It should not come as a surprise that I have drank this many many times, at work and as well as at home (though I have never actually purchased it except in the Forbidden Kingdom Collection when it was 50% off). I’ve sold plenty of it and for that I am sorry. However I have somehow not gotten around to reviewing it.
That being said, I’m going to try not to be too negative here. I did short steeps with this one today and I must say my gongfu was pretty good, for as little water as I was using the leaves got some good motion. The leaves didn’t give off much scent when dry and weren’t anything special wet, but my gods did that first cup smell good. It smelled like the High Mountain Alishan I had the other day and I just leaned back in my chair and let myself get lost in the vapors.
There. I have said something nice, unfortunately it’s the only thing I have to say. There was no sweetness to be found in this cup, no butter or creaminess in the ones to follow and hardly a trace of orchid. To be fair the leaves are probably quite old, but I have never found any of those qualities except the orchid notes in Teavana’s MPO.
The flavors on this are a bit hard to describe, they are rather vague, not particularly vegetal nor floral nor woodsy nor herbaceous but the second infusion was more savory. For a second I thought it was going to be buttery, but it was much to dry for that. Teavana describes this tea as smooth and while I wouldn’t call it astringent, the mouthfeel on this tea is probably the most disappointing part. I steeped this probably six times today and it didn’t produce anything else noteworthy.
I will mention that the leaves were more broken on this batch than I am used to seeing. Also the color is laughably dull compared to Verdant’s Spring Harvest Tieguanyin that I brewed right after it, verdant indeed! As others have said, Teavana’s MPO is not a bad tea, but it’s also not worth the price nor the hype and is certainly not “the rarest oolong in the world”. I had the exact same reaction as JubJubs when I read their newsletter a while ago. http://bogosiposo.tumblr.com/post/22471844251/teavanas-monkey-picked-oolong