This was yet another recent sipdown of mine. I only had 25 grams of this tea to work through and finished them over the course of two or three days toward the beginning of last week. I know that I have gone a bit crazy with Taiwanese oolongs this month, but I have had quite a few good ones to work through, and this one was yet another winner. I will probably switch to something else the moment I hit one that does not move me in any way, but that may take some time at this rate.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 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, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of brown sugar, chocolate, burnt toast, golden raisin, pine, and plum. After the rinse, I detected aromas of cherry, roasted almond, vanilla, red apple, and malt. The first infusion introduced aromas of cinnamon and butterscotch. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of brown sugar, cream, vanilla, pine, burnt toast, chocolate, golden raisin, malt, and roasted almond that were chased by hints of red apple, cherry, pear, cinnamon, and hazelnut. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of pear, fig, white grape, nutmeg, blackberry, coffee, and hazelnut. Butterscotch and plum impressions emerged in the mouth, while stronger and more immediately evident cinnamon, red apple, hazelnut, and cherry impressions made themselves known. I also found impressions of minerals, fig, nutmeg, white grape, cream, coffee, and blackberry. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, pine, vanilla, cream, cinnamon, brown sugar, malt, roasted almond, and burnt toast that were underscored by hints of chocolate, pear, golden raisin, hazelnut, plum, butterscotch, and cherry.

This was one of those oolongs that was easy for me to write off at first because it was just so balanced and drinkable. More patient, focused sipping, however, revealed a simultaneously complex and approachable tea that was truly masterfully crafted. The liquor was both aromatic and flavorful yet lusciously thick and gorgeously textured, and it offered tremendous longevity and sneaky, gently invigorating energy to boot. In the end, there was not much of note for me to criticize about this tea. If you are looking for a high quality GABA oolong, this would be one to consider.

Flavors: Almond, Blackberry, Brown Sugar, Burnt, Butterscotch, Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coffee, Cream, Fig, Hazelnut, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Pear, Pine, Plum, Raisins, Red Apple, Toast, Vanilla, White Grapes

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Oooh I liked this one and the Vietnamese one too.

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Oooh I liked this one and the Vietnamese one too.

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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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