I have been going crazy with Wuyi oolongs since at least late July, and quite frankly, the offerings of Old Ways Tea are almost entirely responsible for that. I think I placed my first order there back in February, and since then, Old Ways Tea has become one of my go-to sources for quality Wuyi teas at reasonable prices. For some reason, I just got the urge to start drinking more Wuyi oolongs in July and have been going through at least one pouch a week since that time. That fact also makes me wonder who the hell decides to drink roasted oolongs during the hottest months of the year. Apparently a weird guy like me, that’s who. Anyhow, this was a very nice Wuyi oolong. Like several Qi Lans I have tried, it was softer and more delicate in the mouth than teas produced from some of the other Wuyi cultivars.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 203 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of cream, baked bread, blackberry, and orchid coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I detected subtle char, smoke, rock sugar, and blueberry scents along with a more defined aroma of roasted peanut. The first infusion presented slightly stronger roasted peanut, rock sugar, and orchid scents. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of blackberry, blueberry, char, smoke, rock sugar, roasted peanut, and orchid that were backed by impressions of baked bread, tart cherry, and pomegranate. The following infusions saw the tea present new aromas of cedar, cherry, plum, cinnamon, and orange zest. New impressions of minerals, orange zest, grass, cinnamon, roasted almond, parsley, roasted grain, and plum appeared in the mouth. By the time I got to the last couple of infusions, the tea liquor was emphasizing a belatedly emerging popcorn note and lingering notes of minerals, cream, char, cedar, and rock sugar that were backed by roasted grain, roasted almond, and orange zest.
An approachable, but also satisfyingly complex Wuyi oolong, I could see this tea making a fantastic introduction to teas of this type or a highly enjoyable daily drinker for those who have an all-consuming love of Wuyi oolongs. One thing I especially appreciated about this tea was its smooth, creamy texture compared to some of the other teas of this style that I have tried. I also appreciated its lack of prominent bitterness. In the end, I would have no difficulty recommending this tea to curious drinkers or established Wuyi oolong fans. At least consider checking it out if you happen to fall into either of those groups.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Blackberry, Blueberry, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Fruity, Grain, Grass, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Parsley, Peanut, Plums, Popcorn, Smoke, Sugar