Admittedly this is not the first time I’ve had this tea. The first time I tried it, I’m sorry to say I didn’t even finish my cup.
And it’s a good tea. There’s not really any debate as to the quality of it, or that it promises you the sweetness of osmanthus blossoms alongside the subtle sweetness of a fruity white tea. Those things are all present and accounted for.
It’s the matter of what osmanthus blossoms smell and taste like, and whether or not you’re in the mood for them, I suppose. It’s a very particular sort of floral, in the sense that jasmine tea or rose tea are a very particular sort of floral. Above and beyond the vague description of ‘floral’ for things like oolongs, there is no way to escape the fact that osmanthus infuses every last corner of this tea. On my first encounter with it, I think I was entirely undesirous of steeping myself in that particular aroma and taste.
Tonight, a different story. It was good enough to brew twice, as a matter of fact, and I enjoyed the taste both hot and cold. When the cup has cooled you’re free to find a little bit more of the sweetness they promise, but I would still not call this a particularly sweet white. Osmanthus seems to hint at honeysuckle and apricot without delivering a tangible sweetness, as though what you experience is more like the memory of those things rather than their presence.
All in all, a good and subtle cup, and one I’m glad I gave another chance to…unique and different, and probably inimitable, the only tea that will do when this is the tea you’re wanting.