Another sample from my box from LiberTEAS! I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while so I was thrilled when I saw it in there. I have a sample of the flavored version of this in the mail because I wanted to try something extra milky, so it will be fun to compare it to this once it comes.
The dry leaves are a lovely green and smell so creamy, and they open beautifully—tons of whole, undamaged leaves unfurled! This tea is also a water hog, and the first steep sucked up nearly half of the water I put in there. I was a bit conflicted on what temp I should brew it at, some instructions say boiling but my sample said 170 so that’s what I did for the first steep! It was creamy, silky heaven—floral, sweet, and buttery. It’s a bit apricoty but not really fruity at all if that makes sense, and it’s floral without having a specific flower taste. Very mildly floral, but it’s there. There’s also a bit of grassiness going on, which I love! It’s not milky in an overt sense, but there’s a distinct smoothness here that I associate with milk oolongs. I think the milk part is more mouthfeel than taste.
For the second steep I tried hotter water (190) which I don’t think is ideal for this tea. There was no bitterness or astringency, but the creamy flavors fell away and the grassiness was pushed to the forefront. I liked it, but it didn’t seem much like a milk oolong—in fact this steep read as more of a green (i.e. less complex).
Steep 3 at 170 again was back to creamy goodness, with a more pronounced and distinct floral note than the first steep. It’s similar to the Mermaid’s Kiss, so it’s maybe magnolia? So far this is the most refreshing steep, and the grassy-milky-creamy-floral-apricoty notes seem the most balanced.
For the 4th steep I decided to get a bit crazy—you might have guessed from some of my previous notes that I like to experiment with my tea, and I certainly did something a bit risky with this cup! I wanted a bit more milky flavor, and I have these chewy milk candies from Japan sitting on my counter, so I chopped half of one up and put it in my IngenuiTEA as it brewed. It certainly looks milky now, and tastes more… well, milky! And sweet too, since there’s sugar in it now. It’s surprisingly natural tasting, probably because they are pretty small candies and I only used half of one.
I’m sure there are more steeps left in this so I’ll probably play around with it later tonight. Either way, given the reasonable pricing and how tasty this is I’ll definitely be adding it to the next order I place at Teavivre!