I needed a comforting cup of oolong and decided to go with this one. Looks like I am the first to review it (whoa)… so here we go!
Dry: Small leaves with a nutty smell to them. Almost like a baked whole wheat/nutty bread. I’m excited. I hope it wraps me in a big doughy ball of warmth – like a tea hug. I need it.
Liquor: 1st steep (30s): Well – I will never do 2-3tsp of oolong per 8oz steeped for 2-3 min.. then proceed to drink it. That would be way too intense for me. So instead I only steeped for about 30s instead using boiling water as they recommend (it worries me a touch… and depending on how this turns out I may drop it down – though the leaves are fully fermented so it’s probably alright). The liquor is a warm apricot colour. It’s nice. I don’t sense any floral notes at all, but a nice roasted chestnut taste. It’s slightly sweet, like a clover flower, though there is a different creaminess that isn’t a typical creamy (I’m attributing this to the chestnut taste). Oh delicious. Based on the leaves, I wasn’t expecting it to produce. How naive haha! In all honesty – this tea is still hot but I am gulping it down. I should slow it down and let it cool a bit. Hmph.
2nd steep (1 min): It’s now a deep amber apricot colour. The leaves are about 1/3 unfurled. I pick up a more floral note hidden amongst a toasty caramel smell (maybe?). At first I immediately thought citrus, then it became the caramel smell.. then coconut. I don’t know what is going on with either my nose or this tea but it’s neat (and confusing). Whoa strong. I watered it down. About an extra 1.5 oz. I am not fond of this steep. I’ll be honest. It’s a dumper. Drats!
3rd steep (30s): Intermediate colour between 1st and 2nd steep. I get a stronger clover flower smell. It’s Meh
Maybe my steeping parameters need to go back to my typical oolong steeping methods. This is way too overpowering and just tastes like strong tea with an interesting smell but a blank palate. Sad. It’s okay though – I have 100g worth to get this one right! For now I will stick with my rating – though I will seek to improve it with my steeping methods (aka – do NOT follow anywhere near their guidelines. Unless you like extremely strong tea).
PS. Warning – geek fest if you read on I was reading the description and looked up a research paper on oolong and it’s inhibitory effects on Streptococci (bacteria). Very neat: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8319255
EDIT: I let the 2nd steep cool off (I was too lazy to get up immediately and dump it).. and after giving up on steeping the leaves again, I had nothing to drink but this (and was too lazy to go to wash out the strainer for new leaves).. so I sipped it. AND GOOD. Chocolate. 70% dark chocolate. Just a touch of sweetness. I now regret ditching the leaves. I think this will be a fantastic oolong for icing in the summer. Yummy – rating goes up (had it at 61)