It’s been a while since I’ve updated this segment on my site, and to be honest, I’ve missed it and I’m glad to be back. Speaking of being busy, I got to meet Scott Wilson and his wife of Yunnan Sourcing!! After months and months of trying to meet up (and missing each other), we finally got to collaborate on a few youtube videos for Yunnan Sourcing’s youtube channel! So keep your eyes peeled to see a guest appearance from me. Anyways, let’s move on to your questions!
Q: Is competition grade ‘Tie Guan Yin’ oolong really the best oolongs as some say? - Hauke
A: So first off, we need to define what ‘competition grade’ tea is. Basically, according to a tea shop owner, competition grade tea is a tea that’s produced for competition and is part of a batch, which requires a certain amount of kilos produced. There are also rules for which it is produced, so not any regular ole tea can be called ‘competition grade’. Anyhow, I’ve personally only had a small handful of competition grade Tie Guan Yin, and they were from Yunnan Sourcing (I even reviewed one here). Overall, it was one of the best oolongs that I’ve ever tried, but Im not sure that I can attest that to the fact it was a competition grade tea, or the fact the village it comes from just makes really good tea? I need to explore more into that category.
Q: Since puer needs time to acclimate [after shipping], does it matter for oolong? - Will
A: So in my experience, you should certainly let puer acclimate to wherever you store your puer after shipping. Since puer tea easily absorbs odors, there’s a chance that it picked up something during shipping. Even if puer is shipped in a sealed bag, you’d probably want it to get accustomed to your climate since it’s used to being in Yunnan’s climate. Does that mean that I let puer settle in my pumidor every time I buy it? Nope — I’m usually too impatient and dive right in.
Anyhow. In my experience, oolongs don't absorb odors like puer does. To add to that, oolongs are typically shipped in sealed bags (sometimes vacuums sealed), so there isn’t much of an opportunity for the flavor to change in shipping. If the oolong is green/unoxidized, then you’ll probably want to drink it right away so that you can taste its freshness.
Q: Which cultivars are grown for dancong production and which flavor differences do they imply? - Leonardo
A: Dancong oolongs are from Guangdong. There are so many different areas in Guangdong and so many differs factors that play into the processing of dancong that there isn’t really a concrete answer to this question. Dancong can have a wide-array of oxidization levels that can also affect how it tastes. Further, the age and location of some tea trees will affect the tea’s end result taste (such as the age of the tea tree, the care of the tea tree, and especially if the tea tree came from a farm, as well as the elevation of the tea trees itself).
Q: Are there any good aged white teas available that wont break the bank? - Jerrod
A: For those of you who don't already know, white tea can age in the same way that puer can! And just like puer, the older it gets, the pricier it usually is. Aging white tea seems to be a more and more popular trend than it used to be, and since it’s becoming more popular, the more expensive it’s going to get. As of now, White2Tea carries a small variety of aged white teas on their site. As of this year, they released two new ones and are planning on releasing a third one (based on White2Tea’s Instagram story).
However, when I visited Scott and his wife of Yunnan Sourcing, we filmed a youtube video for an aged white tea that’s going to be posted very soon. I can’t really say much until it’s released, but it will be the most affordable aged white tea that I’ve come across, and to add, it’s really tasty.
Hopefully with this new trend of aged white tea, more and more tea shops will be releasing their own versions of white tea as time goes on. In my opinion, this is one tea trend that I like and one tea trend that I want to see stick around for the long haul….
If you have any questions that YOU want to see answered on the next segment of ‘Ask The Oolong Drunk’, you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!