Okay, since I have been rained out for the remainder of the day (no outdoor work for me), I figured I may as well pop back on here and post a review or two. I had to go back and add this tea to the database, though I could have sworn that I had already added it at least once. I couldn’t find any information about this tea online, and I could only get close with the photo. All I know about it is that it was the light roasted version of Old Ways Tea’s 2019 Gao Cong Shui Xian. I can’t provide any other information about this tea. I only had an 8g sample pouch to work with, and I ended up trying it alongside some of Old Ways Tea’s other 2019 Shui Xian oolongs several months back. Of the bunch that I tried at the time, this one was the least satisfying of the lot, though it was not exactly a bad offering. In truth, Gao Cong Shui Xian is always rather hit or miss with me.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a standard 10 second rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 3 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 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, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cinnamon, roasted almond, wood, char, roasted barley, and black cherry. After the rinse, I detected aromas of roasted peanut, blueberry, blackberry, and orange zest that were underscored by a subtle orchid scent. The first infusion introduced something of a red grape aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of wood, roasted almond, grass, char, cream, and butter that were balanced by hints of orchid, daylily, red grape, cinnamon, and blueberry. The bulk of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of caramel, rock candy, cream, butter, baked bread, minerals, and toasted rice. Stronger and more immediately apparent notes of orchid, red grape, daylily and cinnamon appeared in the mouth alongside mineral, roasted peanut, blackberry, roasted barley, baked bread, orange zest, black cherry, and toasted rice impressions. I also detected subtler notes of pomegranate, plum, rock candy, lemon, caramel, straw, and earth. As the tea settled and faded, the liquor started emphasizing notes of minerals, roasted almond, grass, roasted barley, orange zest, and toasted rice that were chased by notes of caramel, red grape, blackberry, blueberry, baked bread, roasted peanut, lemon, black cherry, and surprisingly enough, popcorn.
This was a pleasant enough Gao Cong Shui Xian, but it did not exactly captivate me. It did not offer anything that struck me as being unique, and there were numerous times in which I found the tea liquor to be a bit flabby and the balance of the flavor components to be somewhat out of whack. It was far from a terrible tea, but so far, it has also been the least appealing of Old Ways Tea’s 2019 oolongs that I have tried.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Blackberry, Blueberry, Butter, Candy, Caramel, Char, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Lemon, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peanut, Plum, Popcorn, Roasted Barley, Straw, Toasted Rice, Wood