Since I have been on a roll with oolongs lately, let’s keep this train chugging along. This oolong is one of the more recent offerings from Verdant Tea. Part of Master Zhang’s collection, this Mao Xie is crafted in the traditional style in Daping, Anxi County, Fujian Province.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. Once again, I followed the procedure outlined by the folks at Verdant Tea. Following a 10 second rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water. The initial infusion lasted 10 seconds. I followed this up with 9 additional infusions with an increase of 2 seconds per infusion. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 14 seconds, 16 seconds, 18 seconds, 20 seconds, 22 seconds, 24 seconds, 26 seconds, and 28 seconds.

Following the rinse, the wet leaves displayed mild creamy, toasty, vegetal, and fruity aromas. In my experience, Mao Xie has a very unique aroma, but this was very smooth. Obviously, the roast was very light compared to a traditional Tieguanyin or something along those lines. The first infusion yielded a mild aroma with a somewhat toasty and fruity character. In the mouth, I picked up integrated notes of sesame, cream, butter, almond, green apple, pear, lychee, white grape, sage, and lettuce. The following 4 infusions heavily emphasized savory and fruity aromas and flavors. They were particularly heavy on the sage, cream, butter, sesame, apple, pear, and grape notes. The final series of infusions saw an increase in minerality. The fruity notes faded and cream, butter, lettuce, almond, and sesame remained.

This is the third Mao Xie I have had from Verdant this year. Each has been very different. I really enjoyed the vigor and quirkiness of the regular green Mao Xie, while I thought the Reserve Mao Xie lacked punch. This one falls somewhere between those two. All in all, I don’t find it to be a bad oolong, just maybe a little too soft and smooth for my tastes.

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Cream, Green Apple, Lettuce, Lychee, Mineral, Pear, Sage, White Grapes

Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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