1603 Tasting Notes
Tasty pu-erh, though I was a bit disappointed at the strength of this tea…the steeping instructions really should read 5-6 minutes, not 3-4. But that’s just my personal opinion. Perhaps under different steeping circumstances, this would have turned out better, so I will have to try it again later (under different circumstances).
I love oolong, and I love finery, especially in the tea world. So when the chance to try this tea came up…an oolong, mind you, that is supposed to be one of the finest available, and available only in limited quantities, I jumped at the opportunity.
The dry leaf holds light, vegetal notes that are, surprisingly, reminiscent of a few white teas that I have tried.
The steeped liquor is a brilliant gold, with excellent clarity (the benefits of utilizing a glass vessel for steeping). It also has a darker aroma, more akin to darjeeling. Ah, but the first sip was nothing like drinking darjeeling. Light and fruity (what specific fruit flavours – I cannot quite place), the liquor slipped over the tongue easily. Incredibly soft mouthfeel combined with a surprisingly bold, yet not overwhelming, aftertaste to provide a wonderfully pleasant drink.
Steeping the tea again, for a few minutes longer (five this time), led to a brew of much the same strength and character as the first. I was pleased at the resilience and quality of this tea. I most definitely enjoyed drinking this and would certainly keep this on my list of teas to keep in stock. I give it a 90/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
I love improvising, especially when improvising allows me to accomplish exactly what I would be otherwise, if I had not been improvising. In this case, I wanted to review this delicious smelling tea, but was in a location where I had the means for heating water, yet no implements for making tea, save a solitary mesh strainer. So, I proceeded to use an oversized wine glass (preheated, of course) as a teapot, and strained off the tea into small coffee mugs (my improvised tea cups), following the completion of the five minute steeping time I used (generalized for most rooibos).
Success, at least so far as brewing the tea was concerned. Now onto the tasting…
The dry leaf had very much carried the peppermint oil smell, nearly overpowering. The hint of orange, at least, was present (better than past teas of this type that I’ve tried, where one of the two main ingredients ends up completely overwhelming the other. In the aroma of the steeped tea, the orange and peppermint blended nicely and equally, providing a mellow and sweet smelling brew.
Ah, and time for the first taste! Will my improvised tea session turn out well?
Yes! My first sip was deliciously orange that slid smoothly over the tongue, leaving an aftertaste of juicy rooibos and cool peppermint behind. Mmm, tasty. Surprisingly, this tea held its flavour even when I decided to steep it again, though that may have been the result of using a bit more dry leaf than is usual for this type of tea.