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Recent Tasting Notes
Certainly not the worst green tea I’ve ever had (since the bad ones dominate the market…), but working through the bag was a chore. Can withstand higher temps, to a degree. Something about it feels sharp and somewhat rough on the stomach. No one buys tai ping Hou kui or any of these well known greens on the basis of value for cost, of course, but it’s especially hard to argue for this.
5.4g, 100 mL gaiwan
dry leaves have a slight sweet spice to them, as well as a slight sort of fruit in the way that some black teas seem to carry.
in prewarmed gaiwan, strong milk chocolate note.
wet leaves smell like any black tea leaves with a touch of sweet potato.
5s: classic slight yammy taste of black teas. Aftertaste is sweet and slightly lingering in a brown sugar sort of way. something also reminds me of celery.
10s: touch of bitterness w/ a sort of chocolate feel. A peppery hint.
15s and 20s: not much change.
stopped here. I have never been a fan of black teas (of the 红茶 sort) and this one didn’t change my mind. It’s the kind of thing where you know something is good quality-wise, but you just don’t like it anyway due to personal preferences. Tried it anyway since Sweetest Dew’s lineup is all worth trying, so overall, no regrets.
I haven’t had time to type up all my tasting notes lately so I’ve been writing them and keeping them scattered around my dorm for when I have time to upload (which is why notes are sometimes uploaded in large groups; no I don’t actually drink upwards of ten teas a day) since I’m a slow typer. Surprise, surprise, I lost the detailed notes for some, including this one. Luckily, I found the email draft I wrote up in an email I’ve been meaning to send the vendor though, so I’ll just paste that here. Sorry folks!
“I put all 8 grams into a 100 mL gaiwan (a bit more than usual, but usually I end up not knowing when to use the remaining ~1.5 grams from these loose leaf packets if I adhere to the standard 1:15 ratio) with brewing temps of water right off the boil and short steeping times. I usually do a 5s rinse step, but I happened to be lazy the other day and didn’t—and I’m glad I didn’t. This first steep drew out the sweetest aftertaste of any I noted vs. later steeps, and the dragonfruit-like note you noted is right on target for it. The roast on this oolong is excellent, and definitely on the more medium side compared to others I’ve tried. The wet leaf off the initial steep did hint at a darker roast perhaps than seems to come through in the tea, which I appreciated. Overall, definitely one of the most enjoyable oolongs I’ve tried, with shifting notes of a slight cooling mint and sweetness in the aftertaste, brown sugar/dark chocolate, some woodiness, and some light florals and fruitiness along with heavier aromatics.”
In case it wasn’t obvious from the email, this is definitely an oolong worth trying at least once, pricey as it is. I don’t know if the heavier roast faded based on storage or if the roast was not as heavy as described to begin with, but it’s a far more pleasant and palatable roast than some of the overroasted ones I’ve tried in the past.