25 Tasting Notes

96

For my first tasting of this particular tea I used a gaiwan. I used 2g of leaf, and gave them a rinse with hot water before infusing. To infuse, I used water at 85 degrees Celsius, and began with a 15 second infusion time. The liquor was yellow but somewhat pale. The flavour, I found, was a bit unique. It tastes even cleaner than it smells. There are definitely floral notes in here, and I also taste minerals, it’s sweet and this first infusion is a bit perfumey to. There’s a vegetal flavour at the heart of this tea somewhere between green beans and edamame. The flavour is light but very enjoyable and satisfying.

Continuing on, I add 5 seconds with each new infusion, and the liquor’s pale yellow hue begins to strengthen. I taste more floral and minerals. The mouthfeel is buttery and smooth yet there’s some astringency at the back of the mouth that lingers, to go with the lingering floral aftertaste. Using this method I continued to 9 infusions, letting the final infusion sit for several minutes. This final cup’s flavour was more mineral in nature, and a lovely note to finish off on.

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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100

I prepared this tea using a gaiwan with 2g of leaves. I used water at approximately 90 degrees Celcius, beginning with 30mls for the first couple of infusions, increasing the amount in 15ml increments as the leaves opened up. After a quick rinse, my first infusion was 15 seconds. The liquor was quite pale on this first infusion, but the flavour was there and abundant.

There is a creamy texture to this tea’s mouthfeel, but it’s not all that thick. More smooth and somewhat light, and very refreshing. The flavours are of course vegetal, floral, and fruity like apples and spring blossoms. My main impression however, is of honey, and that sweet honey note lingers in the aftertaste. I added 5 seconds with each subsequent infusion, once again finding that common thread of quality and consistency that I’ve found in the past with Fong Mong Tea. I continued on until the 8th infusion, by which the leaves seemed pretty spent. This is a delightful oolong!

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Honey

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 1 OZ / 30 ML

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98

Smelling warm, a bit woody and roasty with a lovely charcoal aroma, I tried this tea in a gaiwan, using 2g of tea. I rinsed the leaves and then covered them with 30ml of 80-degree Celsius water to start, increasing the amount of water as needed so the leaves would have ample room to open. The first infusion was 15 seconds, and gave a light, clear golden amber liquor. The flavour on this first infusion was already copious.

It begins warm and nutty, a less pronounced and more nuanced charcoal note, but becomes somehow cooling and for me at this tasting a bit sweat inducing, starting at the back of my neck. It tastes a more like a green oolong but still reminds me of a Wuyi Yancha. This is a very rich and complex tea and a delightful flavour experience. There’s a lovely consistency in the infusions with this tea. I added 10 seconds to each infusion and found that worked very well. By the 7th infusion I felt the mineral flavours were taking dominance and the rest of it was fading, so I made my 8th infusion the final one.

Flavors: Caramel, Mineral, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 1 OZ / 30 ML

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96

This GABA enriched oolong is something new to me. It’s quite fascinating, too. As I examined the dry leaf I found it contained more pieces of twig and stem than other teas, but there’s a good reason for that: the stems contain more GABA. The aroma is indeed strong and of dried fruits, such as raisins and also a little bit woody. It’s interesting too how some leaves are quite green and some are more brown and black in colour.

I’ve tried this tea both in a teapot and flash steeping in a gaiwan. Although I don’t think I’d infuse it more than twice in a teapot, in a gaiwan it produced round after round of rich liquor that was full of flavour and a bit tranquillizing. Brewing in a gaiwan, I used 3g of leaf per 75ml of water, later increasing to 90ml.

This tea wasn’t quite what I expected. The liquor is darker in colour, a rich amber more akin to a black tea such as Ruby 18. The flavour also makes me feel like I’m drinking a black tea, with malty and caramel notes and a hint of vanilla sweetness. It’s very enjoyable, and I find that it’s minimally astringent, becoming even smoother as it cools. I finished with 8 infusions, letting the last one sit for an extended period of time. I enjoy the calming and focus enhancing boost from this tea.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Honey, Malt

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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100

Oriental Beauty is quite an indulgence. The dry aroma is distinct and pleasant, with floating notes of fruit and honey.

As of writing this I’ve tried this tea on two separate occasions with slight method differences, but using a gaiwan both times. The first time, I used cooler water and relatively short infusion times. This brings out a much lighter and delicate flavour, similar to a first flush Darjeeling. I began using 3 grams of tea per 90ml of water, and a 30 second steep time, increasing by another 30 seconds with each infusion. The result was light, fruity sweet with honey. There was no bitterness at all in this tea, and it has a lovely smooth mouthfeel. With this method I stopped at eight infusions, having enjoyed it very much, but also eager to see what hotter water and longer steep times would draw out of this tea.

For my second tasting, I used water just under a boil and longer infusion times, beginning with two minutes. Once again I used 3 grams of tea and 90ml of water. The above picture is from the first infusion of that second tasting. Right from the start there was a much deeper color to the liquor, like amber honey, where the first tasting began quite pale. The flavour using this method was much more rich and bold, but maintained that distinct honey and fruit flavour. Simply delightful!

Flavors: Apple, Candy, Grapes, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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97

I tried this tea both using flash steeping and long steeps. With flash steeping, I used 3g of tea and 60ml of water, gradually increasing as the leaves opened up. I rinsed the leaves before infusing, with a first infusion time of 15 seconds, adding 15 seconds with each infusion.

The liquor started out very pale during the first few infusions, gradually taking a more golden yellow hue as the leaves unfurled. The dry leaf didn’t let me know what I was in store for when I drank this tea. The flavour was distinctly sweet and fruity, like pears or peaches, and of course, as this is a green oolong it had those familiar vegetal notes. It was also super smooth and had a milky mouthfeel.

I carried on for seven infusions using this method and was surprised again at how consistent the flavour was – something readily found with Fong Mong’s excellent teas. It almost seemed like you could keep reusing these leaves forever, but at the seventh the flavour was beginning to fade a little. I chose to make the eighth infusion a marathon and allowed it to steep for 10 whole minutes. The result was even more flavourful than I expected! I thoroughly enjoyed this tasting.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Peach, Pear

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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99

I first tried this tea using a flash steeping method. For this tasting I used 3g of tea and 50ml of water per infusion. Fong Mong Tea recommends a water temperature of 85-90C for this tea. I used longer infusion times than I normally would for flash steeping, giving the tea a quick rinse before beginning with one minute for the first infusion.

The result was quite fantastic. The liquor begins a pale sunny golden yellow, tasting at once vegetal and floral, with a bit of fruity and mineral notes and fresh air. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with zero astringency. There is no hint of bitterness, and it’s very refreshing. The next infusion sees the leaves continue to unfurl and this tea really shines. This is definitely a superior quality tea. The liquor starts to darken just a touch, but the flavour is consistent and delightful over the nine infusions I did during this tasting. By the sixth infusion, I found it was becoming a little bit squeaky, but the astringency remained pretty low.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Floral, Flowers, Mineral, Peach

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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98

For my first tasting of this tea, I used a teapot method with 1.5g of tea per 8oz of water, and hot water brought to a boil and then cooled. Fong Mong Tea recommends a temperature of 60-70C. The liquor takes a light honey yellow hue. Giving it three minutes to infuse, I found the first cup was more flavourful than expected, with a harmony between savoury and sweet notes and a sweet fruity grape flavour. The mouthfeel was smooth with just the slightest amount of astringency.

When I used the flash steeping method, I soon discovered I like longer steeps better with this tea. Shorter steep times give more delicate flavour and is still very enjoyable, but I preferred the full flavour of the longer steep. I did do seven infusions with flash steeping, starting with a 20-second infusion and adding 10 to 15 seconds with each following infusion. Going forward I’d also use 3g of tea instead of 1.5g – the flavour is excellent and having double the flavour would just be that much better!

Flavors: Grapes, Honey, Umami, Vanilla

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

My first impression of the dry leaf was that it smelled similar to a Wuyi oolong. Once infused though, the differences shone through. Still similar, but with a layer of honey sweetness to go with the woody roasted goodness. Yum! Started with 2g of leaf per 45ml of water, increasing as the leaves opened up.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 45 ML

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95

I loved this tea, the clean roast aroma and flavour is a real winner in my book. Characteristics fruity but also somewhat similar to a black tea with malty and caramel flavours as well as a little vanilla sweetness. For the price this makes a good buy, especially if you enjoy the GABA effects. I found it quite relaxing and soothing, maybe too much so for a first thing in the morning cuppa but great in the evening.

Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Malt, Raisins, Roasted, Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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