First impressions, first! The dried leaves are so beautifully fragrant that I’d wear it if it was a perfume and it could be. It is fresh, floral, roasty and complicated. I compare this tea with the Hong Shui from 2018 that I tried on the 114th day of this challenge. Obviously, there are o
ther factors to consider. Still, I do think that the ageing might have played a role in improving its fantastic aromas. I also heard from a tea head recently that some oolongs are re-roasted over time to improve their ‘fading’ characteristics. To be honest, I do not know whether this tea was re-roasted or not. It could well be as its fragrance was very vivid.
I found that Hung Shui is described as follows: “marriage between the styles of Anxi Tei Guan Yin (light oxidation with roasting from light to heavy) and Wuyi Yen Cha (high oxidation, roasting varying from light to heavy).” I kind of agree with this definition. Since while I can see the high oxidation through the colour of the dry and infused leaves, I can also taste the delicate charcoal notes that I can get from a roasted Tie Guan Yin.
I have discovered this oolong pretty recently, and I am fascinated by how rich it is in terms of flavour palette and fragrance profile. It is also great to taste an aged oolong tea. I have more aged oolongs to feature.
Stay tuned and drink tea (sorry for the imperative but I wish you well)!
Origin: Lu Shan, Ren’ai, Nantou, Taiwan.
Harvest time: Spring 2014
Leave colour: Tones of dark brown, red and green
Liquor colour: Light amber
Tea aroma: Beautiful mix of floral and roasty notes
Tea taste: Complex multi-layered flavours (e.g. floral, woody, smoky) with an unusual subtle sweetness
Steeping/brewing: For 5 gr of loose leaves, use 100°C water and brew for up to half minute in gongfu style or up to two minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Suitable for ageing up to 10 years (or possibly more)