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Tea Review: Mystery Green Oolong

May 23, 2007

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Green Oolong

This is a slightly questionable review because I don’t know the precise name of the green oolong. It was given as a sample at Yuan Sheng Hang (666 South Jackson Street, Seattle) when I bought a set of porcelain tasting cups. I vacillated as to whether it made sense to post a review of it or not, but decided affirmatively since it was quite an enjoyable tea and I’d taken notes that might as well be shared. It has a lot in common with some of the other high-end green oolongs I’ve bought, and is probably a Ti Quanyin. It was not quite brilliant enough to overshadow the memory of the competition-grade Ti Quanyin that we had a few months ago, but it was of exceptional quality. I would recommend it and could probably identify which tea it is from its place in the store and by its appearance, given the opportunity. The store is also a Chinese apothecary and if I remember correctly there are no labels in English so it makes it a little difficult for me to remember the names of their teas.

infusion #1: This tea had a very bright flavor and nice mouthfeel. The leaves expanded considerably in the gaiwan, more so than any other tea I’ve seen. After the first infusion we removed nearly half of the leaves as the taste indicated that the ratio was way off. We also determined that this tea needed less steeping time than other oolongs and reduced each by several seconds in the other infusions.

infusion #2: The taste was slightly clover-like and very complex, verdant and refreshingly like spring.

infusion #3: The aroma was very wonderful. Holding the liquor in the mouth for a few seconds afforded it the time to express its full taste as there was a slight delay to full flavor. The mouthfeel was slightly acrid, but very enjoyable, and the taste was excellent. Best flavor was realized when the temperature of the tea cooled to the temperature of the mouth.

infusion #4: The taste was slightly bitter and it had lost a lot of its complexity. The flavor was more like dried clover than fresh.

infusion #5: This infusion was clearly the last that this tea was up to. It was not strongly drying in the mouth, but declared its completion gracefully.

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