Hmmmm….what to say? First of all, I only ordered a sample of this, which Samovar says is enough for one pot. It looks to be about a tablespoon worth of leaf. One of the dynamic things about this tea is that it is supposed to have split personalities. You can brew it like an oolong with hotter water temps and it reacts very much like a Bai Hao or Oriental beauty oolong, which rivals a good Darjeeling in my opinion. However, Samovar promotes that you can also brew this like a white tea and have a somewhat different experience in terms of the notes that this gives up.
Since I only have enough for one pot, I decided to go with the lower water temps. Specifically, 180 degrees for 3 min. This is good, but a little grassy for me to want to actually purchase it for myself. There are notes of muscat, fruit, nuttiness, and a floral component. It is a bit malty and somewhat dry. Doesn’t sound much different than a typical Bai Hao, does it. But it is…it tastes much more like a white tea than a typical oolong. With hindsight being 20/20. I think I could have gotten away with making two small pots of this and done a hotter temp prep (prepare like an oolong) and a cooler temp prep (like a white tea) as this is a bit on the strong side.
Overall, I like this and would recommend this to folks that like Oriental Beauty, Darjeelings, grassy whites and the like. However, I likely would not purchase this in quantity for myself as it as bit grassier than I prefer. I might, however, get another sample of it and try again.