I have a spread of 4 Shui Xian rock oolong teas from Old Ways Tea that I’ve been working my way through since the past few mornings have left the town blanketed all day in a breezy and chilly coastal fog. The weather became more like winter and as said in my last review, an almost out of season rainstorm blew in last night.
Here we go. This yancha has an understated power. My body feels full after drinking it, like everything under my skin is pushing outward. Much more caffeine than the 2017 Shui Xian from OWT but not jittery in its effect.
The dry leaf was incredibly fragrant with marshmallow, vanilla, strawberry, citrus, dark chocolate and almond. It smelled like dessert! A strong, sweet and creamy cocoa with a high note white floral came out above a fruity strawberry base after warming the leaf. I drank the rinse of this one and I’m glad I did. It was already incredibly mineral with a thick body, like a cross between maple syrup and congee. The aroma and taste, underneath a tongue-electrifying minerality, was all sweet and floral cinnamon mixed with cloves in melted chocolate and of course some yancha woodiness. Very much like a floral-vanilla Mexican hot chocolate. I’d say the minerality was more pronounced than the flavors on the tongue, but the tea presented a long-lasting finish and lingering retronasal florals. A sourness like very dark chocolate hung around in the back of the mouth. Plenty of salivation to balance the light astringency. Warming and cooling at the same time, camphoresque in the throat and chest, leaving both with a full feeling.
Later the thick liquor moved from syrupy-porridge to glassy while almond, marshmallow, butter, orange blossom, fresh grass and coffee came forward in the mouth. The long finish showed no signs of giving up. Orange zest like feeling on the tongue. I lost track of steeps… great longevity.
A western preparation of 2g, 8oz, 212F yielded 2 infusions with a great balance between floral, nutty, woody, chocolate, mineral and vanilla marshmallow characteristics.
Super tea, masterfully roasted. I feel that, compared to eastkyteaguy’s review over 9 months ago, some more resting time has allowed this tea to shine. Too bad its gonegonegone.
[6g, 100mL clay gaiwan, 212F, rinse (drank) followed by 12+ infusions starting at 7s]
Flavors: Almond, Camphor, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Cocoa, Coffee, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Marshmallow, Mineral, Nutty, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Vanilla, Wood