2003 Reserve Four Seasons Oolong Tea from Butiki Teas


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description:

Our aged oolong is sourced from the Dong Ding tea growing region of Nantou County in Taiwan and was harvested in the spring of 2003. The varietal is Si Ji Chuan also known as Four Season. Our aged oolong was crafted by blend master Chen Pei Wen and is re-roasted every 2-3 years to minimize moisture content. 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong is a rich full-bodied silky tea. The charcoal-colored leaves of this smooth oolong produce notes of honey suckle, bark, and grass and has a natural sweetness with no astringency present. This tea is also low in caffeine.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of the dry leaf of this 2003 Reserve Four Seasons Oolong Tea from Butiki Teas surprised me a little.  Normally, when I smell an Oolong, I smell floral notes, or sometimes hints of vegetation or sometimes fruit tones.  I didn’t smell any of these notes … instead, I could detect notes of earth and even a pipe tobacco-y kind of scent.  My SororiTea Sister, Azzrian, described the scent as

reminiscent of a campfire, or an old library, slightly musty, with a hint of leather

and yeah … I get those comparisons as well.  It definitely has an “old” kind of smell … like something I’d associate with a distinguished, elderly, well-read gentleman who smokes a pipe.

Given the hint of earth to the aroma, I expected this tea to have an almost pu-erh-ish kind of flavor to it, even though it’s an Oolong.  And it does have a flavor that is vaguely similar to that of an earthy pu-erh.  But it is also very Oolong-ish in many respects … like a dark, charcoal-roasted Oolong.

It is indeed earthy, but I do not find the earthy tones to be overwhelming or off-putting.  I like the way these earthy tones mingle with the roasted notes, creating an almost “coffee-like” taste to me.  It has a sweetness that reminds me of molasses.  Very distant floral notes in the distance … these are almost overpowered by the strong roasted tones, but, if I focus on the flavors I can taste them.  In the foreground, there are notes of leather, tobacco and oak.  This is definitely a masculine kind of tea … very rugged and yet very distinguished.

I really enjoyed this tea … and I enjoyed taking it through its paces as it delivered many wonderful, delicious infusions.  This is one tea that is definitely worth the time to get to know, especially if you’re one who appreciates a truly unique Oolong!

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