OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby debunix » Aug 6th, '12, 23:45

Today, I brewed up all the rest of the imperial pearl, bulk brewed for the thermos. Done this way, it reminded me a bit of the Hankook oolong tea, deep and oxidized and sweet and fruity, with hints of the bitterness that I find in C-T-C assam teas, but only hints--just little reminders that it could bite back if not treated with respect. And the interesting flavor--anise plus clove but less spicy and plummier than that--or maybe prune-ier?--held beautifully for several hours. A very interesting tea! I'm not sure why I stopped with it during the tasting--now I'm liking it more.

I can't say anything about the brewing conditions because it was very casually bulk brewed in the kamjove, kettle set to 185, but I can say that it did admirably under these conditions. I'll try some of it for a change when I make an order--and I will be making an order from these folks, when I drink my present stock down a bit.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Poohblah » Aug 8th, '12, 23:33

Today, Oriental Beauty Cake, brewed gongfu-style like the others, but perhaps slightly heavy-handed. Lots of broken leaves; took a few brews to open up. An odd tea. To me, it tastes a little like an OB but with the bite of young sheng. I also found it to be a little cloying or mouth-drying. Overall, I found this tea to be just too astringent in those ways, though it did have hints of the sweet, full-bodied profile that I like in OB. I'm going to try brewing the rest of the sample Western style.

Image

(edit - I didn't even look at the other reviews for this tea before posting, but I find it interesting how all of them say nearly exactly the same thing, especially in comparison with some of the other samples)
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Poohblah » Aug 9th, '12, 17:18

OB Cake, round 2. Brewing "Western style" (about 2 grams in about 200mL - I suppose "true" Western style would use a half liter pot instead) with a flash rinse to open up the tea and get rid of bits & pieces. Reducing the tea/water ratio cut back on the sharpness a little, but it also diminished the OB's characteristic cream & citrus flavors. At first, I thought the new flavor balance was a little cleaner and more palatable, but later infusions simply tasted mixed-up or muddy, and still the tea dries out my mouth.

I will give this tea one last try, Western style again, but with lower temps and shorter brews, as I fear that long, hot steeps bring out the astringency in this tea.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby MIKE_B » Aug 9th, '12, 23:26

Medium Roast TGY
Brewed gongfu style. Very similar roast as the Dong Ding. Lighter, maybe a bit greener. Pleasant but nothing super exciting. Brewed out pretty quickly.
If I was going to pick one of this style from this vendor, I would go with the DD. The DD had a bit more to offer and lasted longer.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby etorix » Aug 10th, '12, 01:14

Started with the Jade Oolong [they got here yesterday] ..

fresh, clean, a tea i could drink everyday ... i like green oolongs

this must be about the 5th Taiwan supplier ive sampled, so this tastes quite familiar

but excellent

4.5
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby hopeofdawn » Aug 10th, '12, 13:15

I've only managed to sample two so far, but here are my thoughts:

Spring Lishan:
Brewed about 3 grams (didn't break out the scale, sorry!) in 120 ml pot.

Dry: tight green rolled balls, very lovely floral scent, as expected from a Lishan.
Wet: Floral scent became muted very quickly, much to my surprise--still a nice green/floral aroma, but a great deal more subdued.

First steep: after an initial rinse, about 45 secs at 160F. Yellow-honey liquor, nice round brew, but much lighter than FLT's Lishan. Odd bitter edge to the taste.

Second brew: about 10-20 secs at 160F--thicker this time, with more savory notes I expect from a Lishan. But doesn't linger on the tongue very long, and still has a bit of an astringent/bitter aftertaste that I can't seem to get rid of.

Third brew: I brewed hotter this time--about 45 secs at boiling. This brought out more of the floral notes of the tea, but also enhanced the rougher edges as well. I think I still haven't found this tea's true sweet spot yet. Successive brews tapered off very quickly; the tea didn't have much staying power, though admittedly I didn't pack the pot as much as I could have.

Overall, if I'd never tasted another Lishan, I'd call this a nice solid oolong, but compared to FLT's Lishan, this one came in second. Not a bad tea, just nothing that blew my socks off.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby hopeofdawn » Aug 10th, '12, 13:43

Roasted Tie Guan Yin:
Brewed about 3 grams again in 120 ml pot.

Dry: very warm, roasted scent
Wet: roasted scent deepened, was very pleasant, but no other real notes that I could detect

First steep: after an initial rinse, about 45 secs at 180F. Warm roasted taste, right out of the gate, nice and strong without being overpowering. Warms the insides nicely, though fairly one-note in taste.

Second brew: about 10-20 secs at 160F--a nice toasty brew. Still no other real notes to the taste other than the tea itself and the roasted flavor.

Third brew: about 45 secs at 160F again. Still holding on strong, nice solid taste. No real variation. But this sample did hold out a long time--for at least another 3-4 more brews with very solid results before starting to peter out.

I'd give this a 3, maybe a 3.5--it's a nice everyday kind of tea, I think, one that's easy to brew and warms you up nicely. I'd recommend it to people who like roasted oolongs, but who aren't expecting anything usual/exotic in their daily cuppa. :)
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby dshu » Aug 10th, '12, 15:41

Dong Ding / 4.0
The charcoal roast was very apparent in this one. Although, the sweeter flavors came out when I used less leaf and slightly lower temps. Underneath the charcoal flavor, there were mainly notes of grains, and later infusions mellowed out a bit and showed some sweeter fruity aspects. However, I still thought the roasted flavors dominated, maybe a little too much for my tastes.

TGY / 4.0
This tea also had a distinct roasted aroma, but it was much more mellow than the dong ding. I got a more fruity aroma later on. Like the dong ding, less leaf and lower temps brought out aspects that were otherwise covered up by the roast. Still, there was mainly a roasted flavor. Aside from that, floral hints as well as cider and honey. Again, the roasted flavor seemed to persist too much for me.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Remick » Aug 10th, '12, 22:39

First experience with Taiwanese Oolong so take this review lightly.

LiShan -
After OTTI 14's shincha, the intensely floral aspect was a pleasant change of pace. Noticeable eggplant or egg-like flavor. Overall, enjoyable. Parameters were 5g tea to 120 - 150ml (or a 1g:1oz average), forgot to write down temp but I'm pretty sure I started around 160 and progressed up to ~185. Times loosely followed: 30, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90+.
Solid, good, 4.0

OB Cake -
Plummy floralness. It fades quickly to decent black tea but cold brew of spent leaves for the morning was really nice. Parameters were 5g tea to 120 - 150ml (or a 1g:1oz average). Temp started at 185 and progressed to 205. Times loosely followed: 30, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90+.
Preferred the LiShan but still... solid, good, 4.0
Last edited by Remick on Aug 21st, '12, 14:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Chip » Aug 14th, '12, 20:51

FYI ...

If anyone is interested, they're offering 10% off their tea bags and green and dark oolongs.

Use coupon code SUMMER at checkout

http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=538 ... e40c6c8441
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby debunix » Aug 15th, '12, 02:21

Had a nice session with the TGY today, a thermos full. It was not quite as nice in this use as the Imperial Pearl, but had none of the astringent edge that sometimes makes my old standby supermarket brand TGY a little less than lovely.

Now milking some of the Jade oolong as far as possible, wanting to avoid overcaffeinating with another set of leaves, and it's making nice sweetwater at the end of some pleasant infusions. I brewed it in an unglazed shiboridashi, which might have robbed it of a few of the prior high floral notes.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby FlyedPiper » Aug 16th, '12, 13:12

Starting to work my way through these now. As usual my ratings are at the cost/payoff ratio :mrgreen:. Some of my quick initial impressions:

The Jade-

I brewed both of the green oolongs at 4 grams of leaf per 3 oz of water for longer steeps. This one brewed up a little light for my tastes... I would actually go a little heavier on the leaf with this one at higher temps and shorter steeps if I had more... Might bring out more of the high notes. It did have the nice floral, lavendary notes I expect in a gaoshan when brewed a little heavy handed. Good tea for the price, but not my bag.

3.5/5

The Lishan-

Been waiting all year to have some Lishan, and I was not disappointed with this one. All the high notes and eggynesss you want to push. Interesting enough to make you smile and want more. A great tea for the price... I will be ordering this one, or perhaps the winter harvest.

4.5/5

Medium Roast TGY-

Took the cold, rainy day as a sign to brew some roasted TGY. All in in a 120 ml gaiwan. Took a couple steeps to open up, but eventually yielded a nice warm, comforting, lightly roasted broth. Not complex, but satisfying. This is my first experience with medium roasting, but I like the level of spice. Not bad for the price... had about 6 brews and am now letting the leaf rest. We'll see how long this one goes.

4/5



I'm excited to try the DD next. Seems to be well received so far.
Last edited by FlyedPiper on Aug 31st, '12, 18:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Poohblah » Aug 19th, '12, 18:48

Haven't had tea for a while; I was busy moving. Anyway, I got a chance (finally) to try the last of the samples...

Medium roast Dong Ding. Easily my favorite of the bunch. It has everything - floral, fruity, buttery, creamy, spicy, toasty, caramel, and rich cocoa flavors. I think it is very well rounded, and I got the tea to last for many many steeps. It was easy to brew; it bit back a little if pushed too hard, but did not become unpleasant. I did half the sample gongfu style, but unfortunately I spilled water on the other half of my sample, so I immediately put it into a cup and stuck it into the fridge to cold brew overnight, which has turned out really really well. It did not get bitter at all. I will definitely find a way to acquire more of this tea.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby dshu » Aug 19th, '12, 23:52

imperial pearl / 3.5
I felt like this one was too close to a red tea for my tastes. I got a dark chocolate aroma with fruity nuances off of the leaf. The liquor was sweet and fruity with cocoa and some nuttiness - maybe sunflower seeds. I also got a lot of spice and a hint of citrus. It mellowed out in the last infusions to a bittersweet-water

oriental beauty / 4.5
The dry aroma reminded me of a young sheng, but the warmed leaves were honey sweet and reminded me of a chocolate orange. Initial infusions were sweet like milk chocolate, very smooth and rich. I still noticed orange and citrus notes. Again, i got a taste that reminded me of a young sheng. It got more spicy and seedy/nutty later on. I kept infusing even after it hit sweetwater because it still had a nice milky, chocolatey taste to it. I really liked the look and colors of the wet leaf, reminded me of autumn.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Chip » Aug 20th, '12, 19:44

Thanks everyone for posting comments and reviews. It is amazing how varied impressions have been so far! :mrgreen:

BTW, I think I have refunded partial payments to those of you who had paid for 2X samples for this round but received singles. Please double check and let me know if I missed you. Thanks.
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