I love autumn oolongs. I never receive quite the same level of enjoyment from the aromas of spring teas, compared to the depth and complexities of autumnal aromatics. This specimen’s scent, for example, is potent and fresh. Aspects bringing to mind sweet grasses, honey, and warm biscuits are exuded upon allowing the leaves to sit in a preheated gaiwan. The bread-like features seem to suggest a low oxidation level, which is supported by the opaque light green-yellow liquor. The leaves also seem to point to a slightly higher oxidation level than average, with their somewhat darkened color and occasional bruising.

After a steep or two, the gaiwan lid begins to hold a thickly floral aroma, while the empty cup scent presents a “darker” side of this tea, with a deep, full-bodied richness. The liquor’s form retains a hefty development, while it’s introduction is weaker and monotonous. The front end of each sip is low in flavor with stone-like texture. This rapidly shifts to an overall “greenness,” low and silky sweetness, and an moderately assertive vegetal-grass flavor. This development is of medium duration, dropping suddenly into a low, flinty sweetness, light mouth-cooling, and the characteristic gao shan aftertaste. There is also a [generally] pleasant bite of tartness felt primarily on the sides of the tongue during this finish. Perhaps a result of the bruising I found on some of the leaves.

I am actually somewhat impressed by the degree of flavor present in this tea. It is spring-like in its intensity and autumnal in its depth; it is an appealing balance. However, I fail to detect much of a huigan and the mouthfeel is lacking in substance, particularly the creaminess or butter-smoothness of other high-end gao shan Taiwan oolongs. I would say this tea offers a wide spectrum of what a gao shan oolong can offer in a single package, as it does not really have anything particular that defines it uniquely.

205 °F / 96 °C

I thought this was better than I was expecting and enjoyed it also.

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I thought this was better than I was expecting and enjoyed it also.

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I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.


Fort Myers, Florida

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