Sample E

Yet another one of what seems to be an endless stream of samples from Will — he sent me a lot of tea (thanks!).

Sample E this time. When I opened the bag and sniffed the tea, I thought “aged baozhong”.

When I brewed it

And drank my first cup, I also thought “aged baozhong”. So I wrote to Will and asked, is this aged baozhong?

After a few cups, I wavered a little. This is sort of like aged baozhong, but could also be some other Taiwanese oolong. I have one that’s very similar to this in profile, taste, strength, and otherwise. Just around then, Will wrote back. Aged baozhong indeed, from Stephane of Teamasters, supposedly from the 70s, although it tastes awfully similar to my mid 80s non-baozhong Taiwanese oolong. This is a nice tea. Good strength, aroma, a little bit of sour, but entirely manageable, making it more of an interesting fruity tartness rather than a nasty sourness. It has some qi, and good throatiness. If there’s any problem, it’s that the tea seems to have lost a bit aroma — it isn’t coming out as intensely as it probably could. There’s an interesting greenness that pops out here and there, but not consistently, which I find rather interesting and a little odd. Maybe I should’ve used a little more leaves too, but this is when samples run into troubles — if I dumped the whole thing in, it would be too much. If I used 2/3 of it, then the 1/3 left would make a really weak cup. Compromises, oh well.

The leaves are decent looking.

A good tea all around, and the kind of aged oolongs that I like.

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