The Final Sipdown: Day 18
Decupboarding Total: 37
I tend to use cooler water to steep my green oolongs simply because it seems that those not-so-sturdy teas can be cooked with high temperature water. But sometimes, a greener oolong doesn’t really sparkle at that lower temperature and it takes something a bit warmer to really make it tasty. With that in mind, I decided to do my last cup of this at 195° instead of 175°.
So close and yet so far. The taste is clearer and there are some new notes to this that I haven’t tasted previously – almost a lemon spark to it – but the astringency is also heightened, even more than the new notes of flavor. As the tea cools a bit, the lemon sweeten and mellows into something that, when blended with the floral note, tastes almost muscadine-y. Which sounds good, but then the ick happens.
The astringency kicks in hard, making the back of the roof of my mouth feel sandpaper-ish as I begin each swallow. After I finish a swallow, that prickle slowly expands up my tongue, making the back and middle feel bumpy, dry and a little sticky. Then a sour taste shows up on the dry, sticky bits and I am reminded of morning breath. I have to swallow a few times to get enough saliva in my mouth to make the dry feeling go away and to keep the tissues inside my mouth from being glued together. And that’s when I get a faint taste of armpits or maybe raw onion.
So on the plus side: lemon and muscidine.
On the con side: astringency, morning breath, armpit and maybe raw onion.
I’m going to go with higher temperature water is not the way to brew this one.