This is the third of four posts where I look at the free 5 gram samples that were included in my first order with Moychay, placed through their newly opened Amsterdam boutique.
Moychay’s notes tell us that…
“This Gaba Oolong was made at the territory of the Alishan natural reserve in central Taiwan. During the treatment, tea leaves passed through vacuum fermentation and were baked on charcoal at low heat.”
The dry leaf smelled faintly of cookies, flowers, and freshly mowed lawns, but after a few seconds in the warmed up gaiwan the cookies thing became the dominant aroma.
I decided to go with a series of 10 second infusions until the leaves opened up…
Water Used: Filtered tap water
Weight of dry leaf: 5 grams
Steeping vessel: 100 ml porcelain gaiwan
Water temperature: 95°C
No. & duration: 10 infusions of 10, 10, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, 90, and 150 seconds duration
The first infusion was a classic “early days” job, and I had the weird sensation that all the tastes present in the tea existed in some kind of primordial congregation of vapours, waiting to condense out into their correct forms and ratios. The GABA thing was already wide awake and centre stage, though, with the liquor boasting a slick and creamy feel.
The second steeping saw the liquor starting to show real complexity, with suggestions of dark berries and wholemeal bread toast. The GABA thing was reined in somewhat, but the mouthfeel was really revving up, now well on the way to true lip-sticky status.
From this point on, nothing new came into the mix, but nothing left, either. The intensity of the flavour profile rose to a crescendo at the session’s halfway mark, when I had to use the old leaf turn trick, flipping the leaves head over heels in the gaiwan with my trusty bamboo spatula.
Despite using longer infusion times to counter flavour slippage, the session was swimming against the tide, and after a 10th, 2½ minute long infusion it was game over for the leaves.
Even though I’m kind of moving away from Oolongs these days, I still really enjoyed this session.
So, another Moychay sample, another thumbs up from me. Can’t say fairer than that.