Shui Jin Gui Wuyi Oolong is an oolong from Wuji Mountains, picked in the fall season of 2011. This tea is from Verdant Tea, an online tea seller. Verdant has some unique teas teas – mostly unflavored but some seasonal blends as well. All high quality. Verdant Teas are very high rated on Steepster, you’ll see at least 4 or 5 on the highest rated teas first page.
So, I’ve been meaning to do a Verdant Tea order for a long time. #1 on my wish list for last christmas/birthday was Verdant’s Tea of the Month, which no one got me, booo! I held off and I racked up enough verdant loyalty points to get $10 off and a couple new teas came in stock, so I made some huge puppy eyes at my husband to order for me.
I picked out this oolong in particular as it was described as being creamy, caramel, hazelnut, elderberry, custard, orchid and honeydew – I like a bunch of those!
Anyways, Verdant Teas has great customer service. I messed up my shipping address a bit, and they fixed it ASAP. My teas arrived and my husband was opening the box for me and I flipped out – MY TEA! MY BOX! I opened my box and it sat for a week or so – I needed that perfect day to have my very first Verdant tea. Today’s the day. LETS DO THIS!
DRY LEAF: Long deep green, almost black, leaves that smell almost like sesame to me.
STEEPING: I used my teeny pot I got from Daiso. I didn’t have my gaiwan yet – I’ll make it work! Anyways, I followed the instructions on the package, I used 200F water and short steepings.
Steeping instructions – same thing stamped on all my Verdant teas in my recent order.
I used about 1 heaping teaspoon of dry leaf. I tried to weigh it, but my scale decided it to have fun and every few seconds it would tick back a gram, driving me crazy.
I did a rinse, then while pouring the first pot, the tea smelled very woodsy and amazing! My cup of shui jin gui wuyi oolong is a lovely golden colour!
INFUSION # 1 ~ 5 seconds
OMFG What is this sorcery?!?!?!!?!
SO GOOD! Where has this tea been all my life? This oolong is exploding with rich flavor, like I steeped it for 5 minutes, but I only steeped it for 5 seconds. Very nutty, kinda roasty and savory caramel, the taste reminds me of the smell of roasted chestnuts – the kind roasted on a street cart. Theres even a bit of spice thrown in. Dancing throughout my sip there’s a bit of sweetness and a teeny bit of floral that reminds me of an orchid flower. I need another orchid, I killed my last one.
INFUSION #2 ~ 8 seconds
Doh, I looked on the brewing instructions on the Verdant website and it said boiling water and steeping starting at 10 seconds! BOOO! Whatever, I’m still continuing on with what I’m doing. Next time – consult website brewing instructions first.
Flavor is very similar to the first cup, but I found it more briskly caramel and nutty with less floral. Still packing huge amounts of flavor. As my cup cools, I’m getting a little creamyness on my lips. Very smooth tea! OOOOH MAN!!! /SQUEEE!
INFUSION # 3 ~ 12 seconds
Still amazing! The nuttyness is so delicious and rich – and this cup I’m getting some of that lovely hint of floral. I’m thinking a 3/10 on the Floral-o-meter. I’m getting that honey note now, and it’s fabulous mixed in with that caramel like flavors in this tea.
INFUSION #4 ~ 15 seconds
I was doing the “Dance like an Egyptian” dance while I waited my 15 seconds. I’m weird. I need something to occupy myself while I wait for my tea. Steeping number 4 is very similar to 3. This tea has amazing flavor power! I love that deep and rich roasty spice note that hits the back of my throat.
INFUSION #5 ~ 20 seconds
The leaves of this oolong have gotten quite huge now, sporting a lovely dark olive green colour. Infusion #5 is just as full flavored as the other steepings, though it is getting a little sweeter and slightly juicy end of sip.
INFUSION #6 ~ 25 seconds
The tea is slowly changing, this cup is again, slightly sweeter – lots of honey and floral notes, bit of spice hitting my throat. Less rich nuttyness, but still a full flavored cup of tea. DANG! I should start making dinner, but I just want to continue on having more tea and acting crazy. I think I’m tea drunk and I feel so happy. My owl is still wearing a tea strainer on his head.
INFUSION #7 ~ 30 seconds
Very similar to the last steeping and still packing lots of flavor in my cup!
INFUSION #8 ~ 35 seconds
Is this tea gonna quit? No, it won’t. It keeps fighting on! The nutty notes are phasing out, the spice is still there with those juicy honey orchid notes. The flavor is now noticably weaker, but still good. I thought I’d get this steeping flavor back around infusion 4! Oh, I just noticed a bit of a mineral note with this cup! What a surprise!
INFUSION #9 ~ 40 seconds
You know, there’s still colour in this tea – still that gold colour cup of tea! The flavor has reduced again, but there is still good amount of taste left. This oolong has become more mineral in flavor and slightly vegetal – kinda like juicy bell pepper. I’m undecided with the mineral flavor – its new for me – it’s reminding me of the well water I’d get when I lived up in the interior of British Columbia.
INFUSION #10 ~ 50 seconds
I couldn’t remember if I was supposed to do 45 or 50 seconds for this steeping, went with 50 seconds. I dealt with dinner stuff and returned to tea drinking. Shui Jin Gui Wuyi Oolong is much lighter in flavor again and not as mineral tasting as the last steeping. It on this vegetal kick on that is light and slightly creamy. If there was no mineral taste to this tea, I would of forgotten that I was drinking an oolong – this reminds me of a 2nd or 3rd steeping of a good green. I wonder if I could squeak out another infusion?
INFUSION #11 ~ 60 seconds
Nope, I think this tea is at the end, IMO. I just get some mineral taste and there is some sweetness remaining. I went to finally cook dinner (궁중떡볶이 yum!) and came back to a cold cup of tea that was very light in flavor with a bit of mineral and sweetness left.
COLD STEEPED: Verdant Teas mentioned on their site that this tea makes a good cold steeping. I cold steeped this tea for 7 hours. I was planning to do this overnight, as per instructions, but I forgot ;___; So I had to wait for this tea during the day.
The cold steep tastes quite similar to the first couple steepings of this tea hot, but with a sharper nutty flavor. Actually, the nuttyness here now tastes like almonds to me instead of chestnut. Very refreshing too! Not bad, but I think I prefer this hot as I get the full fun experience of this oolong. Also waiting 7 hours was very painful!
COMMENTS: Very good run! I got quite a number of steepings from my Shui Jin Gui Wuyi Oolong! I didn’t totally follow the right instructions, but it worked well. Verdant Tea was right on the ball on the tea flavor notes on this tea, though I thought the hazelnut was more chestnut or almond to me.
A day after, I brought this tea with me to have during dinner with my husband’s parents. I got about 5 longer steepings it and it was very good!
Overall, a very good first experience with Verdant Tea. I can’t wait to try the other teas I got in my order! Hopefully I can write a less crazy scattered review.
Green Tea Owl is tea guarding duty on my box of Verdant Teas – He will owl snuggle anyone who tries to take my teas
Green Owl is visiting from my my crochet blog. Though, I think he’s gonna hang out with us Tea Owls more!