Ooooh, I am super excited for this one! Big thanks to JustJames for sending me a sample!
The dry leaf aroma sure smells chocolaty, mmm! The brewed tea aroma is salty and toasty and completely different. I can really smell the Wuyi oolong in this. The first thing to hit my palate is a salty nuttiness from the oolong. Yet as I swallow, there’s a lovely honey sweetness that appears. That’s a surprise!
This is a yummy cup of tea! But I’m a bit confused with its name as I’m not getting much in the way of chocolate or genmaicha. I also think the oolong is a LOT stronger in this than the Laoshan black. I am getting something toasty, but it’s not the popped rice flavor I’m accustomed to in genmaicha. And when it comes to chocolate, I want IN YOUR FACE chocolate. This is like a quiet whisper of wind through the branches of a cacao tree.
As it cooled, all I could taste was the Wuyi oolong and I found it fairly bitter. Yuck. I didn’t want to give up on this tea just yet though, so I tried a second steep for 4 minutes. The resultant brew was much toastier but also less robust and rich. I think I actually prefer this second infusion. There’s still a nice, natural sweetness and it’s appearing more at the front end of the sip now. But what really makes this second cup a winner is that there’s definitely no bitterness!
I’m surprised that Verdant felt compelled to add oolong to this. I think it would have been just fine as an all Laoshan black base. I’ve never been much of a fan of these dark, rock oolongs. So although I enjoyed the sample, I don’t think I’ll stock this tea myself. I guess I’ll be the only one on here to not rave about this blend! Oh well. You never know till you try! Thanks again to JustJames for making this tasting experience possible.