The leaves smell delightful. I tossed in the whole sample (7.7g – a rounded Tbsp) into my gaiwan and did a quick rinse (5s). So away we go!
Steep 1: (1:00 @ 175°) Smells fresh, floral, green, buttery. The taste is surprisingly sharp and tangy. Creamy feeling but taste-wise makes me think of lemon butter. Probably could have backed off the time a bit since this is pretty intense.
Steep 2: (45s @ 175°) Smells fresh, clean. The taste is more of a lemon herb butter. Not quite as intense and sharp but still more citrus than floral, though I think some floral notes are creeping in.
Steep 3: (50s @185°) Starting to smell more “typical” oolong with some floral notes. The taste is more floral, softer, but it still has a citrusy tart twang at the end.
Steep 4: (55s @ 185°) The taste seems a little creamier but also a little muddier. Still overall a very ‘yellow’ taste which makes me think of lemons (though it has lost the tartness it originally had).
Steep 5: (60s @190°) The flavor has cleaned up a bit and is smoother but still lemony (though faint) with a hint of creamy.
I’m sure this tea has at least three more steeps in it, but I’m not sure if I do. I think I’ll move on.
Ultimately, I think this is a quality tea – the tastes are very clear and unmuddled – but it’s a bit too refreshing/lemony for what I’m looking for in a green oolong and so not quite to my tastes. Those that enjoy cleaner, brighter tasting oolongs (and lemony teas) would most likely enjoy this one lots.