For the second review of the evening, I will be offering my thoughts on another tea I drank recently. I finished my sample pouch of this tea around the middle of last week. I found it to be a very nice roasted oolong, though I must admit I have tried way too many roasted Jin Xuan oolongs recently.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cedar, vanilla, raisin, and honey. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of cocoa, char, toast, and black cherry along with a stronger vanilla aroma. The first infusion introduced subtle scents of butter and roasted almond. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of cocoa, cedar, cream, and raisin that chased by impressions of toast, roasted almond, char, vanilla, and honey. Subsequent infusions saw dominant vanilla and cream aromas emerge on the nose along with hints of plum, straw, and caramel. There were stronger vanilla, roasted almond, and toast notes in the mouth, though I also noted the belated emergence of butter and black cherry flavors along with new grass, daylily shoot, mineral, straw, caramel, and plum impressions. The final infusions offered notes of minerals, cream, butter, and cocoa that were balanced by subtler straw, vanilla, cedar, and raisin notes.

An interesting and complex roasted Jin Xuan oolong with a bit of an edge, this was a very satisfying tea overall. That being said, I have tried a couple other roasted Jin Xuan oolongs that were more unique and that struck me as offering a bit more depth and complexity compared to this one. Still, this was a very good tea, and I would not caution anyone interested in Southeast Asian oolongs to avoid it.

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Char, Cherry, Cocoa, Cream, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Plum, Raisins, Roasted, Straw, Toast, Vanilla, Vegetal

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Sounds like I’ll have to give this one a whirl gongfu :)

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Sounds like I’ll have to give this one a whirl gongfu :)

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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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