Friday, January 16, 2015

Teamasters

A few months ago, Stéphane from Teamasters sent me a few samples to try and review (thank you!). I just got around to reviewing them. They're all slightly darker oolongs (one is a bit aged). The notes on these teas will be pretty brief - I can't talk about high mountain oolongs the same way I blab on about Pu'erh.

I found that 4-5g/100ml is a good ratio for these teas. I tend to prefer rolled oolongs with lower ratios.

Yong Lung (Dong Ding) "Strong" - Dry aroma is the typical roasty (metallic?) aroma. Wet aroma is very sweet. Tan liquor. Very flavorful, with notes of grains and flowers. I was surprised by how roasty this was, since the liquor was quite light. It lives up to its name for sure, as it packs a nice punch.  Earlier steeps leave a cooling sensation, later steeps are quite dry (but still good). Nice caffeine kick, which is not optimal for midnight drinking. A surprisingly excellent tea, as most Dong Dings have been underwhelming.

Aged Yong Lung - A sweeter, fruitier, less floral/roasty version of the Yong Lung. Only 11 years old, so not fully aged (25-30yrs are optimal IMO), but it definitely picked up some great flavors. It's definitely turning the corner from rested to aged. A bit expensive, not sure if it's worth the price, but it's definitely a good tea.

Shanlinxi Hong Shui: I was excited to try this tea, as Shanlinxi teas are some of my favorite oolongs and this one is roasted (a positive in my book). The dry leaves of this one smell amazing. Very sweet and grainy, with a floral hint. The wet leaf smells even better, sweet and floral. There's the obvious taste of floral grainy sweetness, but I also tasted some beer (another positive in my book). This is a really unique tea, with a good balance of freshness and heartiness.

My overall opinion on Teamasters is that they're an excellent vendor to buy Taiwanese Oolong from. Stephane has a very diverse selection, with prices ranging from $4/25g (baozhong) to $16/gram (1960's pu'erh). The 3 teas featured in this post are higher-end, however I'm sure that the lower-end selections are great as well.

only pic I could find on my phone (SD card broke) - Stéphane wanted me to compare the size of tea leaves to coffee beans

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