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drank Alishan Hong Shui Oolong by Laifufu
947 tasting notes

A Hong Shui with very light oxidation and a superb roast that never takes over the experience. It is very tasty and might just be the best Hong Shui I’ve ever tried. Due to the super smooth texture and not overly full body, it is very easy to drink. I also noticed an elevated mood for hours after drinking it.

Dry leaves smell of chocolate cookies, fruit orchard (pear, apple). Wet leaves then have an aroma of fenugreek leaves and cooked fruit such as red plums.

The taste is initially quite fruity with woody undertones and a hint of walnut shells. Later, it gets more savoury and even reminds me of salmon. The aftertaste is cooling and has a particularly strong character of mountain flowers.

Flavors: Apple, Cookie, Dark Chocolate, Fish, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Pear, Plum, Smooth, Stewed Fruits, Walnut, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Shanlinxi Hochland Oolong by Laifufu
947 tasting notes

[Spring 2021 harvest]

Respectable and cozy gaoshan oolong, which is nevertheless too expensive for what it offers imo.

It has a sweet creamy scent when dry and an aroma of alpine forest (mugo pice, ets), snow peas and apricots when wet. The taste is relatively savoury with a vegetal biterrness, floral sweetness and mild fruity tartness. There are flavours of sweet apples and apple skins, celery stalk, pine, mung bean and green beans as well as many flowers.

Flavors: Apple, Apple Skins, Apricot, Bitter, Celery, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Green Beans, Lima Beans, Pine, Savory, Snow Peas, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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I had an interesting side-by-side session with three teas – this one and both a medium and a light roast version thereof. They are all from the same 2020 harvest and I have to say neither all are actually quite light roasted – the difference is more relative to each other, although I don’t know about the specifics of the respective roasting.

There are, unsurprisingly, many things these three teas share. They all have similar custard, grassy and floral notes, as well as a certain degree of minerality. I noticed a really strong heady cha qi too, which I obviously cannot attribute to one or the other, but it is fair to expect minimal distinction in that regard.

Now, let us look into the differences.

Heavier roast: This one has a more savoury and comforting aroma that is not asserting itself. Wet leaf smell also includes notes of coriander (both leaves and seeds) and raisins. The taste is more round and woody with less pungency than the light roast and a flavour of carrot cake. The mouthfeel is soft and medium to full bodied.

Medium roast: The aroma reminds me of pear pie and prunes. It is definitely more mineral and less sweet than the light roast. It takes a few more infusions until this one reaches peak complexity. When it does, it is spicy, sweet, and vegetal and it displays notes of curry leaves, a semi-dry grass. The mouthfeel is the thinnest and seems the least interesting of the three.

Light roast: Interestingly, while the leaves of this one are the most green, the liquor of the medium roast has a slightly more lighter colour with a more pronounced brightly green and yellow tones. The and aroma taste itself feel the most fresh, however. It smells the most like fresh fruits of the three with a hint of lime (leaves predominately), cake and custard. The taste is more floral, marine and grassy than the other two. and the aftertaste is quite sweet with a curry leaf flavour to it. I also found the liquor texture to be the most engaging here – it is thick and bubbly with a sort of creamy character.

Flavors: Cake, Carrot, Coriander, Coriander Seed, Custard, Floral, Mineral, Raisins, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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[Spring 2021 harvest]

At over 1$/g, this one certainly ranks among the most expensive teas in my stash. Today I tried it for the first time and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It just underscores the fact that Song Zhong is the type of Dan Cong I tend to connect with a lot. This instance is unique in that it is more vegetal than most Dan Cong oolongs, which sets it apart but also makes the profile quite likable for me personally.

The dry leaf aroma is floral and herbaceous, while wet leaves smell more green and fruity. Overall, the aroma is well-defined with great depth to it. One funny note that surprised me is the scent of black peppercorns. In the empty cup, I could also detect a fairly distinct smell of citrus flowers.

The tea has a super smooth and buttery texture with almost no astringency – very unusual for a Dan Cong. The taste is bitter, mineral and juicy with a spicy finish. I found it to be associated with kale, sorrel, passion fruit, grapefruit, sugar beets. Such a set of flavour notes certainly tells you this is not the most standard tea. The aftertaste is very long and warming, but it doesn’t bring any strongly pronounced flavours as such.

Flavors: Bitter, Black Pepper, Floral, Grapefruit, Herbaceous, Juicy, Kale, Mineral, Oily, Orange Blossom, Passion Fruit, Pleasantly Sour, Smooth, Spicy, Sugar, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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drank 1991 Lao Dong Ding by Laifufu
947 tasting notes

A unique tea with superb taste, which ultimately isn’t worth the price though imo. It has a smooth, mineral profile with a sort of barrel aged, herbaceous character and hints of ash and Chinese medicine shops.

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This black tea has a superb relaxing qi and steeps for a really long time. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and lightly effervescent, but not overly thick.

There are aromas of stonefruits, wood, and vanilla emerging from the dry leaves. The liquor is bitter and herbaceous with a sour bite and sugarcane sweetness. I also found notes of bourbon, yeast, tree sap and moss. The aftertaste is quite biting and pleasantly cooling too.

Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Herbaceous, Moss, Sap, Sour, Stonefruit, Sugarcane, Sweat, Vanilla, Whiskey, Wood, Yeast

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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