep roast, and roast/toast is dominant, overwhelming, sweet hay notes deep underneath

This was very interesting: the roast felt more out front on the "Sweet Scent" Chen Kuan Lin, the lightest oxidized tea; the more oxidized Chen Kuan-lin tastes mostly of roast, but the sweet hay notes are there underneath. The Laoshi Chen Huang Tang, #5, has a wonderful balance between the roast and oxidation, really sweet. The first infusion impressions stayed through the later infusions.

Now wondering how that strong roast note would change with some time in a loosely closed container. This tea was in the sealed packages from Tillerman for 4 months (!), but the bite of the smoke in 4 and 6 is still quiet strong. Was it freshly roasted when packaged?
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Tillerman
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Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:24 pm

@debunix, yes, Andy's teas were packaged very shortly after roasting was completed.

As to Laoshi's tea, there is none of the winter harvest left but the spring harvest should soon be here. Spring 2020 was a very strong year for Taiwan teas.
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debunix
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Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:47 pm

Tillerman wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:24 pm
@debunix, yes, Andy's teas were packaged very shortly after roasting was completed.
Good to know. I'll leave them closed but not sealed for a bit to see how the roast changes.
Tillerman wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:24 pm
As to Laoshi's tea, there is none of the winter harvest left but the spring harvest should soon be here. Spring 2020 was a very strong year for Taiwan teas.
Good to know. I'll keep an eye out for that, and see how I feel about the different versions after some airing, and before ordering.
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debunix
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Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:45 am

After a week loosely closed but not sealed, I just tried #4 Sweet Scent, and the roast has receded to meld pleasingly with the floral and warm summer meadow notes, which are still prominent and not lost in the airing. Will seal up the remainder for one more session later in the week. I'm very excited to try the others again but can't handle more caffeine just now, tempting as it is to see what has happened with #5 and #6.
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debunix
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Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:15 am

After a matcha-wake up, I am enjoying Roasted Dong Ding Chen Kuan-Lin, tea #6, and it is now improved just as #4 was last night. The charcoal notes were much more muted, so instead of toast-with-hint-of-tea, it is tea-with-toast. Lovely!

And it's so interesting that the sort of treatment (airing out for a week) that would rob an unroasted tea of its best notes brings out the best notes when the roasting has 'fixed' them.

Mmmmm.
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