I’m new to oolong, indeed to puer as well. Today I had a good tea day with two oolongs which I’ve been told are not that good. The first is an oolong I bought in KL at the same shop that scammed me into buying some crappy puer, but I’ll save that story for another post. I paid 80rm (roughly 800 baht) for 100 grams. The second is a #17 from Emerald Thai tea, 300 grams for 700 baht. I drank very mindfully, determined to get all that I could out of them. I used two gaiwans and used enough tea that after a few infusions the leaves filled them. I alternated the two, and this helped me to slow down and be present rather than just gulp down cup after cup. Now I wish I’d taken notes, but at the time I didn’t think anyone would be interested in a newbie report about subpar oolongs. Well, this was probably my third session with each but was by far the best because I really paid attention to what was there and left behind all thoughts of what I might be missing. The Malaysian one was a darker roast, making the Thai one seem green by comparison although it is classified as a medium roast. Anyway, I got many infusions from both and despite the lack of qi other than the usual clearheaded energy really enjoyed the taste, and improved my skill at the same time.
Perhaps I’m repeating my experience with shu and sheng puer- I started out going newbie nuts over cheap shuo and didn’t even want sheng. Now, however, my palette tells me that sheng is where the adventure is, and while I still appreciate a bit of shuo, I need a better grade now. So I’m going to enjoy what is good enough for now, and move on to better stuff when my palette (and wallet) tell me to.