This tea deserves more attention that I have currently given it today, and so this “note” will updated with a proper response. As of now I have this twice, both only up to two steeps. This tea was given to me by my Godmother, and she got it from her Husband upon his return from teaching in Taiwan. It’s two years old, but was vacuum sealed, and the vacuum sealed bag was in a lined and sealed container.
The tea (so far) is woody, slightly vegetal, pleasantly bitter, and perhaps it has some of that malty flavor I’m learning to identify. It also has some other surprising elements that are hard to describe accurately, but I will do my best. If you’ve ever eaten sorrel leaves, plucked fresh from the ground, they cause a tingle along the sides of your tongue, and have a berry-like flavor. This tea has that sort of quality, but in a very less citrus/berry way. It happens more to the back and underside of the tongue. The sensation/flavor increases as the tea cools, and (so far) if allowed to cool (say while typing your wholly inadequate note) can become almost unpleasant.
This tea should follow the traditional Oolong steeping parameters. Short and frequent. My first steeping I tried my usual three minutes, and it was overpoweringly astringent, bitter, and mouth-drying (you know what I mean).
The first time it was served to me my host literally poured water over the leaves, brought the teapot to the table, and poured it. It was almost sweet. I think it barely steeped for twenty seconds. Anyway, I’ll write more on this soon.
Stay tuned for a link to a photo essay of the tea shortly.