This is my third review in a series of six samples of Wuyi Oolongs from China Cha Dao
Updated 10/12/12 after doing the third and forth steepings
Experience buying from China Cha Dao: I responded to an offer on Steepster for free samples. Received exactly what was stated in the offer: fresh tea and very generous sample sizes. On their website on eBay they have a good variety of tea for reasonable prices.
Age of leaf: Stated as harvested in 2011. Received in mid-summer, brewed in very early fall 2011.
Packaging: small, clear bags with small label printed with the full name of the tea.
Dry leaf: slight roasted aroma, otherwise the same at the other Wuyi oolongs: long, slender, dark brown leaves. There were very few small broken pieces.
Brewing guidelines: four 8-oz cups of water used, leaves loose in glass Bodum pot. Stevia added. (I tried to keep the following guidelines as consistent as I could throughout the series)
…………….1st : 190, 2’
…………….2nd: 198, 3’ (Over a week later, tea sitting, sealed, in fridge)
…………….3rd 195, 5’ (Same day as 2nd steeping)
…………….4th: 200, 7’ (Two days after 2nd and 3rd steepings)
Aroma: mildly roasted, with possibly a hint of caramel.
Color of liquor: pretty much the same as the other Wuyi oolongs: medium brown—like a lightly roasted coffee.
Wet leaf: aroma is slightly different than the others, milder, and slightly more pleasant. Half of the leaves were on top, half on the bottom of the pot during the first steeping. All were on the bottom for all of the remaining steepings. Most of the leaves/buds are whole, many are large, and they are a dark green color, where some have roasted edges on them, and there are a few brown leaves.
Flavor: sweet and mild, with a slightly roasted flavor.
Value: Free 10-gram sample (Thank you Jerry Ma @ China Cha Dao tea on Ebay!). His regular tea is very reasonably priced, I judge ($7/125grams).
Overall I consider myself a newbie when it comes to oolongs. Based off of the first two steepings I didn’t see anything really notable about this tea other than the fact that there are very few broken pieces in the leaf—-leaves and buds are almost all whole—-and that it was a little sweeter tasting than the other two Wuyi oolongs I have tried. But the third steeping changed everything. I honestly don’t know what happened, but something did, and it tastes different, carmal-ly, like a Yunnan black. It’s good! It’s sweet, good, amazing. Since the flavor was so good on the third steeping, I decided to do a forth. Amazing, there is still good flavor in my cup! It’s good, mellowed from what it was on the 1st and 2nd steepings. Even the color is now mellowed to a clear rosy hue. I already composted the leaves, but I bet this could have easily stood up to at least a one more steeping! This is a tea I would definitely brew up and drink.