My appreciation for darker oolongs has been slowly growing since I first started drinking loose-leaf tea in earnest last year.
I wanted the soothing buttery goodness of an oolong, but I didn’t really want the flowery-ness of a greener one, so I dug through the samples box and pulled this one out. It well and truly hit the spot.
I was a bit on edge – two of my boys got into a serious scrap, and one of them came out looking like he’s been through a war. I freaked out, to the point where I couldn’t do anything except shake. The Boy told me to breathe… and eventually I did. It really wasn’t as bad as I originally thought. So once I cleaned up the poor, scratched up fatty, I decided to make myself a tea to soothe myself back into complete sanity.
And wow, this tea… I didn’t fully appreciate it the first time around – probably because I mis-steeped the crap out of it – but this time I took my time and the results were gorgeous. GORGEOUS. Brewed it up in my new little sado clay kyusu acquired from Hojo just recently, about 5g of tea for about 5 oz. I can definitely see this being one of those teas where the more is the merrier. Alas, this was the last bit of my sample. Next order, Verdant!
Heated up, the leaves smell beautifully roasty. Chocolate and molasses, and brews up the same dark liquor you’d expect for that taste. Beautiful dark caramel, with a sort of full-bodied roundness in the mouth. I don’t know how else to describe it, it’s just a very complete tea. The metallic note in the description is definitely apt. It’s like biting into a deeply roasted walnut with the slightest hint of metal at the back of it. In a good way!
Now, I’m not sure what elderberries taste like, but there’s definitely a fruity note at the very tail end of the after-taste. Maybe the slightest hint of parcha? Definitely a sharp edge to the fruit for the first couple of steeps. I can’t taste it nearly as clearly anymore.
Around steep five it starts mellowing into something darker. I can definitely pick up on the slightest malty note here, without being overpowering. And it’s just such a soothing cup of tea! So many interesting flavours going on, that it’s hard to focus on much else. A classical or romantic era symphony frames the tea perfectly – the complexity just works you know?
Let’s see…I can taste burnt sugar, walnuts, dark chocolate… It has a certain quality that reminds me of cajeta quemada! I bet a banana would go well with this tea, and I can keep drinking without the worry of over-sugaring myself as is often the case with cajeta.
I made it to steep 5, but I plan to continue after dinner. I’ll write more!