Mountain Stream Teas’ Four Seasons of Pear Mountain Oolong Sample Pack | Tea Review

2 comments

MountainStreamTeas_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_spoons

In my quest to learn more about tea, I was drawn to this sample pack since it contained four teas from the same farm, but picked and processed during different seasons!

The sample set was advertised as “Same Tea Plants. Same Tea Master. Different Seasons.” The teas came in four separate vacuum-sealed packages in a bubble wrap. Each package was 25 grams of tea and had a label that outline tasting notes, as well as brewing style. There were two brewing style – gong fu and western style. In this review, I use gong fu style with 3 infusions.

MountainStreamTeas_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_packaging

The Pear Mountain Oolong is from a farm located in Taiwan. The farm is located 2000 metres above sea level in the Lishan tea growing area of central Taiwan. It was handpicked, processed on-site in a small batch. The sample set came with four teas and seemed to vary slightly. Based on the web description, some sets came with Snow Picked which sounded interesting as well! I received:

  • Spring Pick;
  • Fall A Pick;
  • Fall B Pick; and,
  • Winter Pick.

With some basic information out of the way, let’s go!

 

Spring Pear Mountain Oolong

MountainStreamTeas_Spring_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_spoon

Description: Soft, round, sweet fruit and floral, slight vegetal upfront 

Instructions: 3-5g per 100ml | 100°C water, 30, 40, 60 seconds

Review: The dry emerald coloured leaves and steams were rolled into tight balls, with a faint grassy smell. The tea was proceeded on May 26th, 2019. When warmed in a pre-heated gaiwan, the dry leaves was reminiscent of spring and smelled nutty, floral, and vegetal. The liquor was a pale yellow liquor and had an orchid smell.

Infusion 1 (30 seconds): The liquor started off delicate and gradually increased in flavour ranging from nutty, floral, vegetal, and reminiscent of spring. The taste lingered in the mouth. When cooled, the liquor was more vegetal.

MountainStreamTeas_Spring_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_wetleaf

Infusion 2 (40 seconds): After 40 seconds, the leaves have unfurled. The liquor was slightly darker with some fuzzy hairs floating at the top. The flavour was much stronger and was floral, vegetal, and spinach with a hint of astringency at the end of the sip. The liquor left the mouth feeling dry.

Infusion 3 (60 seconds): The liquor was a highlighter yellow colour and had a grassy smell. The flavour was much more delicate and was grassy, vegetal with a lingering floral note at the tail end of the sip.

Overall, I thought this was a nice range of flavours from nutty, floral to vegetal. My favourite infusion is two since it was a had a good amount of flavour and range of tastes (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Oolong tea
  • Origin: Taiwan, Lishan(Pear Mountain), Nantou
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Oolong tea
  • Company: Moutain Stream Teas

 

Fall Pear Mountain Oolong (A)

MountainStreamTeas_Fall_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_A_spoon

Description: Subtle sweetgrass/ floral, buttery mid-mouth sweet fruit aftertaste 

Instructions: 3-5g per 100ml | 100°C water, 30, 40, 60 seconds 

Review: My set came with Fall Pick A and B which were both processed on August 23, 2019. I was able to find more information on the website that stated:

Fall Pick A is an easy to brew lighter oxidized oolong whose buttery florals are rich, subtle, long-lasting and great for grandpa/western style brewing. Fall Pick B is more oxidized with stronger, richer, deeper buttery flavors in the up front with more of the heat of the fall pick, but with less of the floral aftertaste of the Fall Pick A. 

The dry leaves were mostly a dark olive green with lighter pieces and a fresh grassy smell. When pre-heated in the gaiwan, the leaves had a grassy and vegetal aroma.

Infusion 1 (30 seconds): After 30 seconds, the liquor was a pale yellow colour with a faint roasted and floral smell. It had a delicate taste that was floral and ended off slightly vegetal.

MountainStreamTeas_Fall_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_A_wetleaf

Infusion 2 (40 seconds): The liquor was still a pale yellow colour with a roasted vegetal smell. It is still on the delicate in taste, with floral notes lingering in the mouth and ending off sweet and vegetal. When cooled, the liquor was roasted and drying in the mouth.

Infusion 3 (60 seconds): The leaves have completely unfurled into large leaves. The liquor was still on the subtle side and was mildly vegetal, and tasted of pea sprouts with had some dryness at the back of the mouth. When cooled, the liquor was sweeter and had less astringency.

Overall, throughout the infusions, this tea was on the subtle side. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just found it didn’t have a particularly strong flavour. This one may be nice when you want something to drink when relaxing to music or read a book (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Oolong tea
  • Origin: Taiwan, Lishan(Pear Mountain), Nantou
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Oolong tea
  • Company: Moutain Stream Teas

 

Fall Pear Mountain Oolong (B)

MountainStreamTeas_Fall_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_B_spoon

Description: Subtle sweetgrass/ floral, buttery mid-mouth sweet fruit aftertaste 

Instructions: 3-5g per 100ml | 100°C water, 30, 45, 60 seconds 

Review: Like Fall Pear Mountian A, B, was also processed on August 23, 2019. In comparison:

Fall Pick A is an easy to brew lighter oxidized oolong whose buttery florals are rich, subtle, long-lasting and great for grandpa/western style brewing. Fall Pick B is more oxidized with stronger, richer, deeper buttery flavors in the up front with more of the heat of the fall pick, but with less of the floral aftertaste of the Fall Pick A. 

The tightly rolled tea was a dark forest green colour and had a warm roasted vegetal smell. In the warmed gaiwan, the smell of the leaves was nutty, grassy, sweet and floral. Smell wise, it was much more grassy, vegetal and nutty in comparison to A.

Infusion 1 (30 seconds): After the first infusion, the liquor was a dark yellow colour and had a floral smell. Tastewise, it was sweet, nutty, vegetal and spinach and had a much stronger taste profile than A. Despite it being picked in Fall, it was very reminiscent of spring. Afterwards, there was a nice roasted taste at the back of the mouth.

MountainStreamTeas_Fall_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_B_wetleaf

Infusion 2 (40 seconds): The liquor was a darker yellow and smelled floral and nutty. The leaves had fully unfurled and the leaves were smaller in size than A. Taste-wise, it was nutty, vegetal and grassy. Depending on the sip, there were hints of umami with some astringency at the tail end. The flavours mellowed out when cooled and nuttier with some dryness at the back of the mouth.

Infusion 3 (60 seconds): The liquor was a highlighter yellow. The taste was faint with hints of roasted, vegetal and nutty notes with a wave of astringency throughout the sip.

I tend to like a stronger brew, so therefore, I enjoyed slightly more than Fall Pear Mountain A pick. I wonder if the leaves are younger, which is why there was more flavour. (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Oolong tea
  • Origin: Taiwan, Lishan(Pear Mountain), Nantou
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Oolong tea
  • Company: Moutain Stream Teas

 

Winter Pear Mountain Oolong

MountainStreamTeas_Winter_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_spoon

Description: Rich floral and sweet, slight vegetal, floral aftertaste 

Instructions: 3-5g per 100ml | 100°C water, 30, 45, 60 seconds

Review: This last tea was processed on October 26, 2019. Compared to the other teas, this had the widest rolled up tea balls with a roasted and vegetal smell, like when in the pre-heated gaiwan.

Infusion 1 (30 seconds): The liquor was a very pale yellow, almost clear but had a strong vegetal smell. The liquor was faintly vegetal and more nutty when cooled.

MountainStreamTeas_Winter_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_wetleaf

Infusion 2 (40 seconds): The second infusion was a brighter yellow and had a stronger vegetal smell with little hairs floating at the top of the liquor. The leaves had unfurled and had a floral smell. Tastewise, the liquor was much more vegetal, umami, grassy with some astringency at the tail end. When cooled, it was more astringent.

Infusion 3 (60 seconds): For the last infusion, the yellow liquor had a very classic oolong taste – vegetal, floral, sweet with a hint of bitterness.

I really liked the range of tastes. To me, this is what I think of when I think ‘oolong.’ (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Oolong tea
  • Origin: Taiwan, Lishan(Pear Mountain), Nantou
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Oolong tea
  • Company: Moutain Stream Teas

 

Final Thoughts

MountainStreamTeas_Pear_Mountain_Oolong_giawan

I have to say I am pretty happy with this sampler set! What surprise me the most was the two fall oolongs because of how different they were despite being processed in the same day. That being said, the only thing I wish I could change is if I had received the Snow Picked oolong, but I imagine that comes down what the company had in stock at the time. I have never tried snow picked before and it is something I will be looking for in the future.

I am really glad I had bought this set because it shows how different tea is, despite being from the same farm depending on the season, and even down to the batch! Sets like these are very important to understand tea more because highlights the subtle differences. I would recommend a set like this to anyone who is looking to learn more about tea and understand the nuances of processing and seasons

Sadly, this set is sold out and while I normally don’t like reviewing teas that are out of stock, but I thought this would be an interesting post to see how the teas compare (4/5 rating).

The question of the post: Which oolong would you have liked to taste?

2 comments on “Mountain Stream Teas’ Four Seasons of Pear Mountain Oolong Sample Pack | Tea Review”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.