88
drank Gangkou Oolong by Wang Family Tea
596 tasting notes

After seeing all of the rave reviews for Wang Family Tea on this site, I finally pulled the trigger and placed an order last November. Picked up 25g each of Gangkou, Lishan, Shan Lin Xi, and Long Feng Xia. I’m happy to report that all of them were outstanding and having experienced these teas, I get the hype for this vendor now.

Gangkou is the first tea I tried and the sole low elevation tea of the bunch. Wang Tea’s website describes it as having five flavors: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. Indeed, this was the wildest one of the bunch as the flavors are all over the place. The website recommends a high leaf to water ratio and “heavily boiling water“ to steep. Despite my better judgement I followed their steeping parameters initially.

The dry leaf had aromas of flowers and freshly baked cookies. A rinse brought out cucumber and a little incense. The tea starts off with some strong vegetal notes and slight bitterness but eventually this fades and fruitier apricot and pear notes emerge. The bitterness wasn’t as bad as I feared but I decided to revert to my usual steeping method and kept the temperature below boiling which produced better results. Lowering the temperature and leaf quantity brought out gentle floral notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and orchid intermingled with some sugar plum fruitiness. Along the way, there were hints of autumn leaves, toffee, spice, and perfume. When steeped grandpa style, it has a richer mouthfeel, mineral notes, and a sweet, lingering wildflower honey flavor.

Overall, this was a complex and enjoyable tea although a bit challenging at times due to how unpredictable and inconsistent it is.

Daylon R Thomas

How was the Long Feng? I’ve been meaning to get it, but I always pay too much for all their other goodies. I got a bunch of the green Shan Lin Xi Shui Xian (Chefs Kiss) and Jasmine Shan Lin Xi. Their roasts are also incredible too, though I usually move away from roasted teas.

LuckyMe

I’m currently drinking the Long Feng Xia. It’s quite good, tropical-floral flavor but less in your face than other gaoshans. I’m enjoying it more than some of the LFXs I’ve had from TTC.

Haven’t tried their roasts yet but plan to next time. I really want to order from them again this spring but unfortunately they don’t have baozhong which is one of my must-haves. I may end up splitting an order between Wang Tea and maybe Floating Leaves for the Baozhong.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m having the same kind of issue for the splits I’m looking for. I am desperate for some Lishan Black and tried Green Terrace, but they’re paypal isn’t accepting mine for some reason. No idea why. I’m also interested in some of Wang’s Shan Lin Xi White Tea. They don’t always sell it, but they’ve been really kind to give me some, and now Liquid Proust sells it. Leafhopper has talked a lot about Ethan Kurland on a tea forum that you buy directly from vendors and farmers. I haven’t done that yet, but I know he has some good Baozhong. Trident’s Baozhong is also insanely good.

LuckyMe

Green Terrace seems to bd all but closed. Their online inventory hasn’t been updated in a while. I know What-Cha has Lishan black but they’re sold out of it including a lot of other teas I want. Thanks for the tip about Trident, will check them out.

Daylon R Thomas

The Lishan Black was a limited summer crop sold later in that year, and there’s no 100% guarantee it will immediately return. I’ve been hoarding it while I can. Their Long Feng and Shan Lin XI are also good, along with their Darjeeling selection.

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Daylon R Thomas

How was the Long Feng? I’ve been meaning to get it, but I always pay too much for all their other goodies. I got a bunch of the green Shan Lin Xi Shui Xian (Chefs Kiss) and Jasmine Shan Lin Xi. Their roasts are also incredible too, though I usually move away from roasted teas.

LuckyMe

I’m currently drinking the Long Feng Xia. It’s quite good, tropical-floral flavor but less in your face than other gaoshans. I’m enjoying it more than some of the LFXs I’ve had from TTC.

Haven’t tried their roasts yet but plan to next time. I really want to order from them again this spring but unfortunately they don’t have baozhong which is one of my must-haves. I may end up splitting an order between Wang Tea and maybe Floating Leaves for the Baozhong.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m having the same kind of issue for the splits I’m looking for. I am desperate for some Lishan Black and tried Green Terrace, but they’re paypal isn’t accepting mine for some reason. No idea why. I’m also interested in some of Wang’s Shan Lin Xi White Tea. They don’t always sell it, but they’ve been really kind to give me some, and now Liquid Proust sells it. Leafhopper has talked a lot about Ethan Kurland on a tea forum that you buy directly from vendors and farmers. I haven’t done that yet, but I know he has some good Baozhong. Trident’s Baozhong is also insanely good.

LuckyMe

Green Terrace seems to bd all but closed. Their online inventory hasn’t been updated in a while. I know What-Cha has Lishan black but they’re sold out of it including a lot of other teas I want. Thanks for the tip about Trident, will check them out.

Daylon R Thomas

The Lishan Black was a limited summer crop sold later in that year, and there’s no 100% guarantee it will immediately return. I’ve been hoarding it while I can. Their Long Feng and Shan Lin XI are also good, along with their Darjeeling selection.

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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