Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Teasenz: Wuyi Oolong Sampler - Rock Tea (Yan Cha) Impressions, Part 2, A Tea Review

Recovery is slow, and that frustrates me, but I am glad to be recovering. I am slowly able to eat real food again (my breakfast today was a couple slices of blueberry swirl bread, delicious) and I am feeling less weak, though in typical 'me' fashion, being sick means it has triggered a Fibromyalgia flair so even though I am less wobbly moving is very painful. This means I am spending lots of time painting and drinking tea with near constant stalking of Hour of Devastation spoilers. All the Invocations have been spoiled, unlike last set where there were plenty I liked but none I really wanted, I NEED two from this set, Damnation, and Thoughtsieze, two cards I really want for my Mono-black control deck but with art that is outstanding. Sadly Damnation is $60 and Thoughtsieze is $150...ouch, everyone wish me luck that I pull one or pull something worth trading for one!!

Today is part 2 of my look at Teasenz's Wuyi Oolong Sampler (you can find part 1 here) looking at Da Hong Pao, Huang Mei Gui, and Shui Xian. As previously, two of these I am very familiar with and one only passingly so, but I am going to start off with something I know very well Shu Xian! Probably the first Yancha I experienced what seems like an eternity ago, this one is on the medium side of the roasting scale, with a charred wood, tobacco, grilled fruit and smoked orchid aroma. Yes, smoked orchid, I personally have never thrown an orchid into a fire, but it you combined the smell of coals and flowers you would get this I imagine.

I know I have said it in just about every Yancha I have reviewed, but truly it is a comforting tea, something about the whole lot of them evokes such a happy spectrum of memories and warm fuzzies. As much fun as it would be to describe this tea as emotional reactions, you can't really perceive that if you drink it, so I will tell you its taste, and buckle yourself in because this one is sweet! Like dark honey, molasses, raisins, and a gentle chocolate note blended with a finish of tobacco and wet slate at the finish. The aftertaste is nectar sweetness, a bit like ripe plums and raw honey, that I swear lingers for a truly surprisingly long time. If you are a fan of the more subtle roasted Shui Xians and not the super char heavy ones then this is quite the treat.

Next is the Huang Mei Gui, or Yellow Rose, one that I have only had a few times but love, it is such a delightful Yancha! This one is lightly roasted and has an aroma of chocolate covered plumeria flowers and Graham crackers, the most exotic of desserts! There are undertones of char and mineral, but both are very light, and the floral notes are quite heady, and that pairs wonderfully with the chocolate notes.

So, if you were ever curious what eating raisin bread covered in honey while sitting next to a bowl of blooming orchids and plumeria tasted like, then good news, you can find out with this tea! It is impressively floral for a Yancha, not quite at Dancong levels, but certainly close, with an intense nectar like sweetness that satisfies my perpetual sweets craving. I really liked how light this one was, Yanchas as a whole can be pretty intense, even when brewed lightly, but this one was almost delicate and lasted for many steeps.

And lastly, the classic, Da Hong Pao, the roasty-toastiest of the set. The aroma of this one smells identical to the chocolate chip sourdough bread that one of Ben's relatives sends the family each year...and is promptly demolished upon arrival...we are obsessed with sourdough. It is very chocolaty and very bready, but in a fresh out of the oven way. It has a definite high roast aroma, but none of the char, which I find a plus.

This one tastes of roasted chestnuts, toasted sourdough, chocolate chips, graham crackers, and molasses with a finish of wet slate and an aftertaste of cocoa. Man, I am tea drunk, I started drinking that Shui Xian this morning and it is still going, I think I am on steep 12! This DHP lasts for quite a long time as well, I drank it yesterday and ended up sitting with it for most of the day and it has a fantastic Qi that left me pleasantly floaty while I was painting. Towards the end when this tea finally gives up the ghost the finish is like sweet rainwater on slate with a whisper of molasses. I think this is a great set for the price and quality, if you are new to Yancha you will get a clear example of good quality tea or if you are well-versed in the world of Yancha and like having a variety it is also a good choice. TeaNecromancer seal of tea-drunkness approval!

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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