Wistaria

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drank 2005 Taihe by Wistaria
131 tasting notes

2005 Wistaria Taihe Maocha
Sample purchased from LiquidProust
6.7g, 100mL gaiwan, mix of Brita/Poland spring bottled water

Dry leaf has a smell I can’t really describe, sort of old and leathery but not musty. Not a very strong smell.

15s rinse that smells lightly BBQ-smoke like

Wet leaves have a sharp sour (somewhat BBQ sauce like, but more sour) and very slight minty smell. Sort of a dark army/camo green color; would’ve expected darker. Leaves are large, but not as long as the 2006 which made placing into gaiwan a lot easier. Didn’t bother trying to stuff either one into shuiping.

5s: wet leaves now have a smoky note, but also smells sweeter, in the vein of BBQ sauce. Taste is something akin to if a really light BBQ sauce had a medicinal edge. Aftertaste is crisp and lightly sweet.

7s: woody with a slight medicinal bitterness. Sweet aftertaste, not as crisp. Overall mouthfeel softer and not astringent like before

10s: similar, though less bitter. Some other note that I can’t quite identify, but seems to be from storage rather than naturally inherent

15s: woody bitter, slightly medicinal with some sort of cherry note. Slightly astringent, slight sweet aftertaste. Some warming.

18s: less bitter, darker fruity notes, slightly crisp. Slightly plummy in the vein of late steeps of aged oolongs. Slight sweet aftertaste. Warming in face

20s: was really hungry so had a blueberry yogurt that was really sweet so I couldn’t taste anything in this cup…

25s: kinda bland in the vein of rather tasteless apple skin or something. Very slight drying and aftertaste

45s: slight bitterness. Slight woody (in a papery light sort of way), light fruitiness and drying. Slight warming, but otherwise suspect this will probably only last a couple more steeps…

1 min: a tangy sort of fruity note, very slightly drying. Nothing too exciting

3 min: very slightly plummy, but mostly bitter.

15 min: very bitter, fairly astringent, somewhat fruity and slight plummy. off to the thermos.

I know my notes seem lukewarm but these are from a couple weeks ago, and for some reason I remember liking this tea overall. I liked it much more than the ‘06 since the storage taste was lighter on this one and the plummy note was nice, but I might cake the ’06 just because it’s 2000 NTD cheaper at present and gamble on letting the weird notes air out. Alas.

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This sample remnant in a doypack had been sitting in a Mylar with some other samples and a 72RH Boveda since late November, with the doypacks open. For some reason, keeping the doypacks open hydrated the doypacks as well, as the paper part of each was noticeably damp to the touch. I was checking on the RH and couldn’t resist trying this. It was at 55 RH. I’m not sure what it was like the last time I drank it, but probably around low 30s since that tends to be what my room is at and the doypacks don’t seal in humidity all that well sometimes.

5.0g, 90 mL gaiwan, 212f, Brita filtered tap.

Dry leaf still not terribly aromatic. Dry woody, slight sour.

20s rinse, which I kind of regret. These Wistaria teas seem to die quick sometimes.

wet leaf: dry smoky woodiness, some underlying dark fruit.

Let it sit for 30 min. before continuing by accident as I got distracted.

8s: slight bitter initially, but then tang and strong sweetness, something apple-like, bright and crisp. A medicinal aspect.

8s: stronger bitterness and sweetness. A defocusing effect, felt like attention was softly pulled away and dispersed. Taste has some sort of apple skin/kombucha effervescence in the end taste. Not quite sure how to describe, but bright

12s: much sweeter upfront. more of the apple quality. A sweetness in throat, a slight dark floral aspect, and a light mushroomy quality.

10s: similar, but brighter

20s: much lighter

1 min: tangy, floral, and bright, almost plummy. slight bitterness.

took a break in between to eat dinner.

2 min: renewed strength/bitterness. Aftertaste is sharp florals, with a slight plummy aspect.

1 min: crisp apple-taste. bright.

1 min: similar, and starting to grasp why shah8 always mentions a characteristic carrot-y aspect to Nannuo area teas.

1 min: lighter.

2 min: bland. Something like tea flavored water, so I thermos’d the rest since it was bed time anyway.

Thermos was simple, just a tame plummy note, but enjoyable.

Overall: some burps, but really only noticeably defocusing slightly during first steep and strongly, during second steep. Not sure if due to not being as focused during later steeps this time or what.

I’m sure this review was in no small part affected by that I hadn’t had a sheng in a little over a month, so small caveat on my 180 here. This time was mostly fine, stomach only felt a little funny afterwards, but no pain. Still going back to shou to stay safe in the meantime. Personal digression aside, I’m also impressed in no small part by the effect of rehydrating to completely remove the presence of the weird rubbery off note that was prevalent across the Wistaria maochas from LP the last time I had this. And not only that, but also shifting the brunt of the unpleasant astringency and drying towards a salivating effect. This was a really excellent session, with impressive sweetness in the first few steeps, and some deeper sweetness in the back of mouth and throat in some steeps. Anyway, this session makes me glad that LP is out of stock on this or else I’d be quite tempted to buy maocha that I have no real space to store (aside from the cost…).

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2004 Zi-yin (Nannuo) Maocha
Wistaria Tea House
Sample purchased from Liquid Proust Teas

On an unrelated note, the pinyin for this tea’s name is Zi yun (from 紫蕴, no idea what it means), but Wistaria themselves lists as Zi yin so probably a typo

6.6g, 100 mL gaiwan, 212f, mix of Brita/complex syrup/Poland spring bottled water

Dry leaf smells dark, but not musty. Something sort of sour

17s rinse

Wet leaf is a minty light smoke that also has tinge of both sweet and sour note

Leaf is a mix of colors, lighter in color than I expected

5s: light fruity taste w slight bitterness. Also a weird rubbery note, though slight. Sweet aftertaste and slight drying

10s: a stronger bitter note, like something burnt.

15s: similar fruity bitter. Slight focusing, calming

16s: darker fruity bitter profile. Astringent, light sweetness

18s: bitter smoky note with fruity edges. Sugared, crisp aftertaste 15s: bitter fruity. Slight sweetness lingers in aftertaste

15s: bitter fruity. Slight sweetness lingers in aftertaste

18s: rubbery note amidst bitter fruity.

35s: similar, less fruity. Slight astringency

1 min: stronger than before, but similar taste. LP mentioned a wet stone storage note, and I can see why, though I would probably be more inclined to call it an off sort of rubbery note. A light bitter aftertaste, slightly bright. Feeling a little bit zoned out.

1 min: much lightened in both bitterness and the same wet stone/rubber note

2 min: a mostly hollowed out bitter taste

5 min. 20s: similar, w/ slight fruity edge. Will thermos

Overall: burping throughout, slight warming, a bit zoned out qi. Initially started sweeter before turning towards a more bitter profile. Not too medicinal on this one. Not a favorite profile-wise, probably wouldn’t repurchase. Thermos brew had a slight plummy note.

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drank 2006 Taihe by Wistaria
131 tasting notes

2006 Wistaria Taihe Maocha
Purchased from LiquidProustTeas
6.0g, 100 mL gaiwan, boiling, mix of Brita/Poland Spring
The leaves are super long lol

these 6g of dry leaves were stored with my other samples so seems to have taken on the same fruity smell

17s rinse, cloudy

Wet leaf smells dark, smoky with a sweet tinge, and brothy (someone mentioned umami broth and I know exactly what they mean). Someone also mentioned burnt tires/rubber and I get that slightly as well. not sure what’s up with Wistaria storage on these, since I can’t imagine these being inherently present…

5s: dark, and slightly medicinal fruity, with good texture. Crisp, with a slightly charred edge, but leaves a pleasant cooling savory sweetness on tongue and around mouth.
Warming in upper back

10s: gaiwan lid definitely smells like leather and burnt rubber. But the leaves smell of dried fruits and the brothy umami. Good texture, but lacking in much taste except medicinal overall and slight bitterness in the ending. Only a fleeting aftertaste of savory fruitiness.

17s: a sweeter medicinal, something almost citrus like. Drying that turns into a sweet aftertaste.

20s: dark, bitter medicinal. Also very drying with light sugar and burnt rubber like aftertaste. Definitely one of the odder teas I’ve tried

15s: Just a light bitter-tinged medicinal water. Drying.

30s: medicinal citrus tinged slight bitterness. Drying still, with the weird rubber umami like slight aftertaste.

45s: slightly bitter. Astringent

1 min: similar, though with a fruity edge.

2 min.: odd rubbery taste still

3 min: similar, though more medicinal

5 min: wet leaves and gaiwan lid smell like furniture. A mushroom-like note

10 min: medicinal bitter w/ citrus -like tang. sweet edge, much less drying than before
thermos’d the rest.

Would’ve expected a qi heavy hitter for this one based on reviews, but this was pretty light on qi (some burps and slight warming) for me. Not sure what’s up.

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drank 1987 Dong Ding by Wistaria
131 tasting notes

Purchased from LiquidProustTeas.

3.1g in a mug, 212f, grandpa steeps. Similar to most aged oolongs, longevity is not fantastic vs. aged sheng and so it doesn’t steep out for too long, but what it does offer is positively lovely. In a perfect world, I could afford to drink this for a lifetime (and Wistaria would stock it for a lifetime lol).

Unlike the other aged oolongs I’ve had in the past few week, dry leaf isn’t chocolately or as dark, but rather a dried fruity and notably sweeter

Not quite as bitter as the others either, though the woody medicinal is still present. This one had warmer caramel tones, and brighter sugary notes than the others in both aftertaste and taste, and then moves into the plumminess of aged oolongs.

Not much of a warming effect, but a strong uplifting effect, and slight focusing effect. Based on price, 1.81x better than the 1990 Wuyi Shuixian from Wistaria? To me, absolutely.

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drank 1990 Wuyi by Wistaria
131 tasting notes

grandpa brewed in a small Zojirushi thermos, 1.7g, ~14oz boiling filtered tap.

Was surprised at how much better it was than in a mug. I’ve been tracking my drinking lately, so I noted from the past few times I drank this that I leafed way harder and still wasn’t satisfied, so I drank other things on the same day, which is really unusual for me since I try to limit caffeine intake.

The initial brew was a nice light caramel with slight minty aftertaste, and never picked up the medicinal bitterness that I seem to get with normal mug brews (likely due to overleafing). Seems much longer lasting in a thermos too vs. steeped out in a mug, so the extra retained heat must really help. Subsequent brews are nothing earth-shattering, picking up some lightly sweetened woody notes, a touch of sweetened medicinal note, the barest hint of milk chocolate, and a slight smoky plumminess, but was nice on this chilly rainy day indoors finishing up a report.

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drank 1990 Wuyi by Wistaria
131 tasting notes

1990 shuixian wuyi from Wistaria Tea House
called 1990 水仙 武易 or something like that in the Wistaria catalogue last I checked.

Bought this from LiquidProustTeas

3.2g in a mug, grandpa, Poland spring water, boiling.

Rainy day here felt suitable for an aged oolong. Medicinal profile a la one of the TCM stomach medicines I’d have to take when I was a kid, though nothing too bitter, tiny bit of mint edge in very fleeting aftertaste earlier, with woody and dark caramel notes sometimes in both taste and smell. Later steeps get a touch of that date/dried candied plumminess that aged oolongs get. Slightly warming, but nothing to the extent of the 1995 Anxi TGY that Wistaria sells.

Though I’d happily drink teas like this forever, there’s a reason why this is cheaper than the ‘95 Anxi TGY from Wistaria, or the Trust #2 LP used to sell. Less complex, less rounded, less powerful. At 52c/g for an aged oolong w 31 years on it, I can’t really complain (is this 3.8x less enjoyable than the ‘95 Anxi TGY? well, no, not when you put it that way), but I’d say there’s aged sheng in this price level and cheaper that I’d probably take over this. I’ll enjoy the rest of my sample, but I probably won’t purchase more.

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drank 1995 Anxi Tieguanyin by Wistaria
131 tasting notes

Bought the sample size from Liquid Proust Teas

2g grandpa in a small mug, mix of Brita/Poland Spring water, boiling

For over double $/g vs. Trust 2, perhaps not even as good as Trust 2 (excluding qi, Trust 2 is lightly warming, this one is much more noticeably warming, which I felt in my back. also some burps.)

Trust 2 has a more bitter profile initially whereas this 95 TGY is immediately approachable with a fairly classic oolong profile: hints of roast, brown sugar, woody medicinal, dried fruits, and then crushed mint on the aftertaste, which lingers slightly, but longer than any aftertastes from Trust 2. Unfortunately not nearly as durable as Trust 2, which I’ve heard is an issue with some wistaria maocha, but cannot confirm as I have not tried any other Wistaria productions to date.

Later steeps are quite plummy, but a little less vs. Trust 2

Really glad I got to try these, if trust 2 was stocked again would definitely repurchase, but the 95 is a little sketch to recommend not because it’s a bad tea but because for the price (nearly $2/g), there’s better options. That being said, as a newbie to aged oolongs, I’d still say it was worth trying for me.

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91
drank 2006 Tai He by Wistaria
314 tasting notes

I’m feeling guilty that it’s been so long since I’ve reviewed a tea. I’ve been thinking about purchases to drank several candidates over the last couple of days.

This tea was part of one of Liquid Proust’s group buys. It’s on the pricey side, but I like older teas. I started with a 3 s rinse, then a 10 s steep. I drank it while watching a TeaDB episode on Wistaria tea (but not this one).

It had an excellent nose and body. The body lasted well into the finish, which was excellent. Fairly good cha qi. Complex flavors, including some fruit. I found later steeps to be less interesting, though still good. In the end I liked the tea, but not enough to buy more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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drank 2002 Zinyin by Wistaria
1113 tasting notes

Slowly getting around to the Pubertea teas and really wish I had more time to drink through them as they all have such depth.

This one brews so easily, with subtle hints of dead fruit lingering on the back of the palate. The color doesn’t darken for a good eight brews and around that time is when the old taste comes off and is replaced by fruit rind that has been sitting around.

Don’t believe I’m picking up any mellow feeling or high energy, but the taste is wonderful. Quite a bit of room for the tea to develop as it doesn’t get bitter. I did a 90 second brew for fun on the 11th steep . The brew came out darker and the taste was a bit more wide ranged throughout the mouth with a semi salt taste to it. Quite pleasant to be honest. I decided to end the last steeps with 2 minute brews because they turn out wonderful.

(this was an extra cake from the Pubertea sold to a few who wanted more tea. The YouLe is a different tea. If I’m correct, this is Nannuo?)

Brian

dead fruit?

Liquid Proust

Yeah, like decomposing. Some sourness and funk. Almost as if you had a spoiled piece of fruit but you like it

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