Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Miaoli, Miaoli, give me the formuoli.

Hello everyone, sorry for not posting on Friday but I was busy. I'm making up for it by posting today AND Friday.

Today I came home to see that the mailman left 2 packages on my porch, in plain sight. They do this often now, instead of placing packages in the normal, more concealed spot. Maybe there's someone new to the USPS crew. Those two packages were MINE though. I got a Yixing pot from Origin Tea and some tea from Floating Leaves Tea, which I picked up on sale. Expensive boxes. Today I'll be reviewing a 1980s Miaoli aged oolong from Floating Leaves, one of three aged oolongs I picked up from their sale.

Miaoli is a county in northwestern Taiwan. It doesn't seem to be a huge tea producing region, as this is the first instance of Miaoli oolong I've ever seen. Google told me that Camellia Sinensis sells an aged Miaoli as well, which for some reason they describe it as smelling like burnt wood and carob as if that sounds pleasant, but I can't find any fresh ones (there are a couple of Oriental Beauty teas though). According to Tea From Taiwan, the 3 towns that Miaoli Oolongs are produced in are Chaochiao Town, Shihtan Town, and Dahu Town. However, they don't seem to have any Miaoli teas in stock.

this is the dry leaf, pictured with a U.S. quarter dollar
5g/100ml gaiwan

check out that sick reflection
The dry leaf is dark and broken (just like my heart) with a very uneven leaf size, most likely due to some rough handling that took place sometime(s) in its thirty years or so. It honestly reminds me a lot of an aged Baozhong with the dry scent, it smells very sweet. I guess if oolongs are processed and stored in a similar manner, then they will end up being similar. After rinsing it, it smells like fruit. Nothing else, just fruit. It steeps out to a dark reddish-brown color with a slightly sweet aroma.

The taste is quite nice, flavorwise. Up front it's earthy and mineral, but it develops into a fruity/honey sweetness with a small amount of floral/herbal taste. As it cools down it gets pretty sour, but that seems to be common with aged oolongs. It's not a super flavorful tea, it's quite refreshing surprisingly. As the steeps go on it becomes more savory and earthy with notes of leather, however the fruitiness doesn't go away. I got about 12 steeps out of it, which is way more than I expected.

Overall this is a very good aged oolong that I would purchase again in the future, it has a good balance of earthy aged taste and fruity sweetness, and the price is good for a tea with 30-ish years on it. This is one of the only examples of a Miaoli oolong I could find, and it's probably the best online, as Camellia Sinensis re-roasts their aged Miaoli oolong, which in my opinion kills some of the nice aged taste. I'm optimistic about the other two aged oolongs that I got from Floating Leaves, an aged oolong from PingLin and an aged Muzha Tieguanyin. Can't wait!

Thanks for reading!


EDIT: The homies over at TeaDB tried the Miaoli from Camellia Sinensis and sadly they didn't find it enjoyable :((((((((.

2 comments:

  1. That sounds quite promising. 12 infusions is great for an aged oolong! I've had the CS Miaoli before and have mixed, but mainly negative feelings towards the tea. I don't remember that Miaoli lasting more than 7 or 8 infusions.

    The only thing that worries me are the sour notes. Usually the sourness is most pronounced when I push my parameters hard and I usually use a bit more leaf than 5g/100ml. Regardless, you've made me curious to try this tea!

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    1. I think you'd like this one more than the CS one, I can't taste any signs of roasting. It tastes just like an aged Baozhong, but it does also have better longevity.

      On the product page for this tea it mentions that the sour note appears occasionally, but on some days it doesn't. It only became noticeable when the tea cooled down, which I've noticed to be common (aged oolongs being sour when cooled down). I was being cautious with the 5g, I'll report back next time when I use 6-7g.

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