OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby nickE » Jun 30th, '10, 02:22

Ok, it's time for my last review!

Adagio MS AliShan

Dry Leaves
Tightly rolled, different shades of green.

Aroma
The aroma reminds me of being in a greenhouse. :) Lots of flowery smells, also some "fresh" scents (reminds me of melon) at the finish. The aroma cup smells of honey when it has cooled.

Liquor
The soup is a clear light yellow. Deepens with each infusion.

Taste
The floral notes hit me first. They are followed by a lingering sweetness, not unlike white sugar, that stays on the palate. Subsequent infusions result in a "deeper" flavor with less floral notes, more honey & freshness.

Wet Leaves
Small-ish multi-leaf systems, some leaves are torn but mostly whole.

Overall
This is only my 2nd AliShan (ever), but I really enjoyed it. The Adagio pricetag is somewhat steep, so I'm not sure I would ever buy a tin. However, it was a lovely introduction to greener Taiwanese Oolongs.

Suggestions
I used enough dry leaves to liberally cover the bottom of the gaiwan. The first time I sampled this, I used 195F water, second time I used 180F (which I preferred). I increased the temp after every infusion though. Ended at 195F at the 5th steep.

I also found that much of the charm of this tea lies in it's aroma. This is why I heartily recommend using aroma cups when brewing it! :D

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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby rhondabee » Jun 30th, '10, 11:05

I tried the TKY again just now. My palate was clear - had nothing to eat since last night. Same mashed potatoes/starchy scent and taste. I had a co-worker smell the wet leaves - she couldn't identify the scent but guessed spinach. When I told her I thought it smelled like mashed potatoes, she said "that's it!" Even though the scent is strange, it is still okay to drink, but I have to stop after a few steepings.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby Dresden » Jun 30th, '10, 16:09

Just tried the Rishi Bai Hao... What an interesting flavor!!!

I will post a more detailed review once I have the second session and take some photos, but here are my initial impressions.

First off, this is my first non-green oolong. I find it has a very citric aroma and flavor. If I had to describe it I would say orange zest and spice with a nice tartness. The finish is surprisingly sweet and clean. It kinda reminded me of when you put a bit of refined sugar on your tongue.

Very nice brew.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby Mikael » Jun 30th, '10, 16:27

Thanks for offering your reviews everyone.. very interesting reads. Keep em' coming!
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby nickE » Jun 30th, '10, 21:42

Ok, it's time for my Oolong OTTI Wrap-Up! :lol:

I'm very hesitant to give teas an actual letter/number grade, because I always feel that I'm just pulling the grades out of my behind, not based on anything.

Instead I will rank the teas I tasted from best to worst.
    Adagio Fujian TKY - Top pick
    Bai Hao Hsinchu
    Adagio Alishan
    Adagio Pouchong
I hope everyone enjoyed their Oolong sampling! :D
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby chittychat » Jul 1st, '10, 02:41

Today my Round 3 Master of the Oolong arrived :) and after doing eenie meenie miny moe I will have Ali Shan shortly.

Two samples were packed in plastic zip bags which had a strong plastic smell. I immediately put the teas into another container and hope that smell was not absorbed.

Will try all teas first before I give my judgement.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby rhondabee » Jul 3rd, '10, 16:44

I am trying the Adagio Pouchong oolong. The first steeping gave me all kinds of different scents - the brewed tea was kind of vegetal scented, but slightly sweet - kind of like green peas. Then I kept smelling a slight sourness, which I identified as the scent of olives - strange, but not unpleasant. The wet leaves smelled fruity to me, like cooked apricots. Second steeping, the tea just smelled very floral, and the vegetal smell more subtle. Third steeping same floral scent. Taste is smooth, green and flowery. I forgot how much I enjoy Pouchong/Baozhong oolongs. Need to purchase some. Looking at the wet leaves, I agree with another poster that the leaves are not very uniform, pretty torn and the oxidation (the orange tinge on the edge of the leaves) is not very uniform. Some leaves are splotched with orange, some all green. I don't know how that affects the taste. The leaves are very thin, which is why I think they are so torn. Maybe they pick the most young, tender leaves for this tea?

Overall, I enjoyed drinking this tea. However, I have to add that the flavor doesn't last too long. I found it to be pretty weak by the 4th infusion. Maybe should have added the whole sample - I didn't use it all in one pot.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby Seeker » Jul 4th, '10, 16:08

Tasted the FTKY today.
Floral scents slightly reminiscent of orchids, typical TKY flavors with a steady background of...
mashed potatoes!?

Yep.
'fraid so.

Addendum: I want to add that I LOVE mashed potatoes, so I am not offended; also the starchy/mp flavors weren't totally dominant (tho quite a persistent element). I will also add that I don't prefer starchy/mp flavors in my tea, so this tea, compared to other TKY's I have had, gets a D.
Oh, and I brewed g f style, 1:1, at 205* for infusions 1 & 2, 1min per infusion.
Didn't care to infuse further.
Cheers.

pps- Chip, did I misread or is there no temp guideline posted for 1st infusion? Also couldn't find any brewing instructions @ Adagio? So I just went with my experience of brewing TKY @ 205.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby Victoria » Jul 4th, '10, 16:33

Oh no!! Well we are awaiting Geek's review of the official first batch comparison with the second. :?
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby Geekgirl » Jul 4th, '10, 18:33

Was actually getting ready to do that now. :)
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby brian » Jul 4th, '10, 19:03

I finally started on my Oolongs today, after finishing all of my OTTI shincha. I'm a total noob with oolong, so I'm approaching this as trying to learn to brew oolong and see if I like it rather than getting experience with new teas.

I kicked off with the Adagio Pouchong. 4 g. into a 150 ml gaiwan, and I followed Chip's suggested brewing parameters for the first few infusions, then just continued to go with boiling water and longer times until I was finished. I don't know how many infusions I got -- "a lot" is all I will say. It just kept on going, once I got up to about 6 minute infusions I started to lose interest. It's a much different world than sencha!

First couple of infusions seemed to be all about the aroma, very flowery/perfumey. The flavor was quite light, not sure if I should have brewed hotter, longer, or both. Flavor was pretty much as expected from the aroma, flowery, light, "tea-like" (duh, but really, that's what I was thinking -- this tastes like smooth, green-as-in-unripe tea), and a light acidity, sour rather than bitter. A pleasant cup, I liked the flavor profile and the balance, but I'm left wondering if I brewed a pretty typical cup of oolong, or if it should have been a bit more robust.

When finished (again, after many infusions), the expanded leaf pretty much filled the gaiwan; any more and I think it would have been a little too compact, and not able to open as fully, so I'm not sure if it would be advantageous to add more leaf in an attempt bump up the intensity.

Any brewing suggestions are welcome! I'll probably think about going hotter and longer on first couple of infusions next time, and stay with the same amount of leaf, but if anybody thinks that might be the wrong way to go I'm all ears.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby TubbyCow » Jul 4th, '10, 20:57

Question!

Um, these Ancient Tea Tree Flowers. How do I brew them? Can't seem to find much of anything about them anywhere, including the Rishi website.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby Victoria » Jul 4th, '10, 21:14

TubbyCow wrote:Question!

Um, these Ancient Tea Tree Flowers. How do I brew them? Can't seem to find much of anything about them anywhere, including the Rishi website.

I'm sure Chip will have different perimeters but I usually go with 208 degrees for 3 mins.

brian wrote:Any brewing suggestions are welcome! I'll probably think about going hotter and longer on first couple of infusions next time, and stay with the same amount of leaf, but if anybody thinks that might be the wrong way to go I'm all ears.


I always start with water just off boil. I use about a 1:1 ratio. This tea was a little flat with no real oomph.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby Chip » Jul 4th, '10, 21:48

Yeah, I tend to brew the Tea Flowers lower, this should not surprise anyone. I have brewed these particular TeaFlowers at 180*. Use half the sample and steep for maybe 1, 2, or 3 minutes. They are pretty easy brewers.

Again with the Pouchong, I tend to brew cooler. I think this will come down to personal preferences and what you want in a flavor profile. This is a source of much ... discussion on the forum, and disagreement.

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. Just what is right for the individual.

Like how you brew, brew how you like.
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Re: OTTI 2010 Round 3 Master of the Oolong ... and Reviews!

Postby nickE » Jul 4th, '10, 23:49

Chip wrote:Again with the Pouchong, I tend to brew cooler. I think this will come down to personal preferences and what you want in a flavor profile. This is a source of much ... discussion on the forum, and disagreement.

+1
For lighter Oolongs I tend to prefer the 180-185F range, at least for the first few infusions.

Also I like lots of leaf, should be filling the gaiwan when it is fully expanded. To each their own, though! :D
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