Aged Oolongs are becoming highly popular in China right now, especially those from the Dong Ding competition that come in their original packaging.
Since I'm using an Yixing zhuni teapot, I only use a few leaves. That's why the first brew looked a little pale, but the next ones were stronger once the leaves had opened up.
(Good) aged Oolong are popular for a similar reason than puerh: you can still taste their freshness and power as their scents evolve toward more aged wood, incense or even whisky scents! The taste gains finesse and harmony (as the roasting aromas disappear).
For puerh, the transformation can take decades, which is a sign of their amazing power. With Oolong, the impact of aging can be felt much more quickly, especially if you store the leaves in a porcelain jar that allows the presence of some air.
12 years is a cycle in the Chinese calendar. It's also the age of my first child. This gives a special meaning to this tea. It represents time that passes, kids that are growing up. The nice thing is that this tea doesn't feel old in any way, but mature, harmonious and still fresh.
My name is Stéphane Erler. I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.