Two things were noticed when I opened the small foil package of Mountain Tea’s Four Seasons Spring Oolong. First was the delicious floral scent that wafted to my nose. “Mmm,” I thought, “this is going to be good.” Second was the small packet of stay-fresh crystals, such as as sometimes found in packages of beef jerky. Perhaps this is something common in the world of tea, but, in all my years of drinking tea, never before have I ever seen such a thing. I appreciate The Mountain Tea Co’s efforts at keeping my tea fresh, though!
Having heated my water to just off boiling, I preheat my teacup of choice for the day (a pint mason jar) and my gaiwan. The leaves get their rinse, and I begin the first steep. The floral notes floating from the gaiwan when I open it are wonderful. However, they are not quite imparted in the first steep, which smells weak. The taste of the first steep is about the same. I think that the oolong is very smooth, yet I cannot be too sure, as my thirty-second beginning infusion must not have released much potential for the tea.
Steeping the leaves again, I smell the resulting brew and know that the potential of the tea has begun to come forth from within the leaves. The aroma is a balance of floral notes and distinctly vegetal scents. The flavor is a bit disappointing. I get more oolong taste in the aftertaste than in my sips. Steeps three and four seem to be much more effective. This tea has finally opened itself, revealing itself to be a pleasant sipping tea. The floral taste seems to coat the mouth, though the mouthfeel of this tea is not too thick. Another couple steepings and this tea will be done. I liked this tea, but did not really feel that it packed the flavor or strength that I would expect from a derivative of a tie guan yin. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea an 82/100.