Friday, August 29, 2014

Two Origin Tea oolongs from 1986

     First off, I finally got to try some of White2Tea's shengpu - 2002 White Whale and 2003 Keyi Xing. The Whale is a whale of a tea. Very smooth and thick for the price, with some nice aged earthy flavors going on, along with a nice sweetness. Dark brown liquor, chocolate colored almost. I'm definitely "Praying 4 A Brick" of this one, or maybe 5 bricks.
     The Keyi Xing tastes much younger, it definitely comes out during later steeps. It has a really nice, lasting hui gan, one of the strongest that I've ever had. Both of these teas earn my respect because they are delicious and really competitively priced. I also have some Repave, but that's sold out :(.

     Time for some aged oolongs. This time we have a 1986 Meishan oolong and 1986 Chen Xiang oolong, both from Origin Tea by way of James (thanks James!).

     First up, Meishan. Meishan oolong is a pretty uncommon high-mountain oolong, with a similar altitude to Alishan (~1200m). James particularly enjoyed this tea, in fact he tried it in his first aged oolong tasting, and it walked away with the highest ranking of the month. This is from the private stash of the now-defunct Origin Tea (RIP ;_;), which James managed to get into. James has a very good taste in tea, so I trust that this is going to be a good tea. 

     The dry leaves are black, loosely rolled, and smell fruity and earthy, as most good aged oolongs do. The wet leaves smell incredibly fruity. The rinse already tastes quite fruity and delicious, like a better version of FLT's PingLin Oolong. I couldn't resist drinking the rinse, sorry gang. The first steeping is more intense, with some slight earth going on as well. Second and third steeps just get better and better. This is a really good example of what to look for in an aged oolong, strong fruity flavors with some earth in the background and as little sourness as possible. The aftertaste is very plummy, which I find fitting because Meishan translates to Plum Mountain! As the tea goes on the profile becomes earthier and earthier, while maintaining the nice plummy flavor. The aftertaste lasts seemingly forever, with an excellent Hui Gan. This is a solid performer for an aged oolong, just very balanced and good in every way. Too bad it's impossible to get in the west now. Thank you James for sending this and thank you Tony for sourcing this.  
    Now onto the second aged oolong: 1986 Chen Xiang, again from Origin Tea by way of James. Chen Xiang means "Aged Fragrance". I can't tell you anything else about this tea because, well there's nothing to say.

     The leaves are loosely rolled, and black, as they should be, and smell quite earthy with a bit of fruit. The wet leaves aren't too broken, pretty small though, and they smell slightly smoky. The liquor smells earthy, almost exactly like a pu'erh, but less intense. This tea is way less clean than the Meishan, it has more herbal notes to it, with a slight sour note in the finish. There's also a slight bitterness to this one. The aftertaste is very tangy, it's actually burning my throat a bit, but there's also some cooling of the mouth going on in the aftertaste. 

Cha Qi on the Chen Xiang is insane, very relaxing. This is one strong, unrefined, complex tea, and I enjoy it for what it is. I think it could use a bit more age just to round out the edges.  Not sure if it's something that I would buy. Maybe it would be nicer with a bit less leaf. Again, thanks James and Tony.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, I ended up getting some more stuff from the shop that sells mystery aged oolong, mostly Shengpu and one 1978 oolong. Also getting some Shengpu from Wistaria Tea House. Wistaria had an aged oolong, but it was too expensive with a high minimum size.


  1. Hi Jake,

    Glad you liked the teas! Tis a shame that Origin Tea is gone and also a shame that Aged Oolongs are so extremely difficult to find online. That Meishan is a real winner, my personal favorite.

    Been a while since I had both of these teas. I should remedy that soon :).


  2. Ooo oolong, I'm drinking the Meishan too, raisins and cinnamon favors. Yummy stuff! Got you on my follow list now.

    1. hey Cwyn! glad to hear you like the Meishan as well. I've been following your blog for a while, love your writing style.

      What other aged oolongs do you have?