Saturday, October 25, 2014

1994 Oriental Beauty and late 90's Shui Xian

Hey everyone, so I'm going to be reviewing an aged Oriental Beauty oolong from Taiwan Tea Crafts. This one is from 1994 and is also sold by several other places, interestingly. It's expensive ($18/oz), so this better be good. Well, the only reason I have it is because my friend bought it and didn't like it, so it probably isn't that good. I had what I assume is the same tea from a different vendor a while back and it was pretty fruity (winey?).

The dry leaf looks like a normal, low grade oriental beauty and smells like a normal, low-grade oriental beauty. First sign that this isn't twenty years old. Aged oolongs have a pretty distinct aroma, as does Oriental Beauty, and this has the Oriental Beauty smell.
i forgot to take a picture of the wet leaves, but they looked like wet OB leaves

Okay, so the leaves on this one are really broken, they clogged up my pot. This tea tastes like a Yunnan black/red tea. Not a good one either. Some malty/chocolatey notes upfront, fried banana/plantain fruitiness in the finish. Not too much flavor. I regret making this in my Yixing, as it's obviously not aged. In fact, I don't know what the problem is.

Overall, this tea is not worth the money. It isn't really bad, but not worth $18/oz. When teas like the 1972 Baozhong are the same price, why bother? I also tried the 1993 oolong from the same company and didn't like it a while back, same thing with the 1982 black tea (although I might try that one again).

Now for another aged oolong  - this time an aged Yancha, a 1990's Shui Xian from none other than Origin Tea, a vendor that has gotten a lot of coverage by us (me). This time, it's a tea that was actually sold on his site, sold under the Yancha section. One of the main things I like about this tea is it's roasting level - it's HK roasted, which is the highest level of roast for Yancha. Out in Hong Kong they like it strong and dark, they like their oolongs fired to death and their pu'erh stored in those hot, humid caves. These types of oolongs/pu'erhs also tend to be cheaper than the light/medium roast or dry-storage pu'erhs. I also prefer these types of oolongs/pu'erhs, although I do enjoy the other stuff quite a bit as well.
half-assed aesthetic makeover

half-assed aesthetic makeover II

Dry leaf smells very mineral, maybe chalky or old wood, very subtle but pleasant. It's pitch black, probably due to the Hong Kong treatment it received (and some aging, of course). Wet leaf definitely smells sweeter, more like young Yancha. Taste is quite herbal, some stale smoke, some of the Yancha acidic bite/sourness. Each steep tastes less aged and tastes more like a roasted oolong (a quality roasted oolong). In the end, it left the entire room smelling like the dry leaf aka amazing. Would any of you guys/gals buy Yancha cologne/perfume? Use the contact form on the sidebar of this blog to sign up for my fragrance line DISCLAIMER: I know nothing about this type of thing.

the drinkingteas collection

Yancha - Woody, smoky, and mineral. Complex and easy to love.
Aged Baozhong - Old leather, earth, and plums. A masterful blend of aromas to create the ultimate non-conformist's fragrance.
Aged Sheng - A longtime favorite, an enveloping combination of sweet, spicy, and earthy tones.
Gaoshan - Flowery and sweet, this one is spring in a bottle.
Dancong - With fruit and honey, this premium addition is strong and sweet.


  1. Nice cartoon, and not too far from reality. I have one of the few bottles left in existence of Fresh's Tobacco Flower fragrance.

    1. don't cherish it - as you can soon buy our aged yancha fragrance with notes of tobacco