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Recent Tasting Notes
Got this one from Tommy The Toad long ago. Went back and read my notes because I thought I had learned something new, only to discover I had just forgotten I already figured it out. Yeah, I’m confused too. Back on point, this is really good if you forget the brewing instructions and just go with a one minute steep. Going longer or using too much leaf results in an overpowering dark oolong cup. Short steep this is balanced. The orange is more of an orange Crush flavor than fresh orange but I like Crush so it works.
Backlogging from Friday:
I enjoyed yesterday’s cup enough that I wanted to see how well the leaf would survive the night. 12 oz boiling water, 1 minute steep in my press. The orange flavor and the heavily oxidized roasted (charcoal like) oolong are both kind of extreme flavors, but the short steep balances them pretty well. I can pick each out if I think about it yet neither stands out in a casual sip. It still has a cooling affect on my mouth and throat, which I find fascinating from a hot drink with no mint. I must admit the bizarre nature of this combination is beginning to grow on me.
This is my second attempt at this one. I started with a healthy spoon of leaf, and added 12oz of boiling water for a one minute steep in my press. The leaf of this oolong is very dark in color. The scent of it dry is heavy orange flavoring. The press scent after brewing is of roasted oolong and flavoring. The liquor is similarly dark to a black tea.
The sip is much improved over the last time I tried this. Using boiling water is necessary to open the leaf and the short steep time is crucial to keep both the heavy roastiness of the oolong and the orange flavor from becoming overwhelming. Especially as it cools, this is easily drinkable. There is a bit of a cool blast on the throat like mint.
I think orange with a greener oolong would be much more relaxing but ignoring the website recommended steeping instructions and going with my own has made this a pleasant drink. I have a few herb ideas growing that I still want to try later to see if I can further tame this beast.
This one came from Tommy the Toad. The liquor is dark like a black tea and smells of orange flavoring and smoked/roasted tea (Wuyi?). There is a bit of an earthy scent. For $2.75/oz, the leaf is actually better than I expected. The flavoring is pretty much exactly what I expected from Tommy’s description. It is a bit overdone and a touch artificial in the first cup. I can’t tell if the flavor is really that far off or if maybe orange just doesn’t mix well with this highly oxidized roasted oolong. I think the addition of a little lemon to support and compliment this tea would help greatly.
The interesting thing is, the third cup is fabulous. The flavoring becomes just a tasty remnant and the oolong looses its roastiness. The earthiness that was present from the beginning resembles a mild sheng puerh – sticky lip feel and all. Orange and sheng apparently work together really well for me. I would drink this cup all day long.
I wouldn’t reorder this tea BUT based on the quality of the leaf and the great price, I would not hesitate to try some of their other blends.
An interesting side note: every time I take a sip the smell makes me think of the world food mart where I buy most of my teas locally. More accurately it reminds me of incense and hippies. Far out man.