Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 Fall (mid Sept) Teamasters Luanze Oolong, Feng Huang, Taiwan


If this tea sample didn't say “Fall (mid Sept)” on its wrapper one would swear it a Spring oolong.

The dry leaves smell a faint, sweet raspberry muddled in soft, creamy deep mountain tones. One meditates deeply on the smell and can sense the mountain air where these leaves must have lavished in.

These leaves unfurl in yixing with the urging of slightly cooled hot water.

The first infusion reveals the typical milky, creamy sweetness of Taiwanese oolong. This one is nice and sweet accompanied with a bland taste which thinly coats the mouth and covers the lips. A ghostly, juicy raspberry taste adds additional freshness.

The second infusion has more bitter notes which play well with bland and sweet. Milky, fresh, light, slightly fruity, berry sweetness is divided by bitter notes. A flowery summer and roasted almond scent adds to the light, spring feel of this oolong.

In the third infusion, hidden within the wonderful depth of this tea, the flowery notes blossom in the mouth. This taste climbs into the sinuses where it lingers for quite sometime, a nice reminder of what was, what still is.

The fourth brings sweet, light,grainy, fruity honey notes. It has a bitter sharpness about it that keeps the lighter flavours in check. The aftertaste is more cereal-honey.

The next few infusions the flavour shortens, thins, as it is backed by bitter and bland. The aftertaste is a faint floral reminder of what it once was. The chaqi is a touch warming, bright, clean, clear.

The last infusions last hours not minutes and still manage to push out sweet, thick-honey taste with hints of creamy floral over a nice viscus mouthfeel. This thick, buttery floral honey taste is enjoyed all day long.
Stephane are you sure you didn't put some spring oolong in this fall package?

Peace

9 comments:

Ian said...

Wow sounds like an amazing tea, I think I would enjoy the second infusion the most.
The fourth infusion sounds interesting as well, what a wonderful aftertaste. I hope I can try this tea someday.

Thanks for the post,
Ian

Matt said...

Ian,

It is a great fall oolong. The depth of this tea is what makes it so interesting- so good.

If you are interested in getting some here is the link to Stephane's Online Store:

http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2005/07/tea-masters-blog-selection.html#comments/

Peace

Ian said...

Thanks Matt,
I sent him an email.

I really needed some decent teas, all I have now are teas from teavana... which aren't so great.

Matt said...

Ian,

You gotta start somewhere. Tea is tea.

Keep up the good work on your blog.

Will we be seeing a post on this oolong soon?

Peace

Stephane said...

Matt,
Really, there are no spring leaves hidden in the pack! But I selected this tea with the same thought in my mind: it's as good as spring tea, just a little different. A little sweeter and with this cereal-honey aftertaste that you noticed, because of the higher temperature. But the depth and energy is that of a great tea. The season doesn't change that.

I'm glad that you liked it and could express your feelings with so much poetry.
Ping An,

Stephane

Matt said...

Stephane,

Hahaha... Just joking about putting Spring oolong in the package but, like you said it is as good as a spring oolong.

There were some differences in this tea that suggested it was a fall oolong. You mentioned some of them.

On top of what you had already mentioned...

Although this tea was quite flowery for a fall oolong, it wasn't as flowery as some of the spring oolong one has tried. It was a different floral taste to- not as fresh and light as the floral tones in a spring oolong but more sweet.

The chaqi also is less light and more warm than a spring oolong.

Great tea. Thanks again Stephane.

Peace

Stephane said...

Matt,

I'm impressed! I totally agree with the differences you added. I should have mentioned them myself! This makes me particularly happy to know that my tea leaves have reached someone with such a discerning palate. (Your take on the Hung Shui Oolong is equally well felt, by the way).

Merci

Ping An

Jason Witt said...

It's just amazing what can be done with leaves from a different time. The right processing can fix the problem of the wrong season.

Matt said...

Jason,

There is nothing 'wrong' with fall oolong at all, it simply has different characteristics than a spring oolong as mentioned above. Don't think that Stephane or the producer of this tea was trying to 'fix' this tea into tasting like a spring oolong. They likely just wanted to bring out the best qualities of this wonderful fall tea.

Peace