98

I’m about to run out of this tea and I noticed Halcyon tea is also out of 2011’s batch (I’m excited for the 2012 crop, hopefully it’ll be as good or better than last year’s). Anyways, I decided to give this tea a proper review.

This tea is made of twisted dark brown leaves with a subtle charcoal-like aroma.

I prepared this tea following Halcyon’s directions, using a Gaiwan, 195F water, and 1.5 min to 3.5 min steep time.

My first cup had a nice clear amber color with a toasty coconut aroma mixed with sweet sugary hint, similar to the smell of a bag of mixed sun dried fruits. The tea was subtly toasty with a mixture of several notes and flavors. It was slightly sweet, with hints of fruit, coconut, and a nice fresh aftertaste. After having a few sips of this tea, it left my mouth with a slightly dry sensation mixed with a freshness in my breath, just as if you had a bite of fresh fruit (grapes come to mind). My second was more of the same, no noticeable changes. Third cup I noticed a slight loss of flavor, coconut hint was gone, but the aftertaste was still there. In the 4th and 5th cup I increased the brew time from 1.5 min to 2.5 min. Still, flavor was weaker than in the first two infusions. The toastiness of the tea increased, most of the fruity flavors were weaker, and aftertaste was not as intense. I did feel a slightly chocolate hint in this cup similar to a mild dark chocolate. The fifth cup did not have the chocolate notes though, flavors by now were really subtle, but still enjoyable. By the sixth cup (this time steeping it for 3.5 min) the tea had a yellowish brown color, no aroma, and very faint flavors. After the 6th cup I decided not to re-brew.

The wet leaf now had a dark brownish green color to it and was made of well preserved leaves mixed with few broken pieces.

Overall, I really love this tea. I appreciate it a lot for its unique broad complexity of flavors and aromas. Honestly this is one of the hardest tea to describe, so many flavors and aromas that I don’t know what it reminds me of, I just know that I love it. I also like the fact that it is not very toasty, the dry leaf makes you think it will have a strong overpowering burnt flavor, but it surprises you with subtle fruity flavors. Even though the tea did not last many infusions compared to other high quality oolongs, the first cups are so delicious that it makes me keep coming back for more. Definitely one of my favorite Oolongs.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec
SweetBlossom

I have to try again this oolong! :) For now, I’ll enjoy my Gyokuro Kin

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Comments

SweetBlossom

I have to try again this oolong! :) For now, I’ll enjoy my Gyokuro Kin

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Bio

SoCal native and Tea addict.

Looking to try every single type of tea the world has to offer.

I’m not too fond of flavored tea or blends, but every now and then, there will be one that I like.

I enjoy all types of tea, but my absolute favorites are Japanese Greens and Oolongs.

I am much more familiar with Chinese and Japanese teas. I’m looking to get in to Korean tea next and then Indian/Ceylons. Herbals are good too, but I don’t pay much attention to them (except rooibos).

Ti Kuan Yin (or Tie Guan Yi, whichever you prefer) Is one of my favorite teas. I’m trying to taste many offerings from different vendors to find the absolute best batch I can find.

My “Tea-Dream” is to one day make a cultural-tea trip to China, Taiwan, and Japan.


Ratings Guide

0 – 19 = Bad.
20 – 49 = Meh.
50 – 59 = It’s Ok.
60 – 69 = I like it, but…
70 – 79 = Good.
80 – 89 = Very Good.
90 – 100 = Amazing.

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Los Angeles, CA

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