I was so disappointed by this the first time I had it. It was really expensive, nearly 100 kr for 100 g, which is a price you normally see in white teas and flowering display teas. And then it had so little flavour. It was almost unbearable.
Today has continued to suck, involving the local tax authorities who are trying to trick me into paying the same bill twice. I wouldn’t be so irritated by this if it hadn’t been for the fact that paying this bill last month is a major contributing factor to november having to be stingy-month. growl
I needed something soothing and I haven’t had a pure oolong in ages, so I’m going to revisit this one. My expectations of it aren’t quite as high this time, so I’m going to be starting over. Hopefully I can shift the rating up a bit too, because ‘30’ is just… I feel really bad about having rated such an expensive tea so low. So let’s pretend that this is the first post I make about it.
The leaves are large and twirly. They’re a bit on the darker side, although not as dark as a black tea. Some of them have that golden in-between colour. Pretty in the in. They have plenty of aroma. Sweet and with a note of tobacco.
(so far so good)
Once they have been steeped, the leaves turn a nice light green again. I’ve never noticed that before. I’ve given it a good long steep to get as much flavour out of them as possible. A C Perch’s recommend eight minutes, so that’s what they got. Actually they got nearly 15 minutes because I forgot to pay attention. In the cup it has a nice golden-ish red colour, like autumn leaves just before they fall off the tree. I’m using a fairly tall mug and I can just exactly see the bottom of it. The aroma of the brew is sort of reminding me of broccoli that has been boiled in lightly salted water with a small lump of butter in it. I wouldn’t say it’s a broccoli note, but when I smell something vegetal with a weak butter note and a weak salt note, broccoli is the thing that first comes to mind.
The first sip of the first steep was primarily bitter. This, obviously, has to do with oversteeping. As mentioned I was aiming for 8 minutes and forgot to pay attention so it got nearly 15 instead. They don’t say anything about recommended temperature other than ‘freshly boiled water’. I can taste very little else than the beginning bitterness, so I think it’s safe to say that pretty much ruined this. How annoying. But on a day like today, hands up everybody who’s surprised. Anybody? No?
Dumping the first steep then, and going straight to the second. In my opinion any proper oolong should be able to handle at least one resteep, so I’m not too concerned about it shifting the review. The second steep involves a kitchen timer, so as not to make the same mistake again. It’s much much lighter this time around. A more orange-y golden, but the aroma is exactly the same.
No bitterness this time. I’m thinking I must have made it up too weak that first disappointing time. It has a nutty note, some astringency if you really search for it, and a clear leafy primary flavour. Well, I say ‘primary’, but the thing is it only really comes through if you get a large enough sip. If you just take tiny little nips, all you get is the nuttiness. It’s especially brought out if you slurp a bit and get it nicely mixed with air while tasting. A very very VERY small barely there flowery note too. I can’t even find it in every sip.
To begin with this doesn’t have much in the way of after taste, but as you take a few sips, it starts to build up. If you’re eating anything with the tea though, you’ll ruin it. Every time you take a bite, you have to start over.
All in all, I’m feeling much more happy about this tea now than I was before, and I’ve shifted the rating up considerably. Is it worth the high price though? No, not really. You can get lots of similar or better oolongs at half the price this one cost.