This is a very small beaded oolong
Aroma of dry tea is at once floral, vegetal, and slightly bitter, but many good oolongs smell that way. It’s sort of a refreshing smell.

Steeping #1 (45s @ 175F/79C)
Greenish gold color, surprisingly faint floral odor.
Pleasant, light floral tastes with a hint of astringency, but one inherent to the tea and not from heat or time. Very faint- this probably wanted to be steeped a little longer.

Steeping #2 (45s @ 175F/79C)
The leaves are awake, but still rather tightly curled.
The color is a cheerful, fruity light green.
The flavor is really blossoming now. The astringency is barely perceptible and it is delightfully floral.
There is a clear possibility of a rich, heady floral-ness with some time/temperature tinkering. Really wonderful. It’s rather close to the flavor of San Lin Xi, my favorite, but without the strong impression of gardenias. I’m hoping for something even better from steeping #3.

Steeping #3 (1m @ 175F/79C)
Green-gold liquor with a strong floral scent.
(I absentmindedly ate a sweet cookie that had broken in the case at work, and a customer came in, so my mouth is probably being stupid, in addition to the tea having sat a bit.)
Much less floral than #2, but possibly chocolate-cookie-addled mouth betraying me, particularly as the smell was quite floral at the start, which seems to now be absent.
After some more sips, the slight floral-ness is back. The cookie was clearly interfering.

Steeping #4 (1m 30s @ 175f/79C)
The tea is still a greenish color. Floral, now slightly vegetal aroma. The flavor is mild and somewhat vegetal, and neeeearly astringent, but not quite. I’ll probably stop after #3, next time.

This tea was really great at the second steeping, but even a third steep isn’t that great.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I live with my paternal family on a small, family-owned alpaca farm in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been drinking tea, not considering tisanes, since I was relatively small and first allowed caffeine. Here, we are lucky enough to have two lovely, non-chlorinated wells, so I have relatively unlimited access to nice water that doesn’t influence the taste of my tea, and it certainly feels like a privilege. I prepare tea gong fu style, sometimes with an Yixing pot, and sometimes with a small porcelain pot or gaiwan, as that works best for many of my greener oolongs. I love learning, talking about and making tea.
One of my favorite things about making gaoshan oolongs is the focus and care that takes to make them truly shine. If I’m having a rough day, I can sit down and just focus on the time, temperature of the teaware, etc, and it is completely distracting from whatever is upsetting me.
I think that, however, the most fun is in trying new teas (particularly oolongs; they’re just too wonderful) and working with them to learn how to make them taste their best.
I had a job at the island’s tea shop for a while, and enjoyed the opportunity to learn and teach about teas, and to taste anything I wanted of the stock.


Washington State

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