My friend gave it to me, he bought it on his last trip to Taiwan. The tea shop he bought it from is a Pu-erh wholesaler who made an exception and sold smaller quantities to my friend because he's a Westerner. According to the shopkeeper, it was fermented in a way similar to Pu-erh, whatever that means. Can anyone elaborate on that claim? Maybe it was aged in the same room as some Pu-erh cakes or something. I think he paid the equivalent of $60USD for about a half pound of it.
100ml Gaiwan, 6g of leaf, boiling water.
The dry leaf is small and brown, not too tightly rolled, looks like a lot of other aged oolongs. It's earthy-smelling up front, but a slight toastiness can be detected as well. The dry leaf reminds me a lot of Red Blossom's 1980s Dong Ding visually. (THIS IS A GOOD THING)
It seems to have been mildly roasted, possibly roasted once and never re-roasted. The wet leaves are small and uniform in size, I can't find any indication of blending (THIS IS A GOOD THING AS WELL). Many aged oolongs are actually leftovers of different lots of tea, mixed together and put away to age. It steeps out to a clear amber color.
This tea tastes nice. It has a tiny bit of sourness, not too much though. It opens up with a tiny bit of roast, and a nice, clean, spicy aged taste comes through with some earthiness, spiciness, and some fruit. As the number of steeps increases the fruitiness becomes more pronounced. Sadly that doesn't last too long, maybe 7 good steeps.
Sadly, gongfu brewing isn't a specialty of Mystery Aged Oolong. Grandpa brewing this tea (6g for about 450ml) brings out a much cleaner profile with more "aged taste".
Hopefully I'll be able to review some aged oolongs that are more easily attainable in the west soon. I have a couple of samples coming next week that are from online vendors.
Thanks for reading, fam.