From my experience this summer, the light sweet grass dry scent and subdued cane sugar and fruity, malty notes in the dry leaves’ heated scent seemed promising for a great session. The first steep confirms my expectations. Strong gao shan flavor with a potent, lingering aftertaste and rear-mouth cooling in addition to what seems like a unique Dong Ding character, distinct from other high mountain Taiwan oolongs I have tasted previously.

Although it isn’t entirely impressive flavor-wise, the development was smooth and interesting. There was a nice “green” bite in the introduction of each sip with a tart finish felt on the roof of the mouth. Complexity was relatively straightforward, but the balance was excellent. The scent remaining in the empty cup was weak and nearly monotonous. However, the gaiwan lid’s scent was well-developed, if perhaps a bit too grassy.

I missed some it the deeper bass notes common in some gao shans in this tea, leaving the first few steeps to feel somewhat unbalanced. The lack of depth is odd considering this is another autumn harvest, yet, when the session lasts upwards of 7 steeps, I cannot complain.

Thanks Teavivre!

205 °F / 96 °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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