92
drank Mauka Oolong by Tea Hawaii
1926 tasting notes

I love that Hawaii has tea production, and I’ve been really impressed with the teas I’ve tried from this company. The black tea was sensational, and the white tea was one I actually got along with. I didn’t rate it off the charts, but I did say that if I bought one white tea, I’d buy the Tea Hawaii.

And this one is right up there, too. So very interesting. Definitely an oolong, but such a different oolong. The dry leaf has no sharpness, and some grassiness. The leaves are not dark, nor are they rolled like green oolongs. So I can’t easily categorize this just on sight.

Gaiwan. 195F. Rinse, 15 second steeps + 5 for each subsequent steep.

The tea is a clear, golden amber color. Also unlike either green or dark oolongs. Kind of its own thing.

The smell and flavor is very sweet and fruity. I smelled and tasted plums, or perhaps a very mild, sweet raisin. It has a sort of a creaminess to it, both in terms of mouth feel but also in terms of suggestion in the flavor. Not vanilla. Just the quality of creaminess.

I agree with the “elusive and complex” description, but I don’t really get “pine” or any of the things the company has it its description. Though there is a cooling aspect in the aftertaste. It’s a sensation, not a flavor.

And I continue to get plum in later steeps. The sugar-forward aspect of the sip falls off after the first steep, but it’s still fruity and very smooth, with no sharp edges.

Every time I have an oolong that isn’t from China or Taiwan, I am hoping it will not be so different as to not be an oolong while having its own uniquely wonderful flavor. Most of the time everything except uniquely wonderful is true.

This one is uniquely wonderful.

Flavors: Grass, Plums, Raisins, Sugar

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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