OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Remick » Sep 22nd, '12, 03:48

That's IT!!! I've had it... I can't deal with the stigma. I've become the absolutely loony outlier who wouldn't know a good tea from... nevermind :mrgreen:

So here's the plan: I'm going to put in an order for Imperial Pearl (among others). I'll brew that beast 'till she sings like Susan Boyle. And it WILL be glorious! When that epiphany happens, I'll post it.

Before I place the order, of the teas that were NOT in this OTTI, are there any selections I should try? Has anyone had either the Spring or Winter Mountain Oolong? No need to worry, I'll keep my reviews to myself. :lol:
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby minor_glitch » Sep 22nd, '12, 04:05

Sorry I've been silent up until now! I just finished piecing together the photos I took for all these teas.
I took some minimal tasting notes, but I'm not very articulate or experienced in describing tastes. So instead, here are a bunch of photos with minimal, nonsensical notes.

Jade Oolong
Image
Large: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8436/8011316030_9e0775e178_b.jpg

The photos are really long, so I'll just link to the rest.

As for the jade, I found it ok. Somewhere in the middle of the pack. Mild overall. Couldn't figure out the taste, but when I read the "sweet corn" description it made sense. Fairly nice.

Medium Roast Tie Guan Yin
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8033/8011315766_957c36a73a_b.jpg
Nice chocolate smell. Bit floral, subtle hints of fruit, not bitter, even with a long brew. Very good, but not the best.

Imperial Pearl
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8461/8011316116_fa62145f80_b.jpg
My only notes for this one were "spicy, sweet, malt, caramel?" No idea what I meant there.haha I remember this one being REALLY enjoyable. Probably why I just scribbled down random words. Definitely in my top 2.

Medium Dong Ding
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8296/8011315878_85f5b08394_b.jpg
Fairly deep herbal tastes, not chocolatey like tie guan yin. Nice, but not as memorable as others.

Lishan Spring
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8449/8011310061_1181358170_b.jpg
Floral, slightly spicy taste with a... tartness? (but not bitter). You can tell it's a green. Reminded me of x-mas (no idea why). Tied with imperial pearl as my fav.

Oriental Beauty Cake
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8038/8011309799_2b67c0739e_b.jpg
My thoughts are in line with everyone else on this one. Nothing to write home about, but ok. I like to believe it would get better with age.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby rhondabee » Sep 22nd, '12, 18:44

With all the discussion about the Imperial Pearl, I finally decided to try it, along with the Oriental Beauty cake. I am a devotee of green oolongs, so really oxidized oolongs aren't my favorite (other than certain Phoenix oolongs).

For the Imperial Pearl, I brewed half the sample in a 120 ml gaiwan. I used just under boiling water and the infusions were probably all under 30 seconds, because even the flash rinse was dark. Oh, the scent of the dry tea was very nice and chocolaty. I found this tea to be very rich & fruity with a lot of complex aromas. I can't believe that this tea was not roasted at all - it wasn't overwhelming by any means, but I swear I smelled a little smokiness in the wet leaves. Overall I liked it for the type of tea that it is. I think I brewed about 5 infusions, and could have brewed it more.

I next tried the Oriental Beauty cake. I used a little less than 1/2 the sample. Compared to the Imperial Pearl, I was struck by how much greener smelling the dry leaves were. I again brewed in 120 ml gaiwan & used slightly under boiling water. I again used under 30 second infusions for the 1st 2 steeps, slightly longer for the 3rd (I'm drinking now). This is a much more simple, lighter tasting tea. I smell the stone fruit in the wet leaves, but also what smelled to me like mushroom (clean, light button mushroom scent). The actual taste was simple and slightly sweet. I really didn't get much astringency or any harshness, probably because I brewed it much lighter than others.

I'm not going to give a rating, because I don't feel qualified to do so. I hardly ever drink this type of tea, but I can say they were both enjoyable teas.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby tst » Nov 16th, '12, 03:42

Finally posting after trying each of these over the past few months.

I really liked the Medium Roast Dong Ding Special Reserve when I first brewed it. We were on vacation up in wonderful Humboldt county, staying just a few hundred yards from the coast line. The tea was very nice brewed in my little 65ml gaiwan and we could definitely make out some of the sweet barley notes. Brewing it back home a second time, I decided to try to brew it in my thick-walled zhuni xishi pot from Teamasters. Perhaps the pot muted the tea as I did not care for the tea nearly as much this time around. Tried brewing it a third time using a thin-walled zhuni shui ping (also from Teamasters) and found it more agreeable. Really like the degree of roasting of this tea and the feel it is well made.

Usually not as big of a fan when it comes to TGY (we gravitate more towards dong dings). Not sure how I feel about this tea. Have tried it three different times ... brewed the same as the Dong Ding above and had similar results. Picked up some of the fruity notes.

The LiShan may have been too green for my liking. Very floral but I typically don't find LiShan to be very interesting or complex (maybe I haven't found the right stuff yet).

The Jade Oolong was more interesting to me. Got some floral notes, but also got some of the corn. Definitely worth a try if looking for a greener oolong to try.

Oriental Beauty ... what can I say? From the few OBs I've tried, I can say I'm not a fan. Can't say I was getting any apricot or spice. I always get some sort of citrus flavor when I drink OB, and this tea had it as well.

And the Imperial Pearl ... interesting tea. I have not tried many dark oolongs, so having such strong cocoa/chocolate flavors really was a welcomed surprise. I'd recommend it to someone who hasn't tried many darker oolongs just to have the experience. At the end of the day, I can say I don't feel particularly drawn to this type of tea, though I can respect it for what it is.

I'd like to thank Mountain Tea for making these samples available to us here. It really is a great opportunity to learn and sample a nice variety of teas from a great vendor, and to be able to try teas from a grower/buyer vendor is truly special. I've already passed along the vendor's information to a friend of mine looking for some oolong.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby AdamMY » Feb 4th, '13, 21:49

I know I am late to the party. But I found a sample of the Medium Roast Dong Ding in my sample bag... Having it now... (actually had the first try at it a week or so ago, that did not go well).

I will say it is going better than the first time.

The huge overwhelming con-- this tea smells like horrible perfume. It is almost making me sick. Though when I muster the courage to taste it, its quite nice to drink. Mild but very nice flavors, and not harsh like the aroma suggests.

Honestly its a very consistent tea from start to 6 steeps in ( but its getting late so I am calling it a night from tea).
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby ceterisparibus » Feb 5th, '13, 23:34

It's funny you mention perfume, Adam.

Your comments pertain to the Dong Ding but that's something I noticed in the Imperial Pearl. That it seemed to be almost cloyingly floral in fragrance but not taste - perfume came to mind.

Did anyone else get that?

I have been enjoying the cocoa notes in the IP. It's a very different tea than anything I've had previously.

Note, I'm not part of the official tasting but did purchase some based on the tasting reviews. Unfortunately, they were out of 2oz Oriental Beauty which is another one that sounded interesting to me.

J
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby sriracha » Nov 15th, '13, 09:27

Wow, quite the heated discussion over the Imperial Pearl... :o

Trying it for the first time myself today(late I know...but what can I say...I'm good at misplacing things) at work and I find it quite charming, definitely more Raider* than Raid ;) Reminiscent of hwangcha...sweet but enough bite to keep me interested. Will probably put in an order when my sample is gone. =)

Thanks Chip for introducing me(us) to this vendor!



*=or Twix perhaps
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby ethan » Nov 15th, '13, 22:42

Ah, you make me remember Imperial Pearl which I like a lot. It is somewhat similar to my very favorite tea; yet, I miss Imperial Pearl. It is good enough & unique enough to miss, even when I have a couple of very good teas in stock.
A little promotion (say 15% off) & I bet a bunch of us would ignore how broke we are or how much extra tea we already have, & order .....
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Alucard » Jan 16th, '14, 16:46

How does the imperial pearl compare to something like Norbu's alishan red oolong?
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby ethan » Jan 16th, '14, 18:42

Alucard, I haven't had tea from Norbu; so, I cannot help you. As I said, Imperial Pearl is somewhat similar to the Thai red oolong that I have daily but unique & special enough to merit getting in addition to it. Yet, I haven't had any for quite a while.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby debunix » Jan 16th, '14, 20:47

That's a tea I haven't ordered from Norbu, but it sounds intriguing enough all by itself that I would order some just to check it out, if some is available by the time of my next order.
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Re: OTTI 15 MountainTea, Range of Taiwan Oolong

Postby Alucard » Jan 16th, '14, 21:36

debunix wrote:That's a tea I haven't ordered from Norbu, but it sounds intriguing enough all by itself that I would order some just to check it out, if some is available by the time of my next order.


I've ordered several times from Mountain Tea, mostly for their Lishan, and I'm fairly sure I would like the imperial pearl oolong. I typically drink high mountain green oolongs or yunnan blacks so the alishan red was an amazing discovery; thanks to a sample provided by Greg at Norbu. I've already ordered more.

The point of this post is that I don't see many unroasted, higher oxidized high mountain oolongs - unless i'm looking in the wrong places. Anyway, I do plan to get imperial pearl from Mountain Tea during my next order.
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