This? Is so good. First off, the dry leaf smells amazing. It’s pretty much one of the most fragrant (and delicious smelling) Anxi oolong I’ve ever sniffed – fresh, floral, sweet, rich… And the taste? OMG. I vaguely recall having an almost otherworldly experience with a Red Blossom oolong (their Alishan, I think?) much too long ago. This rates right up there with that (utterly divine) experience.
First steep (30s) – Rich and buttery but also fresh, light and floral. There is a great mix of light/sweet and dark/heavy notes. Seriously wow.
Second steep (30s) – The smell of this literally made me close my eyes in delight. The floral notes make me think of orchid. Though the floral smell is more distinctive this steep, the overall taste is heavier and richer than before. It’s very fresh tasting. The creamy/buttery taste is really coming through and there’s a nectar/honey-like sweetness that’s very strong. Have I said wow? Because it is.
Third steep (45s) – Sweet, sweet, sweet! Like a sugar glaze over unopened orchid blossoms. Or, as it cools, perhaps like a very light kettle corn.
Fourth steep (45s) – The smell is heavier now, more green/vegetal notes than floral ones. The taste is darker too, reminding me a bit of Samovar’s Four Seasons (which I rarely had luck with) but with a slightly more present floral top note.
I think the second steep is by far my favorite with the first steep coming in second. Since those were so tasty, that’s what I’m rating this on. (Though I reserve the right to bump the rating up when the second steep is fresh in my mind.)