Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Formosa Oolong tasting notes

I remind all my readers who have purchased the (samplers of) Dong Ding Oolong from Feng Huang and/or the Gao Shan Oolong (sampler) from Da Yu Ling, Tsui Feng that you still have 3 more days to write about them. I'm most interested to know what kinds of teas you liked best, especially now, at the beginning of the spring season, before I head to the tea farms again.

I promised a small sample of the new highest Oolong plantation in Taiwan: Hua Gang, 2780 meters (it is not an official plantation, because it is forbidden now to plant tea so high). I already see that there are answers of very high quality and so I already know I will give away more than just one prize. The other prizes won't be from Hua Gang (I have less than 30 gr of that tea), but they may be just as good! You may also post your comments in english under this article.

Mes lecteurs français peuvent, quant à eux, continuer à poster leurs commentaires ici.


Anonymous said...

Bonjour Stéphane,
Mon message n'a pas de rapport avec l'article "Formosa Oolong", mais je ne sais pas comment t'atteindre autrement. J'ai cru lire sur ton site que tu ne rinçais pas les feuilles de thé vert et que tu ne pratiquais pas la méthode 3/4-1/4 d'eau chaude- eau froide pour les infuser, comme je l'ai appris de Maître Yu Hui Tseng à Paris. Peut tu me dire comment tu procèdes pour infuser en zhong un Huang Shan Mao Feng ou un Shifeng Long Jing, et quels sont les avantages et inconvénients des deux méthodes? Merci d'avance pour tes éclaircissements. Ton site est extraordinairement instructif et très bien réalisé!

Danica said...

Feng Huang Dong Ding Oolong light 'fruity' roast...The leaves have a very nice fruity/ roast aroma when dry. Since we are drinking the tea at night, we are giving it a quick 5s first rinse--and tasting the rinse to check the strength of the leaves. The first rinse is light but fruity with a clean taste. It speaks of a very nice tea. The first brew is a delicious blend of roast and very light fruit with a creamy finish. The aftertaste is classic dong ding, with notes of peach and lychee. This taste holds throughout all the brews, with delightful variations. Before the second brew the wet leaves are beginning to unfold with a beautiful dark green color. There is evidence of hand-picking in many systems of leaves and branches. It is indeed a very fine tea. The second brew reveals a more complex register of fruit and some floral against the roast background. It's really opening up. The aftertaste is more fruity and green, possibly green apple, the signature high mountain flavor. As the tea cools the roast becomes more prominent, with hints of chocolate. Even more extraordinary! The third brew is a perfect mix of roast and fruit with the high mountain flavor coming in green and floral. The tea has great body and the aftertaste fills the mouth. It's complex but not too heavy; very easy to drink--one could drink it all afternoon! This tea really fosters a calm heart and kind words. When we sat down to drink it my boyfriend and I were squabbling, and now we are happily agreeing what a great tea this is. A fourth brew, this one pushed a little longer than the others. This one may be even better than the last three. The tea fills the mouth with a dong ding flavor that could only be described as 'sassy.' Roast, fruit, floral, apple are all merged into one. The aftertaste is clean in the back of the throat but still tingling in the front. As the tea cools the roast and fruit become more distinct from each other, but still going strong. There is much promise of what is yet to come. On the fifth brew the liquor is still a rich golden color, the flavor mellowing out somewhat and still delicious. Sweetness emerging in the aftertaste. Even though it's late at night this tea does not shock either of our systems. If anything it gives a pleasant uplifting feeling. One last brew before bedtime: this one we leave for a while to concentrate the last flavor. Its much mellower but still great; this tea has at least 3 more brews before it will give out. What amazes me the most, however, are the leaves. I have never seen such beautiful, dark green leaves in my gaiwan after drinking an oolong. Thank you Stephane for this extraordinary opportunity!

Danica said...

Feng Huang Dong Ding Oolong 'Classic'... Perhaps the light roast is more feminine because the dry leaves here have a stronger, greener fragrance that really seems more masculine than the fruity Dong Ding 'light.' It's interesting to compare because the family resemblance is there, but the 'Classic' hits the nose more powerfully. Using just enough leaves to lightly cover the bottom of a well-preheated gaiwan, this tea gives off a powerful 'oomph' of roast with the fruit merged perfectly. Again a quick rinse, and a delicious sip reveals more complexity in which the roast sits on top of the fruit, a hint of what will come. The wet leaves have a complex aroma of peach and lychee that reminds me of the aftertaste of an excellent Song Zhong Dancong. The first brew is much stronger roast feeling than the lighter oolong, with a clean high mountain aftertaste of fruit and apple. The leaves are the same extraordinary dark green color, tenderness and quality. The second brew reveals greater complexity than the light--there is a perfect merge of the roast and fruit flavors, and there is simultaneously a clear high mountain flavor with strong notes of roast, citrus and sweetness in the aftertaste. This tea is very fine--contemplative and well-composed. The third brew is more subtle, with fruit in the foreground, reminiscent of the 'light,' and a strong, clean high mountain aftertaste. Pushing the fourth brew to see what it yields, we get a similar brew to the third, with clean high mountain flavor and green apple in the aftertaste. As it has been a long day and night we'll call it quits. I suspect it will keep going like this for quite a few brews. This is a delicious tea that comes on strong, then finishes gently. Like a good man! ;-)