What to say for my first tasting note on Steepster… feels almost prestigious. I have no idea how I came across such a great site full of so many like-minded people. I suppose I can talk more about this in the discussion area and try to keep this note a note; but as my first interaction with the community, I’d just like to show my support for the Steepster team and everyone like me who enjoys the finer things in life.
Now, Yamamotoyama Oolong Tea: My first impression as I opened the packet was the pleasent scent of cigars – I’m not an expert (yet), so I can’t specify what type. I’m also a bit of a newcomer to tea-making etiquette, so I had to use hard tap water and a tea strainer to pour water into the cup. I didn’t measure the temperature but I’d left the kettle to cool for a minute after boiling.
At the start of the steeping process, it took a few seconds before any colour seeped into the water, and when it did it was a predictable golden colour. After about 5 minutes (again, I didn’t measure – a practice I’ll make sure to get into) I removed the bag – and I didn’t squeeze it since squeezing releases harsh tannins and over-steeped water – and left it to cool a little before drinking. The colour after the ~5 minutes was normal black tea colour with a green tint, which I guess is a good indicator of the partially-fermented Oolong leaves.
The first flavours all kind of weave between each other and lightly flow over the tongue. There’s the distinct, smoky and complex character that you notice first, closely trailed by a light creaminess that makes it so easy to drink. To anyone wanting to try this tea: Do not add sugar. It gets sweeter towards the end, but not in the sickly lingering way that sugar does in tea.
Before long I started to taste a round, slightly sour, slightly metallic flavour. I am almost certain that this note was caused or tainted by the water I used and any other contaminants.
And that’s the end of my first tasting note. I think that’s all the complexity I can get out of a bagged Oolong. I might update in the future with different steeping times and temperatures, but I am reluctant to try milk due to the creaminess.
Sorry for the long-windedness, anyone who has read this. I’m sure my future tasting notes will be briefer, and I hope I can get the hang of all of this and become an active member of the community.