OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby debunix » Jul 30th, '12, 01:47

First impression is that these teas range from nice to very very nice to wow. I still haven't gotten to the end of the last one, after a tandem tasting of all 6 through the day. I've been filling in a spreadsheet with my impressions, and have to figure out how to post it here.....might just have to link to it on my web page. The Li Shan was the wow, and I'm still trying to get to the bottom of the Oriental Beauty, with flavor in such abundance that I'm still doing infusions under a minute at round 8.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby MIKE_B » Jul 30th, '12, 15:30

Oriental Beauty Cake
Mountain tea was generous with this sample. Mine weighed out to 15g. Since I had a little extra, decided to try this one two ways. In a 120ml gaiwan, I used 10g for gongfu then 5g for a more western style.
I didn't care for this tea gongfu style. Even with flash infusions, it was very bitter. Hard to taste anything past the astringency. It mellowed out some after 5 brews or so, but wasn't interesting enough to go much past that.
With lesser leaf, the tea was much easier to drink. It had a second flush Darjeeling muscatel taste. Clean astringent after taste. An oolong that could take milk and sugar (if that's your thing.) I took this one to 5 steeps and felt that was enough.
It has been many years since I had an Oriental Beauty and I've only had a couple ever. Maybe someone with more skill would enjoy this tea more. I felt it was too much like a Darjeeling. I'd rather drink a better Darjeeling.
OB noob rating...3
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Bob_McBob » Jul 30th, '12, 15:53

I wasn't expecting my OTTI samples to arrive until at least the end of the week, but the package showed up here in Ontario today. That was fast!

MIKE_B wrote:Even with flash infusions, it was very bitter. Hard to taste anything past the astringency. It mellowed out some after 5 brews or so, but wasn't interesting enough to go much past that.


Same experience here. I used 4.5 g in a 60 ml gaiwan. I started with a rinse, then did some 5-10 second infusions that were really weak. Brewing for longer got me a tiny bit more flavour, but introduced a lot of bitterness. Based on past experience with OB (it has been a while though), I was expecting a lot of sweetness, but I didn't notice much other than a bit of fleeting huigan.

I will try brewing Western style next, but I can't say I'd go out of my way to try this tea again after the sample is finished.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby BioHorn » Jul 30th, '12, 21:00

I brewed up 5g of Dong Ding in a 100-110 ml porcelain gaiwan. It was quite nice.
-boiling flush for +- 15 sec. Then left to open up for 5-10 min.
#1: +- 30-45 sec. At around 195F.
#2: abouth the same

It seemed a pretty easy brewer. Pushing on later brews added a slightly spicy note to the round balanced rich toastyness. Out of curiosity I did a middle brew at boiling point. That really blew out all the subtle middle notes. It seemed to do better with slightly lower temperatures and loner brews. It seemed pretty infusable. The day got late and I had to wrap it up before exhausting the leaf. I would serve this tea for guests.

This is my favorite tea so far (after Imperial Pearl and LiShan.) IP and LiShan are not really my style.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Poohblah » Jul 30th, '12, 21:31

Wow, opinions are all over the chart for this OTTI. Reviews for the O-Cha OTTI were all very similar to each other.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Poohblah » Jul 31st, '12, 13:22

Imperial Pearl. Gongfu style as for the others, but with slightly cooler water. Heavy, rich, warm, sweet, fruity, spicy, nutty. Very interesting; not something I expected from Taiwan. Strong dark chocolate/cocoa aroma and flavor along with cinnamon warmth fading into berries, citrus, and walnuts. Slightly bitter but not unpleasant in the same way that chocolate and walnuts are bitter. High notes fade out after several infusions leaving a pleasant chocolate flavor and sweet peachy aftertaste, but some of the peach flavor is probably a result of the bowl of ripe peaches in my room and not a component of the tea itself.

Image

I really like this one as well. As others have mentioned, it's an odd tea, with components of dark oolong as well as hongcha.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby AdamMY » Jul 31st, '12, 16:07

The Lishan is far far better in my opinion than the Imperial Pearls. First infusion was spot on in my opinion, while the tea did not have a ton of "wow" to it, it was up their with some of the best green Taiwanese teas I have had. ( Granted that tally is only about 8-10 teas).

First infusion was a lot of that egg profile people have mentioned, with hints of buttery and light crisp lettuce.

Second infusion is a lot more body, not as light and delicate ( though I perhaps went a touch too long on the steep). But it was still good, similar to the first but just heavier in taste and texture.

Third infusion, I adjusted based on the second and its better its almost fully back to the first, but landed between the first and second. Oddly I am getting baby carrots from this infusion.

I was incredibly pleased with this tea.

I'd give it a 4.5 to a 5 out of 5, depending on the season and your mood.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Poohblah » Jul 31st, '12, 18:12

AdamMY wrote:The Lishan is far far better in my opinion than the Imperial Pearls.
In my opinion, there is such a wide variety of tea in this OTTI that which tea we prefer comes down to a matter of personal preference rather than difference in the quality of the tea.

I tossed my spent Imperial Pearl leaves into a glass, poured cold water over them, and left them to brew in the fridge for a few hours. This is probably the most delicious iced tea I have ever tried. Noticeable cinnamon flavor.

Figuring that I didn't care much for the Lishan brewed hot, I cold-brewed the rest of my sample as well. Although it's a little bitter and I probably should have used less leaf, I find it much more enjoyable than when I brewed it hot.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby MIKE_B » Jul 31st, '12, 19:48

Spring Lishan
I am pretty much where AdamMY is with this one. This had just about everything I'd expect from a gaoshan. The buttery mouthfeel and flowery aroma were strong for the first few brews. Pleasant and refreshing. Thinned out a little quickly, but later longer steeps brought spice. Cinnamon notes.
I missed the baby carrots.
I would have rated this higher if it was a little bolder and lasted a bit longer. For the price, I think it is a great value.
4
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Bob_McBob » Jul 31st, '12, 23:20

AdamMY wrote:Dry leaf looks and smells amazing, quite dark and full of welcoming roasted aromas. With a good bit of spices in there to mix it up, and a slight note of milk chocolate. I will say these are tiny tiny little rolled up leaves, not as big as you typically seen from Taiwanese Oolongs.

Its interesting, though not my favorite taste wise, lots of spice, but the off putting part is it has a musky taste you sometimes find in certain red teas ( and those are the types of red teas I usually avoid).


I am not a big black/red tea drinker, but I think I get what you mean about the slight muskiness. I used around 5 grams in a 60 ml gaiwan. The leaves unfolded *really* quickly, so I actually seriously overbrewed the first couple infusions, which made it taste harsh and bitter. I got a better handle on the brewing time and got quite a few nice infusions before it faded.

It's really quite sweet and spicy, and reminded me a lot more of OB than the actual OB in the OTTI. Quite a potent flavour and aroma, if a bit one-dimensional. I'd say it's worth $5.50/oz if you like this style of tea.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby sherubtse » Aug 1st, '12, 05:37

I received my samples yesterday. Well-packaged, Chip, better than some tea I have ordered.

Many thanks.

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby AdamMY » Aug 1st, '12, 13:36

Medium Roast TGY today. Dry leaf looks how I would expect it to look, not vibrant green, but definitely not heavy roasted to a brown. The aroma is nice, with the subtle hint of roast bringing out darker and spicier flavors.

First infusion is interesting. Lovely warm spice aroma's, similar to a hot spiced apple cider (yes it does have that much sweetness to it). But the taste is a bit of a let down after that. Not that the taste is bad, it just lacks the pop, subtle hints of spices, touch of banana and dried apples. Actually this is a lot better once it cools a bit, to a more luke warm temperature.

Second infusion was very similar, though it didn't open up as quick as I thought, I should go a touch longer than 5 seconds for the second steep next time.


Oddly enough through 4 infusions it hasn't changed much, possibly only having a little more of the spices come through. This could possibly be an Energizer bunny tea, where it just keeps going and going and going.

This tea is definitely a solid 4 out of 5.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby spinmail » Aug 1st, '12, 13:52

My next two Mountain Teas, both winners:

LISHAN, SPRING
DRY LEAF: Somewhat irregular in shape, medium green, about 1/4"
INFUSED LIQUOR AROMA: Rich combination of aromas, including vegetal, golden raisin
INFUSED LIQUOR TASTE: Harmonious flavors, including what seems like a hint of Bergamot and vegetables, overlaid with with a sweetness reminiscent of yellow tea.
REMARKS: The best Mountain Tea I've sampled so far. Thirst-quenching and very nice with biscuits, this tea links together flavors that are rich and smooth. Bright yellow color. Includes single leaves, buds, and broken fragments - but the taste is exceptional. I steeped for a longer time, which benefitted the overall flavor.
RATING: 86/100, 4.5/5

MEDIUM ROAST DONG DING, SPECIAL RESERVE
DRY LEAF: Darker green, smaller rolled tea, somewhat irregular
INFUSED LIQUOR AROMA: Tart, rich, a touch of astringency,
INFUSED LIQUOR TASTE: No astringency on the taste, however. Liquor is medium yellow. Slightly smoky, floral, with an assertive sweetness underneath. Similar to the sweetness of yellow tea.
REMARKS: Medium yellow in color. The leaves are mostly buds with two or three leaves - a nicely made tea.
RATING: 84/100, 4/5
Last edited by spinmail on Aug 5th, '12, 01:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby rhondabee » Aug 1st, '12, 14:08

I have tried the jade and lishan oolongs so far. I've only had jade oolong (the particular cultivar) once before & it was so flowery I couldn't take it. This jade oolong was actually a little underwhelming and slightly astringent (mouth drying). It was pleasant enough, but too weak for my tastes. I used 1/2 the sample in 120 ml gaiwan. I'm thinking I simply do not care for jade oolong. I don't think jade oolong is typically grown at high elevations and maybe I am missing that high mountain taste.

The Lishan oolong was okay but not the best that I've had - I think though that I prefer winter harvested oolongs rather than spring and I am big on strongly scented gaoshan oolongs with a fairly heavy body. The scent of the wet leaves was very similar to the jade oolong, but a bit stronger scented. I detected a bit of citrus or orange scent, a bit of flower, but sometimes a strange scent mixed in that I can't identify. The tea tasted pleasant and lasted for quite a few infusions (I think 5-6) without getting weak. What I liked most about this tea was the very strong sweet aftertaste.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby the_economist » Aug 1st, '12, 15:47

I've held off making my comments til I've tasted 'em all at least once (twice for the ones I was less sure about). Generally I used half the sample in a 60ml gaiwan/pot. Mostly 3-4s brewing til the 3rd-4th infusion where I got more lax with timing. Boiling water tempered by pour stream.

Lishan - First time I used too few leaves, and brewed it in a gaiwan. Second time I used more and brewed it in a pot. The body was better, and mouthfeel was decent. It got to bitterness a bit too quickly when pushed, but for the price it was OK.

Jade - Flavours here were too weak for me. Perhaps it was subtle and I was just missing things. Pushing harder on the tea didn't do too much for flavour.

Both of the above had some nice smells.

Medium roast TGY - This is a pretty nice tea for the price. Solid enough, some nice flavours, nice aromas. As Taiwanese TGYs go, I liked it.

Medium roast Dong Ding - This was my best session of the lot. Good smells, good flavours, some throat feel and some aftertaste. Coated mouth and caused some lipsmacking. The roast level was nice (not too much).

Baihao - This I did not appreciate very much. Behaved like a darjeeling at first, and gave way to the usual red-tea type of taste. Flavours were weak but I think this tea would do better brewed Western style.

Imperial - A very strange tea indeed. Strong smells of chocolate/spice/medicine/i dunno what. Similar tastes. If you like its taste, it can be enjoyable, but not for me unfortunately.

As usual, HUGE thanks to Chip for putting in all the effort to source for OTTI offerings, it was educational for me and it's always good to exercise critical drinking (much like critical thinking).
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