Friday, April 25, 2008

Aged Oolong

Courtesy of MarshalN.

When I mentioned that I was interested in aged oolong, he was very kind and sent me some samples, but he kept them a surprise:

"There are four teas in them, including two aged tieguanyin, one aged baozhong, and one aged Taiwan oolong. One of them is what is normally passed on in most teashops as "aged oolong", but is in reality probably just a tea that is a few years old with a lot of roasting. I won't tell you which is which (numbered 1-4) unless you want me to."

His instructions:

"I'd suggesting filling the vessel about 1/4-1/3 full of dry leaves, using the hottest water you can find, and infusing them as quickly as your hands allow, at least for the first few infusions."

Aged Oolong 1


It has a dry cocoa aroma with thick, fruity hints of raisins, dates, or figs; I couldn't make up my mind.

The tea is fairly simple, tastes roasted, light, then after taste of raisins. Thin mouth feel, dry, not sweet at all.

Aged Oolong 2


Much richer aroma. Smells like chocolate, cookie chocolate, not milk chocolate. The aroma brings to mind the word "purple." Don't know why. Some teas smell or taste green; this smells purple.

Again this was a simple tea. Less up front taste but sweeter over all with a sugar cane finish.

Aged Oolong 3


If I didn't know better, I would have guessed this was a puerh. Strong, earthy aroma, deep red liquor, hints of camphor and a smidgen of celery. It had a thicker mouth feel than the others.

Aged Oolong 4


I can't place anything specific in the aroma.

The liquor is "cola" brown.

This tea lacked discernible characteristics or nuances. More astringent, and I tasted a note of celery again, but mostly it tasted hot.

My guesses as to which is which, based on over all feel, taste, and appearance of the leaves, are:

# 1 Taiguanyin. I think this was the "aged oolong" he spoke of.






# 2 Taiguanyin.







# 3 Baozhong.







# 4 Formosan.








Marshal, if you would be so kind to let us all know how completely wrong I am, that would be lovely. And thank you for the samples. I've often been envious of your experiences in China and Taiwan, having access to various tea shops, and it was great to get a chance to sample some these teas.

14 comments:

Salsero said...

What a cool and collaborative post. Thanks MarshalN and Alex both!

MarshalN said...

I'm curious what you would consider a complex tea, since you judged some of them to be simple?

#4 is what you would pass as "aged oolong". The roasty aroma is quite obvious, methinks. #1 is the aged baozhong. 2 and 3 are tieguanyin of different kinds -- one's "dry" stored, and #3 is "wet" stored, so to speak, giving it that puerh edge.

Bethel UMC said...

*ahem*

I think Marshal just schooled you.

Ahaha. :-)

-Molly

MarshalN said...

I don't think "schooled" is a good word here -- there's no good reason why he would know what any of these things are, since they are relatively obscure and not easily found around this part of the world.

Cap & Kettle said...

Cookies? Wow, sounds amazing!

Bethel UMC said...

Marshal, don't burst my bubble! :)

Space Samurai said...

Marshal,

Simple may not have been the best word.

The few, very few, other aged oolongs I've had were fuller-bodied with a thicker mouth feel and a bit more overall flavor, so in comparisond these felt "simple."

Still, it was wonderful to try these. I've always been curious about your tea adventures and the fun things you get to dig up that the rest of us don't have access to. Thanks for sharing.

toki said...

wonder if these are in the same order or even the same samples I've got.... Interesting post and cool site! -Toki

MarshalN said...

No Toki, they're not the same tea you got.

MarshalN said...

Space, I seem to remember you told me you tried the Red Blossom and the Tea Habitat ones. I haven't tried the tea habitat one, so I can't say anything about that. The Red Blossom one I've tried a few times now, and I would be hard pressed to say that it is any more "full bodied" than any of the teas I sent you. If anything, that tea dies rather quickly. It's nice while it lasts, but it doesn't last long.

Which leaves me a little puzzled, but oh well, that's the problem with the internet. You can't send brewed tea over it.

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