Thursday, September 1, 2016

Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company: Farmer Changs Green Oolong, A Tea Review

I am sitting in a very big ball of anticipation, ready to explode at any minute...because ARK!! Oh yeah, it is update day! My update is busily downloading and I am waiting for the big surprise, they will be streaming some massive announcement from PAX West in about 30 minutes (maybe the update will be done by then, it is a big one) and I am very excited to see what it is. The 'mysterious mysteries' teasers for the past couple of months all lead towards a desert biome, and the loading screen is what looks like dragon eggs, so yeah I am super excited.

Today's tea is Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company's Farmer Changs Green Oolong, their fluffy Baozhong which is the greenest of the Oolongs, with its subtle oxidation. I love Baozhong, but often get stuck with ones that are uninspiring so I tend to overlook it for more traditional Oolongs, but when I find one that is good I get practically giddy! Before I get into the smell, just look at those fluffy emerald leaves, no amount of photography could do these beauties justice and I apologize, take my word for it though they are luminous. So, the aroma, it has a slight chestnut sweetness, which might be a first for a Baozhong, me likes! There is also a potent burst of lilacs and hyacinths, distant orchids, and the most wonderful herbaceous sage and fresh oregano note. I was really liking the tea until the herbaceous notes kicked in, then it was love! Fingers crossed that sticks around through the steeping!

Steeping the leaves, the aroma after the first steep, well there is a little bit of fresh spinach, some mellow sweet chestnuts...oh yea, and a small explosion flowers, it is like summer burst out of my gaiwan and become a sentient cloud wafting around the tea desk. There are notes of peony, lilacs, hyacinth, orchids, and a tiny bit of apple blossom. Luckily the herbaceous notes of oregano and sage survived after the cloud of flower dissipated a bit. The liquid is very sweet, with notes of lily, lilacs, peony, and hyacinth with a tiny touch of spinach and fresh oregano at the finish. I am loving those herbaceous notes, it kinda makes me want to pair this tea with a salad or something.

The first steep is light in both taste and mouth, a delicate airy mouthfeel which goes well with the light first impression. The tasting notes present are gentle hyacinth and lilac with an undertone of orchid, like one that has just opened and not really turned into a floral explosion yet. Towards the middle a lettuce and cucumber note pop up with a lingering chestnut and lilac aftertaste.

Where the first steep was light, buds just beginning to open in the morning, this steep was a heady afternoon hothouse! Holy wow, I feel like I was hit by a wave of flowers, it makes for some comical mental images, just removing the lid of the gaiwan and swoosh flower wave! The taste is wonderful, for all its heady floral notes it is not perfumed, it is like drinking flower nectar...I have become a hummingbird. Lilacs, peony, hyacinth and finally orchid dance throughout the entire sipping experience with bursts of oregano blossoms, fresh sage and cucumber adding a depth to the flowery notes. The aftertaste is honeysuckle, it came out of nowhere and I am ok with that.

One thing that really surprised me with this tea is how thoroughly and quickly it got me tea drunk, I was pleasantly loopy by the third steep and getting a bit poetic in my notebook (and no, I am not sharing my tea drunk poetry or handwriting, both are awful.) I will however share that this tea is still delightful! The flowery notes have calmed down a little, or the spinach, cucumber, sage, and oregano notes became stronger...not really sure, but it really works! At the time of writing this I can safely say this is my favorite Baozhong to date!

This tea was purchased by me.

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