Hey there Teacups! I’m back today with another Stateside Steeps post as this time around I’m going to be reviewing Adagio Masters – Formosa Fancy Bai Hao. I’ve had nothing but fantastic experiences with Masters Teas so far as you all know but as far as I can remember this is the first oolong I have tried from them. I definelty had high expectations in terms of the quality of the teas but mostly I was eager to see if the oolongs Masters Teas offer were just as good as the other varieties of tea I have previously tried from them. In general it’s been a little while since I’ve done a gongfu session with an oolong so I was really excited to jump into this tasting session and create another amazing tea experience for myself.
Here’s what Masters Tea themselves have to say about this tea over on their website: “This rare Formosa Superior Fancy Bai Hao is a true treat for the senses. The leaves are quite tippy with a fragrant bouquet when dry. Once brewed the cup is one of peach blossoms with a lingering honey note.”
“Bai Hao, or Oriental Beauty is a Taiwanese oolong unlike any other. Its notable reddish color gives away its high oxidation, sometimes as high as 80%. Often un-roasted, it is dried using prolonged withering process. Perhaps most interestingly, Oriental Beauty producers may even encourage an insect known as the “leafhopper” to bite the tea leaves. The insects’ saliva produces a unique chemical reaction within the leaves, the only way of achieving its distinct flavor profile.”
Tea Tasting Notes
For this tasting session I used my 250ml Gaiwan, Freshly filtered water at 90c and 6.5g of the loose leaf tea. In total I was able to do 5 steeps with it (though I definitely could have pushed it a few more steeps) and I added absolutely nothing to it; just like with all of my gongfu session I simply try the loose leaf on it’s own the way it was indented to be prepared and enjoyed. The one thing I am currently the most thankful for when it comes to tea is how much I have ben inspired by the teas I have tried so far from Masters Teas to make sure I set some time aside every now and then (when my body allows me to) to sit down and do gongfu sessions. It is by far my favourite way to enjoy tea and I wasn’t able to do it for so long due to health reason so I’ve really enjoyed experiencing it again through these teas.
Steep 1) Floral, subtlety malty, fruity somewhat sweet with a honey like note. Light, smooth aftertaste somewhat gives of a golden raisin note. Aroma wise I get a subtle peach note but overall its Aroma reminds me of a light black tea.
Steep 2) I did my tasting session with this on a rainy morning in October and honestly I think it was the perfect time to do a tasting session with this blend. It’s a perfect oolong for Autumn it definitely made today’s cold morning much cosier. Medium strength floral notes, honey sweetness, subtle fruity notes, somewhat drying. Definitely has a nice peachy note to it which pairs perfect with the floral notes this tea has. Lightly drying but not overly drying and didn’t effect my overall enjoyment.
Steep 3) Lighter flroals, no honey note, light malty, light woody notes, drying, subtle peach. Again gives off an almost golden raisin aftertaste.
Steep 4) By far surprisingly the sweetest of all of the steep, light florals, very subtle malt, light juicy peach notes, very light wood notes that remind me of the way a forest during the autumn smell. Nowhere near as drying and again has that golden raisin aftertaste. To be honest I really think this steep and the following steep were my favourites of the whole session.
Steep 5) Again much more sweet that previous steeps! Peach, floral, honey, nowhere near drying at all. No light malt or wood. This was the last steep I chose to do with this tea but I do definitely think it could have gone one or two more and still been delicious. I can’t say I’ve ever had an oolong like this before but I do love it. It’s definitely unique and is a perfect oolong for early autumn.
Overall I really enjoyed this oolong I think this was definitely the best time of the year to do this tasting session, it seems to match not only the season but weather on the day of which I did this tasting session. I never would have thought of an oolong like this being perfect for autumn but this particular one definelty opened my eyes to just how perfect some oolongs could be for the time of the year. This is definitely on oolong I would purchase time and time again as I would be interested in tracking how it’s overall flavour profile changes over the years and different harvests.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to find out more about Adagio’s – Masters Teas and purchase some of this tea (either 2019 or 2020) you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either leave them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter / Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*the tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*
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