Welcome to ... OTTI 2010 Round 1, Master of the Oolong!!!
Supplies will be limited as I mentioned previously. If you want to participate, PM me asap! See my reply post below for the nuts and bolts on how to participate.
This OTTI features, in case you did not already guess, Adagio Master Series Oolong
You will receive 4, there will be a mystery guest crashing this Oolong OTTI.
I will also be including bonus oolong to early birds.
OK, here goes ... these are the 3 greener oolong from the Adagio Master Series
. Remember there will be a 4th Mystery Oolong for each participant, and one bonus for early birds. Adagio Master Series Fujian Ti Kuan Yin: http://www.adagio.com/masters/fujian_ti_kuan_yin.html?SID=43a7c73ea1f17fb3cc2796153106ce65Adagio Master Series Ali Shan: http://www.adagio.com/masters/formosa_ali_shan.html?SID=43a7c73ea1f17fb3cc2796153106ce65Adagio Master Series Pouchong: http://www.adagio.com/masters/formosa_pouchong.html?SID=43a7c73ea1f17fb3cc2796153106ce65Premium Mystery Oolong from Hsinchu TaiwanAnd a Bonus Oolong for early birds!
Cost for Round 1 for current members of TeaChat:
USA members: $7.00
Canadian Members: 8.50 UDS
European Members: 10.00 USD
__________________________________________________________________EDIT 1: Greetings OTTI participants!
Hopefully you will be receiving your teas very soon! All packages went out Thursday and Friday with one exception. This was quite an undertaking, 3 OTTI-s at the same time. Note to self, don’t do that again!
This was also exasperated by several unanticipated delays, most notably a vendor who was most uncooperative and who I will be posting about shortly. Also there was a problem with the packaging! So, I did have to majorly improvise this time around! My apologies! Hopefully the packaging will be fully resolved in time for the next OTTI.
So when you receive your OTTI, I would suggest opening it up and placing the samples into more packaging. You can place the samples in their current wrapping directly into a canister or a vendor foil bag.
The packing is a bit of a balancing act. I would not want to over extend thus significantly increasing the participants cost for the OTTI-s, but the packaging was NOT as planned and will improve!!!
So, look for improvements there. This being the first rounds, there will be a learning curve. I am open to constructive comments, suggestions!
OK, now on to the TEA!
Remember to post in the OTTI topics!!!
__________________________________________________________________EDIT 2: OTTI Round 2 Oolong!
Some of these I never tried before ... so we learn and experiment together!!!
Be sure to use all your senses in the tasting, smelling the dry leaf, observing it dry and wet, again smelling the brewed tea, etc.
There should be 4 samples, plus a bonus selection. So 5 total. The primary players in this OTTI are the 3 Adagio Masters Green Oolong, namely Masters Ali Shan, Fujian TKY, and Taiwan Pouchong. So, that is the first and primary focus of our OTTI #2.
Each sample contains virtually 8 grams of leaf with a few exceptions, so if you use half for each session, that is 4 grams. I am offering the leaf ratio I used for each, however you can adjust according to your taste.
The 4th sample varied a bit as did the bonus selection! They should all be interesting selections and include one darker oolong as the 4th sample. Some received Rishi's Bai Hao Hsinchu which I quite enjoyed. Some received Adagio's Dan Cong which is a very approachable Dan Cong. And others received an aged Zhong Shan Baiye. Might have been one more?
For the bonus, most participants received "similar" Adagio Oolong to the 3 Masters Green Oolong, namely ... their regular Ali Shan (their first ever Ali Shan) and Huang Jin Bolero (similar to a TKY).
After this was depleted, I made sure everyone received an interesting bonus anyway! Some received Ancient Tea Flowers which are actual flowers from ancient tea trees used in Pu-erh production in Yunnan ... this tea does not fit into any normal "type" but is something that the few lucky particiapants should enjoy.
__________________________________________________________________ EDIT 3: Brewing.
OK, I have brewed a LOT of oolong, but I am more of a greenie as everyone knows. Thus please chime in with your ideas and how your way is different. My temps tend to be a tad cooler as well, the influence of liking green teas? So, there is not a strict right or wrong here, adjust to taste, experiment ... AND HAVE FUN!!! Brewing vessels.
I will be using a gaiwan or gaiwanesque (gaiwan for dunmmies ... or gaiwan with panache depending on who you ask). On ocassion I will use glass for increased observation of the unfurling of the leaves. How much.
If you have been on TC long enough, you have likely heard the term ratio used in determining how much leaf to use. A ratio is simply general or preferred strength that allows increasing and decreasing of either leaf weight or volume water while keeping the strength steady.
Generally, the longer you have been drinking oolong, the higher leaf ratio you will use. Newer to oolong, you will generally use lower ratios. But give the higher ratios a try!
Your leaf ratio is calculated X grams leaf : Y ounces water. If you fill in the grams at 4, you can adjust the amount of water to find your ratio. Or you can fill in a value for the water and adjust the amount of leaf. I am suggesting using 4 grams leaf for each session and adjusting the amount of water. And I offer corresponding amounts of water below based on using 4 grams, rounded off. This will also give you 2 full sessions, just use half each time.
1:1 4 grams : 4ounces water. I would call this semi gong fu. You can offer alternative suggestions!!!
You will know you are in the ballpark if the leaves virtually fill the brewing vessel after a few steeps.
Or you can eyeball oolong pretty easily. Fully covering the bottom of your vessel is about right for the "balled" oolong. Half full or even more is about right for the wiry, fluffy oolong.
But for actual tastings, many brewers want it a bit on the precise side, then they will brew more casually with later sessions.
(then again, oolong can be brewed in a semi Western style as well)Temperatures!
This is so subjective. I have observed those who like darker oolong also tend to brew their greener oolong hotter than some who I would classify as green tea drinkers. So, this will be an area of some debate!!!
Temp wise I will share what I do, and by all means, other participants may offer alternatives. For greener oolong I simply pour the boiling water in to a cooling pitcher and then intuitively pour this over the leaves when I feel the temp is right.
Darker Oolong, up to boiling.
Time for this semi gong fu ... around a minute. I judge by aroma mostly, and somewhat by color. Problems:
Too intense, decrease leaf. Too bitter, decrease temp and/or time. Cooler water makes for a less aromatic but sweeter cup. Multiple steeps.
Absolutely! A good rule of thumb for me (you may need to adjust) …
2nd 185*, 30-60 sec
3rd 190*, 60 sec
4th 195* 60-120 sec
This is something I do not really regulate closely, just kind of go with the flow.