2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Roasted, Brown Sugar, Creamy, Burnt, Char, Smoke, Toasted, Wood, Coffee, Mineral, Roasted Nuts, Seaweed
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 8 oz / 223 ml

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56 Tasting Notes View all

  • “ETA: since I wrote this review a few months ago, I have almost gone through the 2oz I bought…Today, I lost count of all the gongfu infusions I made. I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS OOLONG!!...” Read full tasting note
  • “I have been literally steeping this ALL DAY LONG and it is lovely. I have had at least 8 good hearty steeps out of it and am still going pretty strong. It is lightening up now but the flavor is...” Read full tasting note
  • “mmmmm now this? this is an oolong i can get behind. This is dark and beautiful and there’s a woody, almost smokey but not quite flavour going on here. Yep, this is not your every day oolong, ...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ve had this one for a little while now ran out of it bought more and now that’s going to be a repeated cycle over and over with a bigger amount each time most likely, it’s taking me long this...” Read full tasting note

From Butiki Teas

Our aged oolong is sourced from the Dong Ding tea growing region of Nantou County in Taiwan and was harvested in the spring of 2003. The varietal is Si Ji Chuan also known as Four Season. Our aged oolong was crafted by blend master Chen Pei Wen and is re-roasted every 2-3 years to minimize moisture content. 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong is a rich full-bodied silky tea. The charcoal-colored leaves of this smooth oolong produce notes of honey suckle, bark, and grass and has a natural sweetness with no astringency present. This tea is also low in caffeine.

Ingredients: Taiwanese Oolong Tea

Recommended Brew Time: 4 minutes
Recommended Amount: 1 1/2 teaspoons of tea for 8oz of water
Recommended Temperature: 180 F

For more information, please visit: http://www.butikiteas.com

About Butiki Teas View company

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56 Tasting Notes

359 tasting notes

ETA: since I wrote this review a few months ago, I have almost gone through the 2oz I bought…Today, I lost count of all the gongfu infusions I made. I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS OOLONG!!

Major backlog:

Last Thanksgiving, I won Stacy’s contest for a Gaiwan of my choice. I was super excited and chose one especially for oolongs cause it’s 8oz and it leaves plenty of room the leaves to expend. She knows how happy I was, thanks to her, I am no longer part of those whiny people who “never win anything”! I also bought from her a clear glass cup and saucer that I enjoy using almost everyday, here’s a few pics of both:


Thanks again Stacy, love the Gaiwan, excellent quality and so pretty!

Now the tea. First aged oolong for me. Tommy the Toad’s raving reviews made it impossible for me not to buy it. Thanks Tommy, this is now one of my favorite tea and has helped me relax and focus lately.

Smoky ink black lustrous nuggets, they look like magic pebbles!

The rinse is super caramel and honey sweet with a faint mineral taste. ( yeah, I can help tasting my rinse, sometimes it turns out yummy like this one and it would be such a waste to just throw it!)

1rst steep: OMG! What? Really? Ahhh. I need more, this is so potent!

Fruity, slightly woody, strong burnt caramel. I also get buttery macadamia nuts, I get coffee, there’s so much going on, wow!

There’s also a very interesting texture to it, it feels like a silk ribbon in my mouth.

The smell of the wet leaf is very pungent, an acre smokiness that doesn’t reflect in the taste being so smooth.

The 2nd steep is still honey like, but loosing a bit of its sweet intensity, leaving room for those burnt roasted notes that are trying to emerge more strongly.

What is that “je ne sais quoi” everyone is trying to describe? It reminds me of that honeycomb crunchy toffee my mom used to make out of corn syrup and baking soda. It had a strong taste of sweet burnt caramel and a mineral aftertaste that came from the baking soda, put in there for one reason: create a chemical reaction that made the preparation look like a volcano in eruption! A pan full of lava, how cool was that?

Funny, cause in my adult life, I’m not a huge fan of sugar and desserts, but I have so many vivid childhood memories related to them! Maybe some shrink could explain that?

3 tsp Gungfu style will render about 10 steeps, all better than one another. Just like Tommy says, this tea is “Liquid Love” and is good which ever way you decide to brew it!

Because it is equally as good as it makes me feel, it well deserves a 100 rating!!


happy to have you back!


Thank you Sil! Don’t think I’ll be able to catch up with your 1200 notes, but I’ll sure try:-)


nice to see you back and with a so beautiful tasting note

Butiki Teas

Welcome back! :) Oh wow, that sounds crazy scary. Good thing your intuition kicked in.

Those are some awesome pics! Would you consider entering them in our photo contest? http://www.butikiteas.com/Contest.html I’d love to post one of them on our “community” page.

I love that silk ribbon feel. I know exactly what you mean.


Merci Ysaurella! Great to be back :-)


Thank you Stacy, didn’t know you had a contest, I guess I missed a lot about what’s going on here! I will definitely look into it, which one would you like me to post?


I am so sorry that happened to you. Some people criticize the concept of intuition but I’m with you. It’s definitely there. I’m lucky to be ultra intuitive and perceptive too.

The gaiwan is beautiful. Congrats on the win! I have been eyeing Stacy’s paisley gaiwan.

Butiki Teas

TheTeaFairy-Ooh, well I think number 4 is my favorite though I do like the others and number 3 is great too! You can certainly submit as many photos as you like.

Incendiare-I agree it is there and is so important. I’ve had some times where I’ve felt a horrible pit in my stomach and a deep sense of dread and this overwhelming feeling and I’ve listened to my intuition then but there are a few times when I’ve met a couple people where I instantly didn’t like them and felt very negative towards for no reason (and I’m the type of person that likes everyone) and not listened to my intuition and they turned out to be a really bad person. I had this when I met a good friend’s new boyfriend. He seemed really nice and was very conversational and a good listener but I felt really negative towards him. I remember having a conversation with my husband where I was convincing myself to like him. A few months later we found out that he was pretty much a horrible human.


@Incendiare and Butiki:

Yes, we all have it inside but some of us are hypersensitive to it. Many years ago, human beings needed it for survival, but as we evolved in modern society, we don’t need it as much and for most people, it is just buried. This is fact by the way, it’s not a theory. I say this cause I’m a super sceptical person, I don’t believe in many things, especially supernatural stuff.
Stacy, what you wrote illustrates just that. Our brain is designed to catch signals by perception, we just don’t listen or pay attention to them most of the time, cause we don’t focus on that. Our mind is so busy with so many distractions, who has the time, right? But that little voice told you this man was bad news, cause his composure probably sent some signals that your brain was able to catch. I studied body language a little, and I find this stuff fascinating. I hope your friend didn’t suffer too much from this bad relationship…

As for the photos, if there are no restrictions I’ll post them all then :-)


Wow so glad you are safe and that you listened to your gut!
Welcome back, you’ve been missed!

Butiki Teas

Huh, I’ve never thought about intuition from a science-y perspective. I always assumed it was more on the psychic-y front. I wonder what it was in his body language that my brain picked up. Unfortunately, she did suffer but she was able to leave the relationship immediately. A few years later, we found out that his violence had escalated towards women and he ended up killing his current girlfriend.

I would love to learn about body language a little more. I bet its a very fascinating subject.

Nope, no restrictions. Send in anything you want. :)


What??? Holy crap, now that was a signal! I have chills… how right you were!

Butiki Teas

I don’t think the signal was as strong as some situations I’ve been in that I’ve left but I think that was because I was in no immediate danger. Its pretty creepy to know that I’ve hung out a few times with a murderer.


I wonder if one can go as far as connecting intuition to introversion. People who are more introverted have sensory processing sensitivity, so they’re more sensitive to stimuli. I wouldn’t be surprised if introverts who can easily read others also have a strong intuition. I, for one, am quite introverted and my perceptiveness always freaks people out.

Stacy, that is so terrifying. I am really glad your friend got out of that relationship, but still tragic that someone else ended up being a victim instead.

Butiki Teas

Incendiare-That’s an interesting theory and it does make sense.


incendiare, it is an interresting theory. I for one wouldn’t qualify myself to be introvert, but I am very sensitive to my surroundings at all times, I do focus a lot more on my entourage than on myself. For instance, I often feel other peoples distress before they ever mention anything. Then I get the « How did you know?» comment and a weird look sometimes:-)

Terri HarpLady

Beautiful review & I love all the comments too.
I have a sample of this, waiting to be sampled.
Drugs of choice: tea, music, food (growing, preparing, eating).
Intuition: couldn’t live without it!


Thanks Terri! I hope you won’t be disappointed with this tea, I tend to be over the top enthusiast when I love something, that’s just who I am :-)
Wish I could grow stuff, but aside from basics such as tomatoes and parsley (cause they basically grow themselves!) I suck at it, always end up being the serial killer of my own garden!

Terri HarpLady

I used to tell my friends that giving me a houseplant was like writing it’s death warrant! That was a long time ago, & luckily I’m better with plants than I used to be! Not all of my gardening experiments are successful, but years of gardening have helped :)
I love walking out my back door to see what I’m eating today!


Thanks for sharing your story. Your gaiwan is gorgeous. And I too do not have a green thumb except when its covered with matcha!


@Terri: I won’t give up then :-) Must be awesome to go grocery shopping in your back yard everyday!
@Chelle: Matcha green thumb, hilarious :-)

Doug F

This is also one of my favorite teas. It’s hard to find a good aged oolong.


I’m with you Doug, this was my first aged oolong, but I have tried a few since then, and none have provided me with the same level of enjoyment! Having said that, 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is my second favourite and is ALSO from Butiki. I just sampled it, it’s really good, sweeter, but I prefer my 2003.

Doug F

Thanks for the tip! I’ll try the 1991 in my next order.

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807 tasting notes

I have been literally steeping this ALL DAY LONG and it is lovely. I have had at least 8 good hearty steeps out of it and am still going pretty strong. It is lightening up now but the flavor is still very good and the leaves,,, they have not even fully opened up NOR have they become fully wet yet! I just love this tea with so many flavor profiles, woodsy, oak moss, nutty, earthy, slightly sweet … so much more but Im going to just keep sipping this one as long as I can! :)


that’s awesome!


Ahh! I don’t need to order any more tea… but but.. now I want this really bad…


Sorry lol I did it again.


Do you do these in a teapot or a smaller vessel?


I do them in a tea cup 8 ounces with a metal strainer of course I put a lid over it to steep. I have a gaiwan but I am no good at using it. I need to get a gaiwan with a spout.


Oooh, this review really makes me want a cup of oolong…hmmm, I wonder if I have some stashed away…

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15113 tasting notes

mmmmm now this? this is an oolong i can get behind. This is dark and beautiful and there’s a woody, almost smokey but not quite flavour going on here. Yep, this is not your every day oolong, this is one for me! :)


sorry for the lack of a good descriptive tasting note. i’m going to go make out with this tea for a bit.


We are like total opposites when it comes to our tastes in oolong!


haha yeah. that’s not a bad thing though. :)


You make me want to try more oolongs!


stephanie – oolongs are a dangerous place to visit. sometimes they’re awesome…sometimes they make me sad…soooo sad lol (that being said i much prefer blacks to greens…so that’s likely part of it..)


I’ve tried a few and I’ve reaaallly liked them. I don’t think I’ve ever had a “dark” one like this though. I tend to prefer green teas but I like blacks as well.

Terri HarpLady

I enjoy a good oolong here & there. I used to really LOVE the floral green ones, but these days I tend more towards the sweet roasty ones. I still prefer black tea over everything else though

Butiki Teas

Sil-Wow, that’s 2 of our oolongs that you like! I’m surprised!

I personally tend to favor the greener oolongs, which is probably why most of our oolong selection is on the greener side but I’m always on the lookout for a good darker oolong.


Stacy – yeppers that’s 2 that i like a a couple that “aren’t bad” hahaha


Sil – have you tried either of the aged tgys from Verdant?

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557 tasting notes

I’ve had this one for a little while now ran out of it bought more and now that’s going to be a repeated cycle over and over with a bigger amount each time most likely, it’s taking me long this long to post about it really because I don’t know what to say about it really but I may have mentioned it in another post at some time I don’t remember honestly, you know how some oolongs (like a four seasons to me) can have that buttery yummy creamy mouthfeel and goodness that’s how this tea is to me so buttery smooth and delicious That much I can tell you and then you just really just got to get ya some and try it for yourself because I just can’t find the words to describe the flavor profile of this tea or the wonderful way that it smells or what the leaves taste and feel like when you put one in your mouth or the way it makes me feel, I just can’t find the right words. My cousin Kermit said this tea is like “Liquid Love” and I couldn’t agree more and I know that Kermit the Frog is not a Liar , So there you have it “Liquid Love” in a cup, please Love yourself and go buy you some of this tea. Oh yeah I have to mention also this tea has been fighting with DMS Shi Er Black Pearls tea over who is going to be my current fav now Pearl is out for the time being so she can’t defend herself but She Is on her way here right now and when She returns the fight starts back and I have to keep them separated far from each other on the shelves or else I may come in one day and find one of them spilled out all over the floor lol.


Love this stuff1

Tommy Toadman

this tea loves you back and you know it, love is good


It sounds delicious! I love aged oolongs:)


Thanks Tommy! :)

Butiki Teas

“liquid love”! That’s awesome!


Lol, now I’m thinking about tea having fights!

Tommy Toadman

that could get messy lol

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3294 tasting notes

This is a lovely kind of fruity oolong, gently sweet & smooth, with a nice roasty wood flavor. I pulled this one from the HHTTB, & it’s a sipdown Sil!


It’s kind of fun watching the friendly competition between you and Sil.

Terri HarpLady

We aim to entertain! :)

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6106 tasting notes

This tea was probably not the best choice for last night, given that I burned part of supper but had to eat it anyways… and of course, this smells wicked burnt when infusing. Luckily, the flavour isn’t quite the same, so it was palatable. This time, I think I may have used a bit more tea (2 rounded tsp for 8 oz.), and got a tasty, dark, woody/burny, sweet-ish mug of yum. It tasted particularly good the next day, after it had sat cold next to my bed all through the night!

The second infusion is pretty good too, almost making me think chocolatey, like a very, very dark chocolate, perhaps with roasted cocoa nibs. What’s a bit strange is that it’s reminding me a fair bit of Malted ChocoMate, or more specifically, the taste of roasted mate. Though the two are totally unrelated, and there’s no flavouring here. Interesting!

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

i should try this one…might be one that appeals to me :)


Do you have some? If not, chuck it on our swap list. I don’t have very much, but it’s not a favourite, so I could definitely give you a cup’s worth.


I don’t….I’ve only tried the nilgiri frost oolong..

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62 tasting notes

Happy anniversary to me! I’ve been on Steepster one month now. I know, I know…it feels like ages since you’ve first started seeing my posts make my way onto your computer screen…kinda like when I’m talking to my wife about one of my many aches and pains and she says “you’ve been complaining about that for ages” or “it’s been ages since you’ve done something romantic for me”. Hopefully not too many of you associate me with a negative overtone but either way I’ll keep writing until I hear otherwise.

Again I had an errant expectation about today’s tea. I hadn’t read the maker’s description and was unaware that this was a greener oolong. I’m still in an inexperienced state so I’m not sure if the spring picking is why it is that way, but can only assume it to be. The liquor was somewhat a darker brown. Dry leaf was floral and once infuzed it took on a wood/dry grass aroma.

First sip I found to be pretty grassy with a bit of nutty notes and it left a faint sweetness I noticed when I licked my lips. A few drinks later and the nutty had transformed into a wood/acorn note while the grassy notes had increased. More and more I’m seeing the greener tastes phasing out of my personal selections, though this being an oolong and not a straight green tea has made it much more tolerable. I can definitely say that there is little to no astringency.

All in all it’s a fine cup that I could keep on drinking but won’t steep past the second steeping because I have darker oolongs to drink instead. I’ve read online a little about oolongs trying to decipher the greener from darker ones but haven’t seen a formula yet.

Wife was going through her old college CD’s, so the selection of music hinged on that.
tunes-Dave Mathew’s Band=Captain/Grey Street/Two Step/The Stone/ Granny/Minarets

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

The green oolongs are less oxidized. The darker ones are usually “roasted” one way or another. Why heat at all? If you cut up an apple, it turns brown pretty fast, it oxidizes. If you bake that apple, it doesn’t. The heat arrests the oxidation. Same with tea. Leaves are bruised or withered, and oxidized. How much oxidation and processing determines, more or less in order, whether it is white, yellow, green, green oolong, dark oolong, or black. I am not that smart, I stole this from somewhere that I read it, don’t remember where now! Correct me, everyone, if I got something wrong!

Butiki Teas

You will definitely want to look for something that is more oxidized. Our 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong was oxidized between 20-30%.

Butiki Teas

So anything that says lightly oxidized, is something that you will want to stay away from.


I don’t know ashmanra but I do love this tea. :)
Happy Anniversary! Tomorrow is my 6 months anny!

Butiki Teas

Oh yeah and happy Steepsterversary!!!


Charcoal dark roast dong ding’s or tieguanyin’s all the way! They tend to turn to fruity and roasty, instead of flowery and perfumey :) I’ll be doing tasting notes again around the middle of October, not enough time now :( Hopefully you will zero in on your own optimal flavor profile, tunes! Happy cupping :)


Happy one month! Love that you include music notes!

Hesper June

Happy one month anniversary!


Happy one month, hope you stay around!


Yay! Happy Month!!! :)

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300 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking almost exclusively green and herbal teas for the last three weeks due to cold turned flu turned cold and lingering crud. No fancy oolongs or pu-erh for me until today. This is nice, smokey, roasty, sweet with a parchment-like quality. I did three short infusions, mostly offered at our kitchen shrine, but I got a few sips of each.

I’m a little shaken at the moment, my dad is going to be having quadruple bypass surgery sometime this week, they just did the analysis this morning, he did not have any sort of cardiac episode, just some tightness in the chest which led him to take a stress test and another test which showed some blockage, turns out its 80% in two areas. So he’s fine and in good spirits and hopefully it will all go smoothly, though he will have to rest for 4-6 weeks and not travel for his work. I’ve had two uncles who have had stints put in, my dad’s brother has had more than one heart attack, their father survived several though he had some very debilitating strokes, but I’m trying not to think about that as a possibility.

Any positive thoughts or prayers for our family would be appreciated, though no worrying please. Hope you and yours are all well.


oh no. All my happy, positive thoughts are yours for you and your family.




Hugs and love going your way Autumn, and to the family


I am holding space in my head and heart for your father and I hope all goes well. As a person who had a cardiac ablation and who has had a family history of odd heart conditions, I deeply empathize and wish you and your family the best.

Butiki Teas

So sorry to hear that. I hope your father has a speedy recovery. Sending some positive thoughts your way.

Autumn Hearth

Thank you all. I’ll update when I know more.


Praying, and not worrying! It is actually so encouraging that they caught this before he had any sort of major episode! My doctor gave me quite a scare last year saying one of my tests showed that I had a congenital heart defect, but it hadn’t shown up in the test before and hasn’t shown up since, so….oh well! And oh yay! I hope everyone involved has peace and that the procedure goes grand!


Positive thoughts to your family.

Autumn Hearth

Yes it is very good they caught it now. :)


Prayers your way!

Autumn Hearth

Successful quintuple bypass this morning/afternoon. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.


huzzah!!! heal, recover, and back to vibrating life!


Sending good vibes you way Autumn… Glad to hear all went well :-)

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1040 tasting notes

I don’t want to write what I think about this. I’ve pretty much decided that there is some force/entity/spirit that just will not allow Butiki tea to work in my world. I never get the same experience as most of you on here.

Thank you ifjuly for sending me a sample of this.

1.5 tsp for 4 minutes makes this undrinkable for me. WOW way too smokey – offensively smokey. 2nd steep – 1 minute better but still too much smoke in the nose – I can’t “taste” if for the smoke smell. 3rd steep a little over a minute continuing to improve – it is definitely deep dark oolong. 4th steep 2 minutes – aged dark oolong – just as promised, but it seems “flat” to me like it’s been too much. Fresh leaves 1 tsp/10oz mug – 45 sec first steep – still crazy smoky but at least drinkable – 2nd steep 45 seconds – this is the only steep off all that I tried that I enjoyed – smokey rich, dark oolong – I liked this steep quite a bit. 3rd steep just over a minute – and I’m back to the “flat” taste even though these leaves have been steeped a lot less than the first try.
I don’t know. I’ve been enjoying aged oolongs recently but this isn’t one of them. It’s mostly the smoke – and yes I’m the one that was “complaining” earlier about a Lapsang not being smokey enough…. :((


Ah, sorry to hear it Dex. Noted though, I promise—I won’t try sending you Butiki after this. Promise. (: It’s touching to me you gave such a good faith effort.


Oh, oh…Im baffled… But I think it’s great you keep on trying :-)
But…but…you are getting more butukis unfortunately for you…maybe the winner is in there??


Oh no! They are in the top three of my try as soon as out of lockdown list. I will remain hopeful that the mojo will be with me.


I don’t get it either – I think I must have pissed off the Butiki Tea gods in a previous life. They’ve come back to exact revenge.
I will happily keep trying them….


Morgana – Don’t let my experience influence you. Almost everyone here loves them – I seem to be the exception to the rule, and I don’t want to be – I want to love them too. I just don’t understand why my experience is SO DIFFERENT from others.

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676 tasting notes

Thanks Stacy for this tea sample

I’ve come to the realization that I am a person who loves the flavors associated with Autumn.
I love to oven roast Apples and Root Vegetables.
Caramelized Brussel Sprouts in garlic butter, tossed in seasoned bread crumbs.
Short ribs slow cooked in wheat beer (New Belgium) with caramelized onions, beef broth and buckwheat honey.
RIBS! My family has RIBS for our Christmas Feast!

Somewhere mixed up in all these thoughts of favorite foods and feasting I can see a preference for roasty flavors.

I evidently associate flavor and family. Well being with a log on the hearth, a cup of a warm beverage, and lots of cooking going on in the kitchen.
And noise. Lots of talking and noise. Scrabble games, Boggle and Football.

At this time a year ago, I was still mug deep in coffee living my one dimensional life. Every 4 months a box of coffee came from my coffee club in New Orleans and I was thrilled. I had 3 kinds of coffee. WOW! (This makes me laugh!)
I used to think of tea as a flowery drink, a sweet thing in a flowery cup. I had no idea how varied and complex tea was.

Now I know better and I’m learning that Oolongs are much more complex and varied than I assumed at first.

Lately I’ve discovered Roasty Oolongs like this one that I’ve been drinking today. Not just a little roasty either, but VERY ROASTY!

When I saw the dark color of the leaves, I knew I was in for a treat.
I had tasted another Oolong recently called Strong Fire that had a cinder taste and I liked it. I was hoping for a similar experience.

The liquor brewed to a clear Rootbeer color and had an amber honey scent.
The flavor was sweet and woody. It was clear that the leaves had been roasted many times because you could taste the roasting and a cinder flavor that was like ancient trees.
I imagined myself in a log cabin around a very small stove after a storm sipping on this tea. The scent of oak and cedar wood from the woodbox and me shuddering off the dampness. A pan of onions, potatoes and bacon sizzling on the stove.

The sweetness of this tea was extraordinary. There’s woody sweetness that you might get from chewing on sugar cane.
The sooty fire roasted flavor is what I loved the best.

So wild.

Thinking back, I remember melting some butter in a little of the previous Fire Oolong, making a sauce to drizzle over some yams.
Experimentation pays off. This Oolong would be good the same way.

If you like savory roasty flavors, this would be your kind of tea.
It’s not full of flowers or delicate nuance. This isn’t smoky either. Roasty.


Invader Zim

I’m coming over to your place for a fun time of food, tea, and games!


You’d be welcome!

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