Taiwan Four Seasons 'Red Pearl' Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Baked Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Orchid, Pear, Plums, Raisins, Roasted Barley, Rose, Straw, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Violet, Wood
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
6 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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From What-Cha

A very smooth and sweet tasting red oolong, with a stone fruit quality coupled with background florals, typical of the Si Ji Chun cultivar.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth texture
- Honey sweet and stone fruit taste
- Background floral quality

Harvest: Summer 2017

Origin: Ming Jian, Nantou County, Taiwan
Altitude: 350m
Farmer: Mr. Yi
Sourced: Specialist tea ‘finisher’ who buys and processes the tea leaves of local farmers

Cultivar: Si Ji Chun (Four Seaons)
Oxidisation: 85%
Roast: None
Picking: Machine

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 1-2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 3-4 minutes

Packaging: Non-resealable vacuum-sealed bag packaged in Taiwan

About What-Cha View company

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2 Tasting Notes

892 tasting notes

My new schedule is killing me. I made the decision to take a master gardening course with my parents, and it really sucks. Actually, I enjoy the course, but it meets every Monday night, and well, Monday used to be my long, slow day at work. Now, I have to get everything done by 5:00 p.m. so I can hop in the shower, get dressed, and make it to class by 6:00 p.m. I don’t make it back home until sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. I figured, however, that I would try to get a couple of reviews posted before I left. This was one of my sipdowns from last week. Though I tend to love teas produced from the Si Ji Chun cultivar, this one was a letdown. It was not terrible or even really bad in any way, just more or less mediocre and kind of forgettable.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 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 raisin, plum, cedar, straw, honey, and plantain. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of malt, cream, and cherry that were accompanied by hints of vanilla. The first infusion brought out stronger vanilla scents as well as an oat-like aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of plantain, honey, raisin, cream, malt, vanilla, and straw that were framed by undertones of wood, baked bread, flowers, and cherry. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of baked bread, toasted rice, rose, and pear as well as subtle scents of roasted barley, orchid, and violet. Cedar, plum, and oat notes came out in the mouth alongside stronger and more upfront impressions of baked bread, wood, and cherry. Clear impressions of rose and violet were also present along with some very subtle hints of orchid. Furthermore, I detected impressions of minerals, caramel, pear, toasted rice, and butter along with some subtle hints of roasted barley and cinnamon. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized lingering impressions of minerals, plantain, cedar, raisin, plum, malt, and cream that were balanced by hints of cherry, vanilla, butter, oats, and baked bread. At the very tail end of my review session, I also caught some suddenly amplified pear and cinnamon notes.

This was a pretty standard roasted Taiwanese Four Seasons oolong in just about every way. I will note, however, that it did possess respectable longevity, a smooth body, and a very nice, creamy mouthfeel. Unfortunately, those were the only qualities of this tea that stood out to me. Taken on its own, this tea wasn’t bad, but it also just wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. If you are at all familiar with roasted Si Ji Chun oolongs, I doubt this one will surprise you. In the end, I suppose I would not caution others to avoid it entirely, but if one were to choose to skip it, they would not be missing all that much.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Orchid, Pear, Plums, Raisins, Roasted Barley, Rose, Straw, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Violet, Wood

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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1143 tasting notes

Thank you Alistair for the sample! I was tempted to try this one, though I was kinda hesitant because I had my sights on the Vietnam Gui Fei. I’m guessing that this might be an underappreciated oolong based on the reviews that were on the website.

This oolong is described as having a stonefruit quality with background florals, and that is right with the sample. I was barbaric with the preparation and used 8 grams in 11 oz of hot water beginning at one minute, two, then three and half, and four.

The dry leaf reminded me of roasted plaintains, and the teas taste matched it. It was as red, viscous, and a little malty as some hong chas, but it was light and floral enough to be an unmistakable oolong. The stonefruit qualities are there like plum, but the mix with the florals make it more like the plantain I got in the smell. It has a nice fructose sweetness too, and although the soft plantain and syrupy sweetness assert themselves in a fairly thick to medium texture, it has some of the floral notes of a si ju chun like violet, orchid and perhaps magnolia, but they are very, very faint. Sometimes, there were hints in the texture that reminded me of coconut milk because it was that thick, but I side more on the plantain note. Overall, it still tastes like, well, tea.

The tea was very flexible and very easy to drink. It was maltier with longer steeps, and creamier and more floral with shorter steeps. It’s a good and naturally sweet oolong, but the plantain note might divide some people. My main problem is being spoiled by Alistair’s other selections since they do tend to have more depth as another reviewer has noted. This would make a pretty great daily drinker, and it is nice in not being too green, but that is up to the buyer and their preferences.

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