After reading a review of our Wild Rock Oolong, my small team and I discussed the issue:
In Alex Zorach‘s review he says that the Wild Rock Oolong lost it’s flavor after the first cup. Actually, we were happy to read this, because he described a Wild Oolong exactly as it should be. However, he didn’t seem to like this aspect of the tea, and so we wanted to explain more about Rock Wuyis below.
A wild oolong from Wuyi without chemicals is extremely rare, and this leads to misconceptions. For example, oftentimes people believe that if they can brew a tea many times it means it is a good tea. But we at WTQ know that this is true for some quality tea, and not all teas. Instead, chemicals – not leaf – can make the brewing number stronger.
This truly depends on the kind of tea as some teas have different brewing capabilities, yet they are still very exceptional only being able to be brewed a few times. Oolongs are considered as among the most complicated teas to study in China, as I discussed in my book Wild Tea Hunter.
As of now there are over 300 varieties of Oolongs in China, not including the fake Oolongs out there, of which there are many. Therefore, it is difficult to judge an Oolong so easily. Also, the way you brew an Oolong greatly effects the flavor. Many people also have the misconception that there is a standard way to brew all Oolongs or any teas for that matter. The truth is each tea has it’s own unique way to brew it so brewing a new tea is like getting to know a new friend. You have to find the best way to coax the maximum flavor out of it without going over that fine balance point. I like to think of it like hitting the sweet spot.
The flavor and aroma of the Wild Rock Oolong compared to other Oolongs is usually gone pretty quick unlike other wild and ancient tree teas. 2-3 cups is pretty standard for brews. The first cup he said was a surprise and it should be a great one at that.
You need to savor and drink this kind of Oolong very, very slowly. This is how they were drinking these kinds of Oolongs since ancient times.
This tea is not one that is meant to be gulped down while reading a book or working at the computer. A fine Wild Oolong should be savored with every sip. You should pay attention to all the fine details because they are there. It is within this first cup and the subsequent second and third cups all the reasons you bought this oolong. Then pay attention to the energy of it. This is called Ting Jing in Chinese, which means “Listening Energy”. You drink the tea and then listen to the signals your body sends. The energy of a Wild Rock Oolong is pretty special and not to be missed.
For a final thought on this Oolong, at our tasting space in China we were able to brew this Oolong 5 times and the flavor profiles he offered did not match the ones we tasted from it. This goes to show a small adjustment in brewing technique can make all the difference.
Until next time,
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