Backlogging the epicness of last night with this tea.
Because Four Seasons, lemme tell ya, it’s epic.
I wanted something yummy. Something delicious. Something that has high marks, and that I could get a lot of cups out of. Enter oolong, which is quickly rising to become one of my favorite go-to teas when I want a sustained tea drinking experience.
So Four Seasons. It smells at first pretty non-descript, which I think a lot of oolongs have trouble with. It smells slightly floral, maybe juicy-ish, but mainly vegetal and not very interesting. The leaves are rolled into tiny, irregular pellets.
So I steeped this one up at first with boiling water, at 2 minutes. The smell coming off the cup was amazing. It’s one of those things that you want to breathe in, inhale, surround yourself with, become ONE WITH THAT CUP, cause yeah, it’s delicious. Buttery and full and rich. And the taste was pretty awesome, I have to say. It mainly tasted like flowers with a buttery edge. There were cocoa notes at points, savory end notes, and the hint of some sort of milk protein at the end of every sip. There’s a pretty heavy mouthfeel, which I’m enjoying immensely.
But I have to give it up to the Second Steep (3:00, boiling) which pretty much stole the flavor cake. Man. It smells just as strong, has that rich buttery color, but the taste pretty much throws this one into the OMG WANT MORE AMAZING category. Especially as this one cools. This one tastes lighter, but fuller, if that even makes any sense. The flavors are sugary sweet and overwhelmingly creamy, with milky notes that are in full force. The cooling effect only thickens the mouthfeel and brings the sugared-milk notes into prominence. The floral notes are still there, but they’re not as strong.
Steep Three (3:30, boiling) I probably should have done for longer. This one had a slightly thicker mouthfeel than #2, and was fairly similar to two, but had more of the savory topnotes that were in the first steep. I want to say this one tasted a bit “greener” than the other two.
Steep Four (4:40, boiling) had a much higher savory component, but a lighter flavor overall. There was an almost green bean taste to this one, that crispness you get when they’ve been steamed. But the flavors are pretty much muted, and the smell is a bit disappointing.
Steep Five (6:00, boiling) is where I ended. This one was even more savory than the last, the sugary tastes fading away, and oddly enough, I was getting the taste of fresh baked bread at the end of some of the sips. But this one was definitely not as flavorful as the past ones, so I dumped the leaves.
I really, really want to try this one with less-than-boiling water, as I feel it might be able to sustain those rich milk-buttery notes for a bit longer.
Also, I need to give a shout-out to the leaves because man, are they BEAUTIFUL. This is actually the first time I took leaves out of the pot to inspect and hold. They expand at such an exponential rate and unfurl so beautifully, that your entire pot is just completely stuffed with evergreen goodness. The leaves are all pretty much intact and full, and you can clearly pick out the buds with the leaves still attached. One was so big it took up half my palm (please note: I have tiny hands). But still, really, really awesome. The quality is just written all over this oolong.
So YES, SAMOVAR, YES. You have stolen my heart. Please keep it safe. Because I was in oolong heaven last night!