Bitter Leaf Teas released an extraordinary production line earlier this year which included their famed 2017 WMD Mansa, along with their 2017 Secret Garden. This year, they released a tea called ‘Oz’, which is a 2016 Spring Xigu Gushu raw puer. I originally got a sample of Oz, but I’ve been sitting on this sample because earlier this spring, Bitter Leaf Teas said that the tea was still humid from pressing. Now that time has passed, it’s time to dive in to see what makes Oz such a great tea. Does Oz take your taste buds down the yellow brick road? Let’s find out!
Steeps 1 - 4
For this session, I used 4g of tea for a 60ml gaiwan, and used water hearted to a temperature of 185ºf. Anyways, Oz opened up to the spicy tasting notes of freshly harvested hay. After a few more steeps, a light aftertaste of sweet fruit arose on the tongue, which left a pleasant aftertaste. The tea was very soft, yet thick at the same time.
Steeps 5 - 8
Oz continued to open up with the base notes of hay and grass, which left a fruity and sweet impression on the sides of the cheeks. This tea’s body was thick as soup at this point as it was savory to the tongue. After another few steeps this tea’s texture and tasting notes began to mix, creating a harmonious blend which was pleasant in every way. However, towards the eighth steep, the tasting notes of an Autumn leaf pile began to make itself known.
Steeps 9 - 12
Oz started to thicken, and at this point, it was at its most powerful stage. My head became lightheaded, and grew heavier with each and every sip. The baste of this tea was a broth-like texture, which brought forth the tasting notes of an autumn leaf pile and roasted hay. This tea’s taking notes became a little more brassy and less fruity in these later steeps. After the twelfth steep, it was time to end the session with Oz….
Oz is a tea that’s definitely not a ‘daily drinker’. First off, Oz’s body was thick and luscious in every way and held a wide array of tasting notes. Second, Oz’s price point is $95.00 for a 100g mini beeng, so this isn't something you’re going to want to drink all of the time. One aspect I liked about this tea was that, despite using a smaller vessel for this session, I was still able to get tea drunk off of the 4g of tea that was used. One set back is that, because of how complex and rich this tea is, It would easily go under appreciated by someone who’s not too familiar with drinking puer. In conclusion, Oz is an excellent sheng puer that took my tasting notes down the yellow brick road, and hopefully, will take yours down the same path as well…