11 Tasting Notes
This tea was fantastic, great flavor, lots of nuances, held up for a number of infusions (though the first was clearly the best). If they weren’t already sold out, I’d be ordering more and stocking up. But really one of the best oolongs that I’ve ever had – if more comes available I will easily put in a 4-6 oz order, I liked it that much.
Wow, just…wow. This is truly a fantastic and unique tea. The leaves are beautiful, and the aroma is powerful and reminds me of dried apples. That dried apple smell continues into the flavor, and the tea has a little zest at the same time. As much as I like ordering new teas and avoiding repeat purchases, this is something that I might have to keep stocked on my shelf.
Also, as an added bonus, the second steeping keeps a remarkable amount of the original flavor, and is not weak at all (though given the absurd amount of leaves needed per cup, perhaps this is to be expected). The third steeping came out a little bitter, but the flavor definitely remained. I’ll adjust the water temp and steeping time on the third steeping next time, and hopefully this will kill the bitterness.
I am impressed by the size and the beautiful appearance of the dry leaves. The nose (both of the dry and wet leaves) isn’t particularly strong, but the liquid is flavorful (though I wish it were a little bolder).
The second steeping however is like a dry red wine, in that your mouth actually feels dry after each sip. In order to quench my thirst I found myself drinking the second steeping faster…which obviously doesn’t work when each sip gives that feeling.
All in all, it is a nice tea, though it lacks a wow factor.
This is a very fickle tea, but if you are willing to put the effort in it will reward you. The nose of both the dry and wet leaves is outstanding, with a strong smell of salt and brine. The flavor is much more mellow, but it is delicious. Just make sure your water temp, timing and tea/water proportions are exact. I’ve made it three times (first infusions) in the last two days, and I am still playing around with the brewing, as I know I haven’t reached its full potential yet.
As for their suggestion to eat the spent leaves, well, I wouldn’t recommend that. My tasting notes for the spent leaves are bitter grass.
Editing this note after my fifth try: this tea could win an award for its fickleness. I think I am closer to reaching its potential (still not there), and the flavor is very nice. It has a light salt/brine taste that was present in the nose. Using a thermometer and timer with this tea is a must, and even then be prepared to experiment
Last edit: having finally figured out how to consistently brew this tea, I’m definitely giving it a bump in the ratings (I previously was holding it down, because I wasn’t a fan of wasting tea with a 50-50 brew success rate). It is flavorful, it is fantastic, it is exactly what I am looking for in my green tea. Hopefully you just hit the right brewing combination before I did. I found not exceeding 45 seconds works best for my first brew, and then about 25 seconds on the second.
I bought one cup of this in TeaGschwender’s Chicago store, and both my friend and I agreed it was both bitter and quite possibly the worst green tea we have ever had. That said, I notice that the other reviews here tend to be fairly high, so possibly the guy making it either oversteeped it or used water that was too hot (though if that is the case that would be be very frustrating, to spend $5 on a single cup and have the guy in the company’s own store make it wrong)