Hong Shui is an oolong type I have little experience with, especially when it’s slightly aged. (This version is from 2014.) Thanks to Tea Side for the sample. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot using boiling water for 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma of these small, dark, uneven balls is of berries, wood, dark chocolate, and roast. The first steep has notes of chocolate, honey, and banana bread. The second steep adds notes of tart cranberry, blueberry, plum, spices, wood, and darker rye bread. The next steep offers lots of red berries, with a pronounced strawberry aroma, balanced by dark chocolate, wood, tobacco, and roast. The roast isn’t overpowering and there’s no astringency. The raspberry is particularly prominent in the fourth steep. The chocolate, bready, roasty flavours continue for the next few rounds, with the berries gradually fading. The last few steeps concentrate on chocolate, baked bread, malt, wood, and minerals.
This is a fantastic oolong that will make anyone with a sweet tooth very happy. It’s like a Laoshan Black combined with a Gui Fei. I foresee many more Hong Shui oolongs in my future!
Flavors: Berries, Blueberry, Bread, Cranberry, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Plum, Raspberry, Roasted, Spices, Strawberry, Tobacco, Wood