I brewed this tea gong fu style in a 100ml gaiwan filled about a third of the way with dry leaf.

This tea is light and brisk, with a very clean liquor in taste and feel. The texture is soft and smooth, like well-fashioned leather, which creams easily and quickly. The flavor of the liquor bursts explosively, and fades with dignity, leaving behind a satisfying and filling aftertaste. The flavor is very similar to an Oriental Beauty, with woodsy, roasted notes and a spicy zest greatly apparent. However, underneath all this is a green-oolong taste which blossoms in the mouth much like a tieguanyin, which grants a great deal of floral and stone-fruit aromatics.

While not yielding an extremely high number of steeps, a modest number of around 9 quality steeps were received. At first woodsy and roasted, with hints of biscuity and sweet pear tones, with just a faint hint of bitterness, it evolved extremely well, diving into complexities not expected. Sweetness was intensified, floral qualities appeared, and a subtle greenness found its way into the undertones of this Cassia Wuyi oolong. Around the sixth and seventh steep, tones of cocoa butter and wildflowers were present in the aroma which later made their way into the flavor of the liquor as this tea transformed itself into something tasting much less oxidized and more green as floral and grassy notes appeared and the roastiness presented in the beginning gradually dissipated. All the while, the spicy, almost saffron-like qualities progressed until the last steep, the full body of this tea held together by “pure tea” tones.

Overall, I’m highly impressed by this tea. By around the seventh steep, I paused in writing my notes and cracked a smile—it was quite a fantastic brew. Every note of complexity mingled together so pleasantly, it was definitely the climax of this tea’s flavor development. And the fact that that many steeps later it produced such a great experience really tells of the great quality of this oolong.

190 °F / 87 °C

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I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.


Fort Myers, Florida

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