Another lucky dip. Actually it’s just the first of many but when I took this one I wasn’t convinced it was the one I wanted. I just didn’t want any of the others I randomly picked out either, so I stuck with the first one up.
First thing that struck me about it was the that leaves are not rolled or shaped at all, but simply dried in whichever shape they happened to have. Secondly, I didn’t know from the bag what type of oolong to expect but the the leaves made me think it was probably mostly a green type. But then the picture on the tea here at Steepster clearly shows a dark type. So I’ve decided that it’s probably an in-between thing.
They have a strong aroma, a bit spicy and rather hay-like. It reminded me a bit of Darjeeling, to be honest, which has me a little concerned as I don’t really care for Darjeelings all that much. After steeping I’m a little less worried about that however, as the spicy hay note is gone and replaced by something strongly floral and somewhat fruity. Apples and pears seem to be a common sort of note to find in greener oolongs and this is no exception. There is also something very herbal about the aroma, reminding me a little of chamomile.
Hm, there’s a certain amount of Darjeeling-esque spiced hay in the flavour, but again I’m getting a strong association to sweet apples, or the slight sourness of apple juice perhaps. But that spiced hay note… No, I can’t say I’m really that much of a fan of that. There is an almost minty-cool freshness about the aftertaste that is really quite nice. It lends a perky quality to an otherwise not impressive tea.
I’ve heard super-awesome things about these Hawaiian grown teas in general, but this being my first meeting with them doesn’t have me totally convinced. Or maybe it’s just the degree of fermentation in this particular oolong that doesn’t speak to me. I tend to prefer them either on the dark end of the spectrum or the deep green end. None of this half-way stuff, please.