OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby BJB » Jul 20th, '13, 01:46

I'm finally getting a chance to write about my experience so far with OTTI 19. I too started from the lowest price selection and am trying to work my way up to the Da Yu Ling.

I should start off by saying I'm new to serious tea drinking (3 months) but almost all of my tea experience is with Formosa Mountain Oolongs such as tea from Lishan, San Lin Xi, & Dong Ding so I at least have a baseline to approach these teas. Also this was my first time using such high tea to water ratios and now I'm hooked.

I used the whole 10 grams in a 4oz Porcelain Pot with each, warming the pot first, then doing a rinse and allowing the leaves to open for a minute as instructed. Just off-boiling water.

2013 Spring, Shan Lin Xi: Long-Feng-Xia:
My steeps went something like this: 15, 15, 30, 45, 1m, 1.5m, 2.5m, 3.5m.

The tea started off with a wonderful floral smell with a fantastic sweet taste and moved to a more buttery aroma after the second steep. Around the 3rd steep it had a pronounced light sweet buttery aftertaste. At this point I had to leave the tea for awhile and it just left me with a great sweet taste lingering in my mouth. It was a new experience for me. I loved it.

I ended up steeping it 8 times and it did become quite light but still sweet and the tea could have kept going, I had to quit on the tea.

I did leave my last steep in the Fair Cup and let it cool down and the cooled tea had a great sweet taste.

I loved this tea and so far it is the best experience I have ever had with a Gao Shan Cha. I will definitely order some when I get a chance.

2013 Spring, Lishan: Cui Luan Light Roast Oolong

My steeps with this tea went something like this: 15, 15, 30, 45, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 3m, 4m.

This tea was a much different animal so to speak from the Shan Lin Xi. It started off with a buttery smell with no floral tones and a very interesting throat feel. By the 3rd steep it got a little astringent but it had a sweet roasted taste. Like described in a few posts in this thread, this tea had a much less obvious in-your-face appeal and a much more mysterious phantom like quality. At first I didn't care for it but then it just won me over and I don't really know why. I definitely felt the mouth watering aspect of the tea. Although it had lightened up considerably near my last few steeps I was still enjoying it.

I also tasted the last steep completely cooled down and it had a lovely floral sweet taste.

I do believe I would order this one as well.

2013 Spring, Lishan: Fushoushan High Mountain Oolong

My steeps for this one went: 15, 15, 30, 45, 1m, 2m, 3m, 4m.

For me this tea started off with a buttery smell which increased with a vegetal taste. Around the 4th steep it became a little astringent and by the 5th steep it had become pretty light.

The cooled down last steep had a nice taste.

Not sure why but although I thought this was clearly a high quality tea, it didn't really appeal to me anywhere near as much as the Shan Lin Xi or Cui Lan.

I don't think I will order this tea.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby SilentChaos » Jul 20th, '13, 13:49

AdamMY wrote:
SilentChaos wrote:Glad to see everyone enjoying the teas. :D

I've been reading all the posts and following everyone's opinions and preferences. It might be interesting to note that the Lishan: Fushoushan and to a lesser extent the ShanLinXi: Long Feng Xia are classic examples of greener gaoshan oolongs, minimal oxidiation and roast with high fragrance. The flavour and aroma is all up front. An even better example of this greener style of gaoshan would be the bonus DYL. The Lishan: Cui Luan, in contrast, is slightly more traditional in style - heavier oxidation with a constrained but noticeable roast. The meat of the tea shows up in the aftertaste and hui gan. (A tea like this should get better after spending sometime stabilizing.)



Just curious where does the Hua Gang fall in the scope of things? Had that one again last night, and I felt I nailed it this time, it was really nice all the way through.


The Lishan: Hua Gang is between the Lishan: Cui Luan and the ShanLinXi LongFengXia. The Hua Gang has solid oxidation but little to no roast. For some perspective, although the Lishan: Cui Luan is more traditional in style, it is still considered green, far from a fully traditional gaoshan.

For those who found the Lishan: Fushoushan too light or weak, I suspect you'll enjoy Hua Gang and Cui Luan more. :wink:
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby rhondabee » Jul 20th, '13, 16:28

I am trying the Cui Luan today. I thought I was drinking it last week, but that the was the Hua Gang. My first thought when smelling the broth of the first steep is that it is sweet/savory blend with a hint of cloves. I'm also smelling that in the scent of the wet leaves. I'm not that big of a fan of roasted teas, but this roast is so light, I can barely tell and feel it adds to the savoriness of the scent of the tea. The taste is really nice and slightly buttery.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby lordmage » Jul 21st, '13, 16:45

well i finally had time to take a second helping of my Samples which was 2013 Spring, Lishan: Cui Luan Light Roast Oolong
http://media-cache-ec3.pinimg.com/originals/55/42/cd/5542cd7cd0fdc332134050e4232bdbb3.jpgi am going to have to agree with the spot on review by BJB.
i totally agree with his experiences, i do like this tea better than my first one. may end up getting some but i will hold final judgement for the final tea off sample.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby Splinters » Jul 22nd, '13, 10:55

I finished my last sample this weekend: the Da Yu Ling. It's another subtle tea, with a complex melding of flavors, more on the buttery, soupy side than green, with a fleeting floral character. It maintains its subtle flavor well over several steeps. Very nice.

Some final reflections: Not surprisingly, I highly enjoyed the Long Feng Xia. I've always liked this tea, and its bold flavor and scent are ideal for me at this point in time (with kids, it's hard to find a quiet moment to appreciate fully the more subtle teas). Retrospectively, the Hua Gang and Fushoushan also stood out for me. But all were fine, fine teas.

Chip and SilentChaos -- thanks very much for making this tasting possible! I really enjoyed the initiative and had a great time trying all the super teas.
Last edited by Splinters on Jul 22nd, '13, 18:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby etorix » Jul 22nd, '13, 11:20

right then .. its a thundery monday in london :: my last 2 sessions were with Chinese teas, but the one before that was a Fushoushan from another vendor
so im starting with the
2013 Spring, Lishan: Fushoushan High Mountain Oolong :
all 10gms into my usual 200ml SplitHat pot

the dry tea smells good .. hot rinse

oddly the spout blocked up a few times pouring off the rinse, that never happens

water off-the-boil

the wet tea smells even better, leaf color is excellent, really saturated .. filling the pot as expected

i dont find this at all thin, its a bit fruity + buttery, i can happily do this one all day
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby AdamMY » Jul 22nd, '13, 20:18

Continuing on a Monday night quest to finish as many teas as I can. As it is after 8pm when starting the last of the Lishan Hua Gang I think this is the end of the road for tonight. I had a scary realization as to other teas that I have stacked up that I am working on.... I haven't done the math, but I would not be shocked if my tea consumption has been more than Quartered from where it was as a student!

General brewing suggestions for the Hua Gang, brew it strong but weak! I have gotten my best results using a lot of leaf, but easing into the brews. By that I mean start of short, and work your way up in time slowly but surely.

I feel like I should remind people when I give my suggestions that I actually placed a separate order from Tony for the OTTI, as I knew I would like the tea and want more than 10g of most if not all. so I got the 37.5 gram size for all but the three DYL, which I got 75g.

but I brewed this tea about 8-10 grams per 60ml vessel. ( I get out far less than 60ml :mrgreen: )
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby whatsinaname » Jul 23rd, '13, 09:10

Agree with Adam on brewing parameters. This is how I brew all my gaoshan oolongs.

My order from Origin has mistress oolong and wife puerh sharing a box for the ride over. Hope they don't fight too much!
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby Fabien » Jul 23rd, '13, 14:38

Being one of the "overseas" paricipants, I only got my teas a few days ago and just finished today to taste them all.
I chose to taste all of them blind and without looking at OriginTea listings.

Here are my raw feelings on those 5 teas, after I discovered their labels, in the order I drank them :

Lishan Hua Gang
. really odorant dry leaves (strong milky flavor with citrus notes), turns out even more milky in the preheated gaiwan.
. rinsed leaves partly loose that milky scent, getting more grassy with the citrus notes increasing... interesting and not common for me for a Lishan...
. Brews mostly exhibited a light astringency with tastes evolving on a fresh grassy backround and toward more creamy/buttery notes on the latest brews compared to lighter flowery/citrus notes (reminds me of honeysuckle) on the very first infusions.
. Sweet aftertaste, huigan that coats the throat with spicy notes.
. Nice cooling body effect (and these last days were very hot for the season here), rather energizing (chest).
. Conclusion : not what I'd call a typical "green trend" Gao shan cha but fits heavenly to the tastes I appreciate. Very interesting and powerful citrus scents. Yummy huigan.

Lishan Cui Luan
. dry leaves scent indicate a stronger roast than the Hua gang with bread and bakery notes along with a touch of flowers, turns more grassy in the preheated gaiwan.
. rinsed leaves partly loose the roast scents, getting very sweet/sugary with the flowery notes increasing, almost fruity. Promising!
. Brews mostly exhibited a light astringency on the tongue with tastes ranging from very sweet sugary flowers to a bit more buttery notes confirming a well balanced roast. Appearance of light citrus notes on later brews.
. Nice aftertaste (mostly on nose and front of palate).
. Nice refreshing body effect (and these last days were very hot for the season here), less energizing than the Hua gang (chest).
. Conclusion : another Gao shan cha that's not on the greener side which is a positive point for me. Very balanced, pretty much the taste I like, probably due to the roast. Leaves look smaller than the previous (lower altitude?).

Shan lin xi Long feng xia
. dry leaves scent is much lighter than the two previous (probably no roast) but with a hint of cane sugar on a grassy background. More what I'm accostumed to with greener Gao shan cha.
. rinsed leaves are on the sweet side, herbaceous background, flowery and mountain grass notes.
. Brews : this time I'm in the typical greener Gao shan cha territory, lighter color of the liquor, vivid, grassy with bright white flowers notes, and a touch of citrus. A touch of butter on the very first infusion (very very light roast maybe...). Almost sparkling on the tip and edges of the tongue. Very consistant, w/o a lot of variations through the brews.
. Long delicate aftertaste, limited in intensity compared to both previous teas (mostly on nose and front of palate). Limited to the tongue and palate, doesn't go neither up to the nose or down in the throat.
. Cooling body effect, as expected for me with this family, strongly energizing (lower chest, stomach (unusual...), back of head and neck).
. Conclusion : a "typical" green Gao shan cha. Maybe a bit too monotone for my personal taste. But this kind of quality and finesse could make me change and appreciate these teas in very hot days.

Lishan Fu shou shan
. dry leaves : the lighter odor so far, light scents of fresh bread. In the preheated gaiwan, it's more on the very sweet grassy side (heavy scent) immediately made me think of cooked zucchini (with sugar...).
. rinsed leaves : cane sugar, very dense flowery scent and an unusual raw potato touch (the sweet Brittany variety).
. Brews : like the previous tea, typical greener Gao shan cha markers, light color, very light aromas (even lighter than the previous green one). White flowers notes dominates, limited herbaceous touch. Absolute need for very hot water. Unlike the others, I had to reheat water for each brew. A light astringency appears on later brews (5th or so). I tried longer than usual brews and got more body (and absolutely no bitterness).
. Aftertaste very moderate in intensity even compared with the previous green one (tongue and palate only).
. Intense cooling body effect, but unexpectedly rather relaxing compared to all other quite energizing teas.
. Conclusion : another "typical" green Gao shan cha. This one's really too light and monotone for my taste. But always perfectly balanced. Thicker stems with medium sized leaves, different compared to the others.

Da yu ling 95k
. dry leaves : more powerful than the two previous. Buttery, touch of flowers, lightly grassy. In the preheated gaiwan gets even more grassy, and sweeeeeeeeet.
. rinsed leaves : like the Fu shou shan Lishan, a mix of cooked zucchini/raw potato, with hints of fruits this time, sweeter.
. Brews : very light astringency followed by a nice bitterness (on the front of the tongue). Very punchy impression, really fresh in mouth. Very bright, perfectly balanced with grass and flowers at the same level and a touch of citrus. More intense than the Fu shou shan one, it handled extremely well lower temp brewings that gave very sweet mouth-coating liquors. Very full, silky body. A light but noticeable touch of salt appeared on 3d and 4th brews. Taste doesn't weaken easily on the 8th first steeps. Powerful leaves!
. Aftertaste increased slowly, started on palate, expanded to entire mouth and then to throat.
. For me, it's the most energizing of all teas tasted. Very significant increase of blood pressure (head, neck stomach). Not as cooling as the Fu shou shan Lishan.
. Conclusion : very aromatic green Gao shan cha, always perfectly balanced. Powerful!! Weakens very slowly and thus I spent a long time with it.


After these initial tastings (I luckily have one and a half packet left of each) I'll really continue with pleasure having all these OriginTea leaves. Especially the Da yu ling (top quality green Gao shan cha that impressed me a lot) and the Hua gang (more oxidized tea, long spicy huigan that I appreciate a lot). Cui luan is also very interesting for me with a more roasted touch. Overall very high quality teas SC, a very nice offering that makes me want to try other teas from your selection. Thanks to you and to Chip for all the work!
Last edited by Fabien on Jul 23rd, '13, 17:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby SilentChaos » Jul 23rd, '13, 15:57

Fabien wrote:... After these initial tastings (I luckily have one and a half packet left of each) I'll really continue with pleasure having all these OriginTea leaves. Especially the Da yu ling (top quality green Gao shan cha that impressed me a lot) and the Hua gang (more oxidized tea, long spicy huigan that I appreciate a lot). Cui luan is also very interesting for me with a more roasted touch. Overall very high quality teas SC, a very nice offering that makes me want to try other teas from your selection. Thanks to you and to Chip for all the work!


Quite impressive palate you got there. Spot-on on the style of each tea!
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby Fabien » Jul 23rd, '13, 16:58

Thanks SC, I was happy to see there was a kind of logic between what I felt and the reality of things.
That was really interesting from my side because I'm not used to really analyze the teas I drink at home, keeping things simple and leaving my sensations and feelings guide me toward teas I will buy in larger quantities. But I also worked as a tea sommelier for some time and I've been drinking chinese tea for 15 years, that also helps!
Great teas you have there by the way, I'll have to further test the other teas of the selection (especially the roasted ones that are my teas of predilection).

Once again thanks to both Chip and you for providing us this opportunity of improving our taste buds and other perceptions. And also learning relativity and uniqueness of each one of us in tea as none of us had the exact same descriptions and sensations.

What a wonderful (tea) word!
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby etorix » Jul 23rd, '13, 17:58

next up for me the
2013 Spring, Shan Lin Xi: Long-Feng-Xia:

bit plainer, maybe less aromatic than the foushoushan: still a hi-quality Taiwan tho, i could see buying a pound of this

actually im kinda interested in Shan Lin Xi region tea, for no good reason that i can recall; this isnt the first example ive tried

EDIT :: on further steeps of this, im getting the impression of master processor work on this tea .. i wonder if thats at all accurate?
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby Fabien » Jul 24th, '13, 10:41

SC, after spending a nice moment browsing on OriginTea's site, I saw that most if not all of the oolongs are hand-picked. As all the teas we had in the OTTI exhibited very sharp and clear cut, is it becoming the rule for high-end teas in Taiwan to be plucked by hand with razor blades on fingers? The majority of Gao shan cha I had in these last few years were sharp-cut the same way.

I've seen more and more chinese producers doing so but a significant number of them, especially those dealing with high-end greens, continue to pick by hand without using razor blades. I understood that some of them were afraid that their customers would think their teas were machine-harvested.

Is it different in Taiwan? Is it different depending on the type and quality of teas? I'm interested in these different points of view.
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby saxon75 » Jul 24th, '13, 12:03

I tried my remaining three teas over the weekend: the Hua Gang, the DYL 95K, and the DYL 102K. All three were very nice.

I found the Hua Gang to have some pineapple notes, and a hint of smoke in the finish. In subsequent steeps it developed a bit of burnt sugar in the aroma. Nice huigan.

The DYL 102K was pretty amazing, but hard for me to pin down. It had a very complex flavor and aroma, where I could tell there was a lot going on but I couldn't pick out anything particular that I could put a description to. But the finish was very nice, and the liquor had a pleasant thickness to it that I really enjoyed. This is perhaps one of the best teas I've ever had.

Sadly, I accidentally did the 102K and the 95K in the wrong order--I had intended to drink the 95K first but got the bags mixed up, and I think that the 95K suffered a bit in comparison to the 102K. It was still very nice, but after just having had my socks knocked off by the 102K it didn't quite measure up. The things I wrote in my notes as being particularly noteworthy were a nice huigan and a pleasant texture and body.

All of these were 10g in a 180ml gaiwan, with one flash rinse.

Hua Gang: 20 sec/40 sec/80 sec/2 min/4 min @ 95C
DYL 95K: 20 sec/40 sec/60 sec/2 min/4 min @ 95C
DYL 102K: 20 sec/40 sec/60 sec/2 min/4 min/6 min @ 95C
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Re: OTTI 19 OriginTea "Event of the Season!"

Postby etorix » Jul 24th, '13, 12:26

2013 Spring, Lishan: Hua Gang Oolong

10gm in 200ml split-hat Yixing

i fully intended the rinse/let-sit bit, but got distracted [by finding a da yu ling] :: and this one seems nothing-special anyway

nothing bad to say, but i wont re-visit, is my feeling

EDIT: but wait ..

after about 4 pours i had to go out, as it turned out, for a few hours

5 & 6 are being nicely nutty, bit creamy

and it feels like going on for a few more
Last edited by etorix on Jul 24th, '13, 22:39, edited 1 time in total.
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