This sample was provided to me by Angel from Teavivre approximately 1 to 2 months ago. My apologies in the delay before tasting, life got away with me. I’ve decided to do all my initial reviews on these teas following package directions. Though I would not ordinarily steep an oolong in boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes, I will give it the old college try, and hopefully post an additional note at another time with my usual parameters. For the tasting, I am using my gaiwan with one sample packet and sharing with the beau in our little double walled teacups.
Dry leaves smell sweet, and remind me of hay and grass. The beau proclaims them earthy but as in “of the earth” not dirt. : )
First steep: One minute, boiling water. The liquor is pale yellow with a hint of green, not nearly as deep as I feared. The smell is very vegetal, my first thoughts are boiled spinach and leafy greens. This does not appeal to me, but I’ll give it a shot – once it’s cool enough to drink! The leaves have opened a LOT and are very pretty in my gaiwan. As it cools the boiled greens aroma fades (yay) and the taste is surprising. There is an aspect of green vegetalness (ya, I said vegetalness, what of it? :D) but this is really nice. I am not a green tea drinker and tend to prefer oolongs that are more like black teas, but this is really pleasant. Surprisingly sweet and rich. There is a floral aspect which is very present in the taste, but not overwhelmingly. Reminds me of a few flowering teas I have tried and enjoyed. I’m impressed! The beau, on the other hand, says “it’s kinda plain”. Well.
Second steep: 2 minutes, boiling water. The liquor is much darker this time ‘round though the smell is fairly similar. Let it cool so I don’t burn my tongue and the taste is actually quite vegetal with a hint of bitterness. Jumping up to 2 minutes was clearly too much for me, I should have stuck at 1.5 for now. For an experienced oolong drinker the bold vegetal aspect of this might be appealing, but it is a bit too much for an oolong novice such as myself. Ah well, it’s my own fault! The beau proclaims that this steep is better and he likes it more. He has a recently discovered love for green tea, so this makes sense.
I think I will take a break now to prepare lunch and add any notes about further infusions later on, if I think of it. I have only tried 3 or 4 different Tie Guan Yins now, so I barely know what I am talking about but I found this to be really present and quite bold. Though I feared the boiling water, I think that is what maintained the strength of flavour.