I bought tea advertised as “Osmanthus Oolong” by Tao of Tea, but the leaves I got are definitely a green oolong, not like the picture of the more deeply oxidized leaves! Mine are tightly rolled green leaves sprinkled with dainty little osmanthus flowers! I drink this pretty often since I got a big sack of it. I’m pretty relaxed about steeping times and temperature – I give the leaves a quick rinse to open them up, but then I use water that’s been boiled and has cooled off for a bit.
The first infusion, predictably, packs the most osmanthus flavor. The osmanthus combines with the oolong to create a bright apcricot inflected brew, with a sweet, fruity sparkling citrus quality and a lightly green floral tone. The apricot flavor reminds me more of dried than fresh apricot. It has a slightly astringent, sort of sour aftertaste, but that’s not necessarily a strike against it, as it seems in keeping with the fruity osmanthus flavor.
Subsequent infusions lose a lot of that sparkly quality and steer closer to the smoother, rounder flavor profile of a typical green oolong, but with a lingering fruity-floral finish. I usually get a good three or four infusions out of this tea before I move on! I like this tea in the mornings because of its refreshing, sunny flavor.