I’ve actually had this one before now and not gotten around to logging it. It’s one of those teas I tend to reach for when I’m frazzled or overcaffeinated or exhausted or the weather is grey and awful and I want to hibernate — and I live in Boston, so this is often — and all of those states usually result in a total lack of interest to write coherently about what I’m drinking. This morning I eagerly took my tin of A&D’s Caravan down from the shelf thinking I’d like to try it, only to discover that the stupid Zojirushi was on 175. Foiled! What could I have at 175 that would…
And so, this tea. It’s a beautiful oolong. Samovar recommends 1-2 tablespoons for 16oz. of water, just shy of boiling. I deviate from this in about every single possible way. 2 tablespoons in 16oz sounds incredibly overpowering — I do two teaspoons in 16oz, and the resulting cup is never watery. One day, when I have a good yixing teapot to devote to this kind of thing and I want to super-saturate myself, I will try two tablespoons…but for now, two teaspoons seems to be more than enough.
I also can’t bring myself to use very hot water on the tea. I’ve thought about trying it several times just to see what would change, but these cups are rather pricey, and I know that I like this cup at 175, so I’ve been uninclined to chance it.
It brews up beautifully…that delicate yellow with the faintest edge of pale green that you get with a ti kuan yin or ali shan. Those are the oolong types that this reminds me of: buttery, a bit floral — gardenias are a good comparison, but this floral is less ‘waxy’ and not quite as cloying as gardenias can get — with quiet undertones of something oolong-nutty as well as a chlorophyl green-ness. What I like most about this tea is that the chlorophyl-ish taste — which they’re pinning as ‘clover’, and I can definitely see that — isn’t an astringent sharpness toward the end of the sip, the way that I’ve experienced with some other similar oolongs. The tail end of this sip seems to round itself off in my mouth, remaining buttery and full-bodied rather than thinning out to threads of super-green vegetal flavor…if that even makes any sense. The mouthfeel is substantial, very heavy and smooth.
Ahhh. So good. It will almost be a shame to obliterate the aftertaste of this tea with a cup of Caravan.
No time to worry about that! Onward and forward into uncharted territories!
Ignore the fallen! (/Harbinger)
*edit: Ha. Note to self: close-tags on steepster interpreted properly. Whoops.