Wow. That’s all I could think when first tasted this tea.
Having never had an aged tea I wasn’t sure what I was in for, but when I opened the bag and smelled the woody aroma I knew I was in for something I’d never tasted before. That dry smell left me a little unsure, but the wet smell is wonderful. You’d swear you’re walking through a freshly rain-soaked forest.
First steeping for 25 seconds the liqueur looked really pale. I was worried I hadn’t used enough tea or read the wrong directions, but the strong floral scent that wafted up in the steam told me otherwise. The flavor of the first steeping is richly fruity, with a mouthfeel like biting into a succulent peach. The sweet taste lingering on the back of my palate leaves my mouth watering for more. But, thankfully, there’s a soft vegetal undertone that mellows the whole experience and keeps it from being too sweet.
Second steeping for 20 seconds is when the leaves really start to unfurl and the liqueur darkens slightly to a bright champagne gold. The flavor is quite similar to the first fruity infusion, but things are starting to become more floral with a hint of olive oil developing in the flavor to further mellow it out.
The third and fourth infusions (each for 20 seconds) is when the tea really starts to evolve into something else. The flavor mellows and takes on a more buttery, vegetal influence than early steeps. The mouthfeel smoothes out and doesn’t make your mouth water so much. It’s still got a floral quality but it’s a really tame and relaxed one.
I can’t recommend this tea highly enough. My girlfriend doesn’t normally like oolongs (and is generally a coffee drinker) but even she thought this tasted smooth and delicious!