The appearance of this tea is impressive. The leaves are very loosely packed in the tin as they are quit long and “fluffy” as others have described. The tiny orange-yellow osmanthus blossoms are sprinkled throughout, but you need to shake the tin as they tend to settle to the bottom during shipping. The fragrance is hay>grass>pineapple in that order of predominance.
I was surprised by the color of the brewed tea. The natural coloring of the blossoms turns the pale honey colored silver needle to an interesting gold-orange. The coloration was almost swirled as opposed to uniform. In taste, you get a faint grassiness, then honey then just a touch of peach-pear. I know osmanthus is supposed to have an apricot flavor profile, but this wasn’t quite that sweet.
On my first infusion, the tea got bitter very quickly as the cup cooled to the point where the last sip wasn’t drinkable. (I had followed the merchant’s recommended brewing instructions.) On the second infusion, I decreased the steep time and that seemed to help. Per Samovar, I stopped after two.
I can sum this tea up as “complicated.” It was enjoyable, but it’s sort of like trying to drive a high performance sports car when you’re used to a Chevy. You might enjoy the ride, but probably won’t get the most out of it until you learn how to shift better. I’ll need to come back to this one after I’ve built up more tea experience.