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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If you follow what gets said about prices each year, you would end up with the impression that the average price of tea has gone up. But more specifically the price at the most sought after regions (say Lao Banzhang, Bingdao) have gone completely through the roof. A lot of this narrative is anecdotal. Tales of rich Chinese buying up all the top-end product from X area. Part of it can also be seen when someone in the Sinosphere posts the maocha prices per location. These lists come with all sorts of contextual caveats, but the trend seems real. I don’t see any red flags to really doubt this storyline, but I was curious if it’d show up by looking at some of the data of prices on production by western facing vendors.
PREPARING YOUR CHILD FOR UNIVERSITY: FINDING THE HARMONY BETWEEN WELL-ROUNDED AND BURNT OFF OUT
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