29 Tasting Notes
I received this as a sample from my last order from Verdant. They give a surprisingly large sample. It looks like at least 3 sessions worth of tea for the size of my gaiwan. I gave this a second long rinse and it really brews dark fast. The first steep was 3 seconds. The leaves and tea smell sweet and similar to a Yunnan black. It doesn’t have any smokiness, but has a slightly malty starchy flavor. Similar flavor to Laoshan Black, but less chocolaty and a sharper flavor. The flavor is really hard to pin down. It’s a very dry flavor, tasty in its own right, but very hard to pin down. The flavor doesn’t change too much during steepings, but it’s strength remains. It is also a very filling tea.
I bought this tea because I was running low on my fresh TGY from Verdant, and wanted to find one I could use as a daily drinker (I love Verdant’s, but unless it’s on sale like when I bought it I tend to only drink it occasionally.) I brewed this at the same time and temperature I give all my oolongs when I’m first trying them, ~185 for 30 seconds, increasing by 5 seconds each steep. This tea is not bad, though not as subtle and complex as Verdant’s. Its floral taste is a bit stronger than I imagined, so I might tone down the steeping time next time I brew this. It seems to be a decent daily drinker, but will by no means replace Verdant’s as my fancier TGY.
I was somewhat excited to see that my local Wegman’s had more many more oolongs than last time I went. I had some moderate success with my previous teas there and as a lover of oolongs decided to try out their Wuyi oolong. I brewed this gungfu style. I would like to note that this tea was extremely inexpensive. The flavor of the tea was dry and somewhat earthy, not exactly what I was expecting. It was nothing phenomenal, but not bad. There was very little mouthfeel. I brewed this 4 times before I stopped. I probably could have gotten more steeps out of it, but I was not inspired to continue. This may brew well western style. This is by no means a bad tea, especially for its price. I may use this as a daily drinker, or if I ever get into the habit, one that I drink in the morning.
I drank this after having some tieguanyin in store at Tilly Mint’s. Despite my affinity for Chinese oolongs it was this tea which was the most memorable. With a full strong body, no astringency, and a somewhat smokey flavour and aroma, it was by far one of my favorite black teas. As someone who tends to skip black teas and drinks primarily puerh and oolongs this tea is an exception. It reminds me of a good earthy puer and I had to pick up some for my home use.