December 04, 2017

Tillerman Tea Organic Chingjing Gaoshan Oolong - Winter 2016, Spring 2017

In my last review, I featured two oolongs (Wenshan Bao Zhong) from Tillerman Tea from back to back seasons grown by different farmers. Today I present two oolongs -from consecutive seasons, but this time the farmer is the same: Chingjing Winter 2016 and Chingjing Spring 2017. Chingjing (Cingjing or Qingjing) is named for the mountain on which it is grown. These teas were processed from the Qing Xin cultivar by grower Yen Ching-Yu (Katie).

The suggested parameters for both teas were 6 grams per 100 mL at 195F for 40 seconds or 3-5 grams in 8 ounces for 90 seconds. I averaged the instructions and used 3 grams in 6 ounces of 195F water starting with a 3-minute steep.



CHINGJING WINTER 2016

Dry leaf appearance: small, tight (in comparison to the Spring 2017) balls of varying shades of green with visible stems
Dry leaf fragrance: sweet, buttery, corn silk
Infused leaf appearance: large leaves
Liquor color: yellow
Infusion 1 (3 minutes): buttery, savory
Infusion 2 (3 minutes, 30 seconds): buttery, savory herb like tarragon
Infusion 3 (4 minutes): ghost note of butter

If you steep 3 grams of the this tea in 100 mL for 30-second infusions, you get buttery notes for three steeps. Extend the fourth infusion for 30 seconds to get a floral character like a tea with blended with cornflower.



CHINGJING SPRING 2017

Dry leaf appearance: larger and looser (in comparison to the Winter 2016) balls of varying shades of green with visible stems
Dry leaf fragrance: sweet, buttery
Infused leaf appearance: large leaves
Liquor color: gold
Infusion 1 (3 minutes): buttery with a floral center, light to medium bodied, lightly conifer scented steam
Infusion 2 (3 minutes, 30 seconds): depth of flavors with a lingering coniferous note in the back of the mouth on the cheeks
Infusion 3 (4 minutes): floral, fruity (cantaloupe), lingering dryness

THE TAKEAWAY

Another pair of enjoyable oolongs from Tillerman Tea. Playing around with steeping parameters will reveal different components of each tea. I honestly don't have a preference between the two. I can say that my favorite infusion of the Winter 2016 was the second one. That tarragon note! This tea pairs well with a pesto sandwich, by the way. My favorite infusion of the Spring 217 was the third one. I really enjoyed floral and fruit layers. Yes, pair this tea with cantaloupe. I did.

Both Chingjing Gaoshan Oolongs provided by Tillerman Tea.

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