I thought I had reviewed this one already.
One day I went tourist shopping in Singapore Chinatown, entered a tea shop, tasting the tea-du-jour, a nice oolong, wandered and smelled almost all the varieties available, as I had lots of time and there were nobody in the shop anyway. Their product range was definitely on “simple” green and oolong, plus some black, some pu-erh and lapsang souchong (I usually do not like the taste of those two last, just the smell is enough to tell me I do not feel like drinking that); nothing flavored, except maybe some jasmine.
I have to confess, I am far from a specialist in teas and usually tend more on the side of “I like drinking something with a nice taste”, hence my preference for flavored teas.
I decided to give a chance to a Taiwanese oolong, as the cup I had tried was rather nice (though not really available for sale for a reason I could not understand and which seems totally stupid).
I settled on choosing the most expensive of the common range, excluding the exceptional with off-the-charts pricing teas, which I am not knowledgeable enough to appreciate to their value.
At the smell, it smells greener and less astringent than the other ones; I had the feeling when smelling it that it would hardly turn bitter, while I had some doubts about even the second best. It comes as small pearls/beads, very nice to look at, quite convenient for serving IMO and hiding usually nice leaves.
The first times I brewed this tea in my usual big teapot, which was not a great idea. Recommended steeping time is to be short but it does not work so well with big water quantities, so I tended to oversteep and it turned a little bit bitter / not so nice. Another problem was that the leaves couldn’t expand nicely, as I use a teaball (I’ve got to get a filter though).
Today, I finally decided to try it, chinese style, with the gaiwans I also got in this shopping spree, and which I usually just use as regular cup. I’m a bit of a klutz and have to use the two of them – one to brew the tea, then the other to be poured in to drink after steeping. Thus I could try the first 60s first steeping (well more around 75 s), 40s second, 40s third and 50s following.
It’s better : no bitterness at all and a very green, very fresh taste. I have the feeling I could resteep the same leaves many times.
And the surprise was when I realized how big the leaves really were : around 6 to 7 cm ! I had never seen leaves this big unbroken before.
As a conclusion, after all this ranting, I’m glad I bought this tea as it really has a very delicate taste and contributes to further my education in fine teas. In my inexperience, I’m not sure oolong can get much better. Maybe it’ll grow more on me and I’ll feel more often willing to drink it as opposed to flavored tea, now that I know how to prepare it.