TShop Old Bush Shui Xian
Read last night that higher end of acceptable TDS (~100) works better for oolong so testing that on a pretty pricey sample… Yancha is a rich man’s game.
My Brita filter needs to be replaced, but TDS readings at about 96 last night when I checked. I would normally brew pricier things with Poland Spring just because I don’t like the tap here, but thought this might be interesting. Also, Nestle is an awful corporation to support, but PS is very affordable for cheap, decent water relative to the other options at the store.
212f, YS 60 mL gaiwan (45 mL functional volume (i.e. volume in cup) normally with ~2.5g of puer), 4.2g
Dry leaf has nice roasted hint and similar in warmed gaiwan. Maybe slight hazelnut chocolate-y aspect. Something bready, maybe creamy about it as well. Or maybe my nose is off since a lot of things have seemed like that lately. Wet leaf is pretty standard for roast, not as sweet as gaiwan lid
Steeps varied; didn’t time
First steep is a sugary taste, as well as the minty/soapy aftertaste that I’ve been associating with these teas, and transitions into something vaguely reminding me of celery sticks, if there was a certain floral aspect tagged on as well. Guess those must be the mineral taste mentioned in the descriptor
2nd: roast is very upfront, mixed aftertaste after like before from celery to crisp sugar to sometimes crushed mint. Decent texture. Something very floral, osmanthus reminiscent tinged medicinal slight bitter in taste. Sweetness in aftertaste lingers on tongue and in throat, with slight floral aspect. If this is an aspect of yanyun, I think this hits it.
3rd: roast less upfront. More obvious floral and slight bitter medicinal aspect. Aftertaste still has the soapy/mint aspect. Slight floral and sweetness in throat, less strong than before, but still lingers.
4th: some roast, a broad sweet floral taste. Lighter aftertaste.
5th: slight sharpness to roast. Sweet taste. Celery and soapy aspect to aftertaste
6th: sweet floral.
7th: longer steep brings out slight sourness and astringency before turning into a minty aftertaste. Stopped here. Will thermos remainder
Cold cup from part of first cup cooled: tastes like chocolate. Not particularly strong in any aspect of aftertaste, only slight crushed mint
Onto Poland spring water. 46 TDS today. Same gaiwan and parameters, maybe .1g less? Scale has been moody lately.
First steep: roast taste only. Aftertaste is strong sugar, then the crushed mint that I’ve come to be familiar with.
Second steep: also strong roast taste, some sour aspect. This is pathetic. Some of the crushed mint aspect lingers, combining with the roast on the front of the tongue, but nothing like what it was before. Some harsh, acrid aspect.
3rd: Harsh and sharp, flat. Crushed mint dominant on aftertaste. Will stop here and thermos the rest for another day.
I wasn’t able to finish the second session, being thrown off by the extreme difference. This was also more than enough caffeine today, considering that I have to finish up a thermos of yesterday’s shou too. Aside from that, finding that the PS almost completely hollowed out the tea, leaving mainly the roast and a sour ish aspect and crushed mint in aftertaste, with none of the complexity from the tap. This also explains why almost every oolong I’ve taken notes on appears to shift within the same narrow profile (I’ve been using PS for every oolong and most “nicer” teas I took notes for, just to keep things consistent) and also why my notes on some appear to differ from ones I’ve seen people post online for teas from say TXS and ORT. I’m distraught at all the roasted oolongs that I feel like I’ve wasted now… Another lesson to take tasting notes with a grain of salt I guess. Knowing myself, I can almost certainly guarantee that I would’ve grumbled here about this being $2.25/g for the sample if I’d brewed it the way I normally do. Sad, yet lesson learned.
edit: thermos with the partly used leaves from PS water and the spent ones with filtered water. It had a slight sharp bitterness from the roast, reminding me of something like coffee. Some of the aftertaste was intact, though slight. Aroma was nice. So not too much of an exception here; I find that only aged oolongs do well thermos’d.