I have to admit I’ve been curious about this tea, well at first on Twitter they said the tea would taste like bacon which kind of turned me off for a while. Then I decided to go ahead and try it, perhaps it would be like a lapsang. So – I just got a sample.
Also I wasn’t sure how to prepare this, but the instructions said 4 minutes at 200 F so I thought I’d at least try it they way they suggested. I did use a lot of leaf though, the whole sample which was about 1 tsb. went into my cup, although they suggest 2 tsp. for this tea so I am not that far off the mark.
Wow, this such a very interesting tea, I’m so glad I tried it! My wet leaves definitely smell like wood smoke but it also has a sort of tart & tangy aroma like salt and vinegar potato chips!!!
The aroma of this tea is very barbeque-y. I have to say this does seem reminiscent of a lapsang but it also has some very interesting malt, cocoa and woody notes and there is a slight vinegary tartness in the finish. It definitely seems kinda bacon-y, the flavor reminds me of applewood smoked salt. It doesn’t seem like any other oolong I’ve had before.
The first steep at 4 minutes was a bit too strong for me; I probably should have gong-fu’d this from the very start. I did a second steep at 2 minutes and this is a much better cup for my palette. The slightly sour finish is a bit weird for me but this is one of the most unique teas I’ve had in a while. This is one tea that seemed to benefit from me adding a little agave nectar to it.
I don’t think I want to steep this again now because I might be up all night, but I imagine you could get 3-4 steeps at the shorter steeping time.
If you like the rugged complexity of pu-erh teas or lapsang you should definitely try it! I do not love it, but it was fun. I’d imagine this would be way too intense for some people’s palettes though.