Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Slow spring walk in a cup



Hello! Today I decided to rip open one of my purchases from www.mountaintea.com. I decided on Four Seasons of Spring which is classified as a green oolong; my personal favorite tea style! The teas name, Four Seasons of Spring, comes from its ability to produce four flushes each year that have the same quality of the spring flush. Spring flushes are generally considered to be the best harvest of the year and are usually sought after. This tea was grown in the mountains of Nantou, Taiwan by the cultivator Sijichun.

{image of raw tea}

Four Seasons of Spring is a varietal of the popular TieGuanYin oolong but has lighter notes to share with its brewer. While I usually get a rich vegetal/grassy note from TieGuanYin, Four Seasons of Spring boasts a huge floral presence in the nose and while exhaling when sipping its delicate broth. This is the first tea I have had that is extremely floral-y and honestly at first it was a bit much. It was similar to the floralness of drinking rose water. The best way I can describe the tea is the sensation of smelling a pungent rose; The way the pollen of a rose bursts in your nose is the same sensation I felt while smelling/drinking this tea.

With the oxidation being 10% and the roast at 0%, the brew is very clear; similar to the liquor a white tea would produce slightly turning a pale yellow in later infusions. When I push the tea with a higher temperature(off boiling, previously brews were at the recommended 85-90c) and longer steeping time(1:00-1:30 min, previously 30-45 second steeps with a flash rinse), the broth was yellow with a more traditional TGY profile while keeping the floral note as before. One thing I really liked about the Four Seasons of Spring Oolong is how well it handles bitterness. I could not get it to make a liquor I couldn't drink even after forgetting about it steeping for a good 5 minutes. I think this oolong really shines with 20-30 second steepings gong-fu style, which is my preferred style, but could certainly be good western style for a light floral treat!

{Image of the tea in a cup}

I usually enjoy oolongs that are a little more complex but Four Seasons of Spring oolong has surprised me by how delicate yet resilient it can be. At the price point of 2oz/$6, 5oz/$11, 10.5oz/$19 it is a very affordable tea. To me it is A little too light for everyday use but would be, and has been, a beautiful tea for a mid morning cup in the spring. It makes me long for a walk in nature with the smells of flowers coming to life after a long winter.

 
-C

Tea setup: 4 fl oz houhin, 8-10g of leaf(two teaspoons full), boiling water.
Steeps:
1-Rinse
2-Mild Flower notes
3-BOOM bouquet of roses/flowers
4-Still flowers
5-Pushed the tea with longer steep
6-Tea is too light for me but is still flavoring the water