My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby JRS22 » Jan 7th, '13, 17:34

My experience with rock oolongs is limited so I haven't run into this problem before. Last year I purchased a lot of samples from EOT, all of which I enjoyed. Then this year I purchased some small bags from Seven Cups. I enjoyed those but I had no EOT samples left for comparison. So last week I decided to order samples from Tea Trekker. I've tried 3 teas so far, and I haven't been happy with any of them. For example the tea I tried yesterday had an odd flavor note that could have been from storage, or from the type of packaging. I should say that my resident coffee drinker enjoyed the 6th and 7th steeps. So I'm wondering if putting the tea in an open container for a few days could possibly help. I'm prepared to experiment with today's tea, because I disliked it so much. I really don't have enough of any one tea for dead-end experiments so I'm looking for advice.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby chabaka » Jan 8th, '13, 09:40

Hard to tell what exactly is wrong with your teas, but I too have experienced odd flavours in Wuyi teas or other stronger roasted oolongs. The most typical cases of that phenomenon were teas packed airtight in those silvery plastic bags. My guess: The excessive burnt fragrance of freshly roasted tea got trapped in the bags and mingled with the plastic smell to create something resembling car exhaust fumes. Yuck!
The remedy (as you guessed): transfer the tea from the bag into a ceramic or porcellain tea jar. Or just put the tea you are going to use in one session on a saucer to air out for 30-60 minutes before you start brewing it.

A good post about this topic on Tea Masters Blog:
http://teamasters.blogspot.tw/2011/09/tea-jar-magic-trick.html
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby JRS22 » Jan 8th, '13, 11:06

Thanks for the link. That was an interesting experiment.

It could easily be the interaction between the tea and the bag. Teatrekker packs their samples in clear 'crisp' plastic bags. The worst of the three teas that I've tried so far was the one 2012 tea in the batch, and therefore the most recently roasted. In the absence of a porcelain or ceramic tea jar I'm thinking of decanting the tea to a handmade Hobin. While it won't be sealed, so it's not suitable for storage, it might be good for decanting.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby Tead Off » Jan 8th, '13, 22:37

JRS22 wrote:Thanks for the link. That was an interesting experiment.

It could easily be the interaction between the tea and the bag. Teatrekker packs their samples in clear 'crisp' plastic bags. The worst of the three teas that I've tried so far was the one 2012 tea in the batch, and therefore the most recently roasted. In the absence of a porcelain or ceramic tea jar I'm thinking of decanting the tea to a handmade Hobin. While it won't be sealed, so it's not suitable for storage, it might be good for decanting.

The first thing I do when I buy tea is get it out of their bag and into some kind of caddy. Some teas seem okay directly from their bag. Others, I've noticed take time to adjust, from a day to several days. Let's hope the teas you have become satisfying to you!
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby wyardley » Jan 9th, '13, 01:59

It could also just be not-so-great tea - sometimes the problem is as simple as that.

You could try leaving them out in the open air for a few days before brewing, and you could try babying them a bit more with cooler water, a thinner brewing vessel, higher pour, and / or increasing or decreasing proportion of leaf to water.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby David R. » Jan 9th, '13, 09:12

+1

I can vouch for the quality of EoT yancha. But I don't know the teas of the other shops you mentioned. Maybe try to order a few samples from EoT again to see if there is a difference.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby JRS22 » Jan 10th, '13, 13:14

I just may have been spoiled by my yancha experience beginning with an EOT sample added to a Puerh order. Airing out the worst tea sample didn't help and neither did brewing experiments and other suggestions posted above. I'll use up the tea samples with more experiments, but in the meantime I placed an order with EOT. I'm hoping I'll fall in love with some of the lesser priced variations and I can stock up on those and save the most expensive tea for special days.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby debunix » Jan 10th, '13, 13:46

I sometimes feel very lucky that I can still enjoy the inexpensive SeaDyke red label TKY that was my first regular introduction to tea.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby wyardley » Jan 10th, '13, 13:57

You may find some suggestions for some other things to try in this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16636

Finding good to excellent yancha is not easy, however, I think you can find some things that you like. If you like EOT's offerings, you may want to look for stuff that's a little more oxidized and a little lower fire.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby JRS22 » Jan 12th, '13, 00:01

wyardley wrote:Finding good to excellent yancha is not easy, however, I think you can find some things that you like. If you like EOT's offerings, you may want to look for stuff that's a little more oxidized and a little lower fire.


i'll pay close attention to the oxidation and firing level of the samples I prefer, but what's the significance of the more oxidized/lower fire?
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby wyardley » Jan 12th, '13, 02:21

JRS22 wrote:i'll pay close attention to the oxidation and firing level of the samples I prefer, but what's the significance of the more oxidized/lower fire?

Nothing. You just said you liked the EOT offerings. While I haven't had theirs, I have had teas from the same maker, and I think they are likely to be higher oxidation / lower fire than how I imagine some of the teas you mentioned are.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby JRS22 » Jan 12th, '13, 18:45

I read through that thread that was referenced and came up with some ideas for other vendors that sell small packets for testing: Postcard and Jing in England, and possibly Jing Tea Shop in China, and Imperial Tea Court and Red Blossom in San Francisco.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby Tead Off » Jan 13th, '13, 11:16

JRS22 wrote:I read through that thread that was referenced and came up with some ideas for other vendors that sell small packets for testing: Postcard and Jing in England, and possibly Jing Tea Shop in China, and Imperial Tea Court and Red Blossom in San Francisco.

You can give Tea Urchin's Tie Luo Han a try. Very good inexpensive tea. Brew it in one of your Korean pots for a delicious experience.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby gasninja » Jan 15th, '13, 12:23

Tead Off wrote:
JRS22 wrote:I read through that thread that was referenced and came up with some ideas for other vendors that sell small packets for testing: Postcard and Jing in England, and possibly Jing Tea Shop in China, and Imperial Tea Court and Red Blossom in San Francisco.

You can give Tea Urchin's Tie Luo Han a try. Very good inexpensive tea. Brew it in one of your Korean pots for a delicious experience.

Just make sure you eat something first. That tea can be rough( at least to me ) on an empty stomach. Otherwise I really like the TLH from Tea Urchin.
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Re: My Wuyi Oolong Problem - Help Needed

Postby Tead Off » Jan 16th, '13, 08:36

gasninja wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
JRS22 wrote:I read through that thread that was referenced and came up with some ideas for other vendors that sell small packets for testing: Postcard and Jing in England, and possibly Jing Tea Shop in China, and Imperial Tea Court and Red Blossom in San Francisco.

You can give Tea Urchin's Tie Luo Han a try. Very good inexpensive tea. Brew it in one of your Korean pots for a delicious experience.

Just make sure you eat something first. That tea can be rough( at least to me ) on an empty stomach. Otherwise I really like the TLH from Tea Urchin.

Really? I found it very smooth, flavorful, and delicious to drink. Maybe, just maybe, it's that Korean teapot I use to brew it in. :D
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