I’ve cupped this tea over the last three nights and mornings, because I wanted to try to be accurate in describing my tea experience. Since this is a multi-steep tea, my evenings brewing this one often took me into the next morning.
Monday night when I smelled this tea, the leaves smelled of fruits, yet had a roasty/nutty aroma. The wet leaf aroma intensified these qualities! The first two steeps at 45 seconds were the best, and what I got was a yellow cup color, with a fruity sweetness I can only describe as peach-like. This flavor did stay on my palate, but I also got that roasy/nutty quality. There is also a creamy or buttery quality, which made this even more smooth and delicious. My other three steeps consisted of sweetness, but slowly fading qualities of the first two cups. My one mistake was not using hotter water and a longer steep for the fourth cup, leaving the fifth cup rather flat. :-//
Others talked about a milky quality, but I didn’t pick up on any of that in the aromas or flavors. Also there was a fuzzy feeling on the back of my tongue after swallowing, which was OK, but then I noticed a slight taste I can only describe as a powdery finish. This was present after every cup and I didn’t like it. It is not horrible, but it does influence my slightly lower rating.
The next night, I smelled what I thought could be that milky quality (in the dry leaf aroma) I missed the night before. Little to no fruity tones were present, but that nutty/ roasty quality was still there. The info below is for the first two steeps. It’s funny because, in the cup and on my palate I was getting less fruits, and more of the roasty, milky quality. I went with it—I let the experience take me where it would. I found it interesting. How could I not sense this milky quality the night before? I don’t know, but it was definitely there. The smooth, creaminess was also there. This milk like quality was more than just the buttery aspect of the tea, because I could smell it in the dry leaf aromas! A really creamy, delicious tea! :)) That is, until I noticed that same powdery finish (albeit slight), from the night before. :-//
Last night I added slightly more leaf and got more roasty, milky aromas. The first two cups were filled with peach like fruitiness, and I also got more roasty/ nutty goodness. The buttery smoothness was also there!! I got more of the milky quality in the dry and wet leaf aromas and not in the cup or on my palate. Third cup was steeped at 1.5 min and near boiling. Flavors and aromas were still present but fading slightly. My fourth cup (5 min, boiling), was still very tasty, smooth and sweet. Each cup exhibited that slight, powdery aftertaste :-//.
Overall, a very good Oolong, and if it weren’t for that odd powdery aftertaste, this tea would rate a little higher. I can’t recommend it as a Milk Oolong, because I have no other milk Oolong to compare it to. Was that powder note due to artificial infusion to get that milk quality?? I do not know. I will try another milk Oolong that proclaims to be a naturally infused milk Oolong. :))
Cupped: Monday-Thursday, January 16-19, 2012.
Reviewed: Thursday, January 19, 2012.