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Songboling Roasted Jin Xuan Gui Fei Tea Tasting (Thetea.pl)

gui fei oolong thetea.pl tea adventures

A few months ago, I purchased the monthly subscription box from thetea.pl. The box consists of three teas: an unroasted Gui Fei, a roasted one and a sheng puer from 2005. I’ve tasted the unroasted Gui Fei before so I wanted to try the roasted version today; the Songboling Roasted Jin Xuan Gui Fei oolong.

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Songboling Roasted Jin Xuan Gui Fei

Just by looking at its name, you can already learn a lot about this tea. It comes from around Songboling village, which is in Nantou county in Taiwan. This village is at an altitude of around 400m. The cultivar is Jin Xuan, which you also know by looking at the name. This particular batch is from Spring 2019 and is produced in exactly the same way as the unroasted version, except that this one is roasted in an electric oven. A final aspect worth mentioning is that this Gui Fei is a bug-bitten oolong grown in an ecological garden. This implies that the leaves have to be bitten by leafhoppers. This, in its turn, makes the plant respond by releasing more polyphenols; hence the flowery and honey flavours.

This is clearly ball-shaped oolong and the balls are rather large. The colour of the tea is very deep and darker green. The aroma consists of honey, fruits and some vegetal notes. 

Once the leaves are wet, the massive size of the stalks becomes visible. Although the balls were rather large, the leaves seem to be smaller.  The colour is green and even some khaki tints. The aroma is buttery, grassy and a bit verdant in combination with honey.

Tea Tasting

  • Water 90°C
  • 6g for a 135ml Zini teapot
  • 1 rinse
  • 6 infusions

Infusions

1st infusion (15 sec): the colour is very light yellow. It has a subtle and woody kind of honey at the start. It changes into grassy notes somewhere in the middle. The honey is back during the aftertaste. It seems that this is a complex first infusion!

2nd infusion (20 sec): the colour is a bit darker and the liquor is very clear. I’m getting notes of roasted honey and flowers and the aftertaste is very warm. A butteriness is also noticeable throughout the infusion. In general, it has a pleasant mouthfeel and it’s easy to drink.

3rd infusion (25 sec): this infusion has a beautiful golden colour. I’m still getting a roasted kind of honey but it’s less buttery now. Still very easy to drink; it just rolls down your throat. During the aftertaste, I’m getting a kind of roastedness (is this even a word?!).

4th infusion (30 sec): subtle roasted honey that is present throughout the infusion. The aftertaste is warm honey and I’m getting a chalky mouthfeel after swallowing.

5th infusion (40 sec): the same flavours keep coming back, which is not a bad thing. The honey is not as dominant and the roasted notes dominated this infusion. The finish is sweet, though.

6th infusion (50 sec): the roasted flavours are honey again. It’s a decent infusion and the aftertaste is really sweet.

I tasted a very fine Gyokury earlier this week. A delicious Japanese green tea with an umami flavour profile. You can read my full notes here.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed this session! I don’t know what it is but this tea is so easy to drink. It just flows and rolls down your throat very easily. The Songboling Roasted Jin Xuan Gui Fei oolong has particular flavour profile and the infusions are fairly similar. The complexity from the first infusion did not really come through but the roasted honey was delicious. If you like Gui Fei oolongs, this is definitely one you have to try.

If you want to try this tea, you can buy it over here.

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