This has got to be one of the prettiest teas I’ve ever seen. It has really, genuinely large wiry leaves, that range in colour from almost black through brown, green and a creamy white. It reminds me both of a bird’s nest, and of white peony. In common with the latter, both twigs, leaves and buds are easily identifiable in the dry mix. It’s so airy and interesting-looking, it’s hard to believe it’s actually tea.
Brewed, this has a mineral, slightly metallic scent that reminds me both of oolongs and darjeelings. Given that this is a darjeeling oolong, I guess that makes sense. The liquor is a medium golden-brown, which is about what I was expecting. So far, so good.
I don’t mind darjeelings, but oolongs have never really been my thing. It’s understanable, then, if a little disappointing, that this tea really isn’t my thing either. I’m not picking up many of the complexities others seem to rave about, which is sort of spoiling my enjoyment. I’m picking up a muscatel note, and a slight base spiciness, but that’s about all. I feel I should be getting more from this tea, and I do genuinely want to like it (particularly as it looks so gorgeous, I suspect). I’m going to experiment a little with brew times, temparatures, and quantity before I give up on this. I would quite like to add some honey, which seems kind of perverse, but I might give it a go anyway. For the minute, though, it’s not entirely what I hoped it would be.