This one came from Tommy the Toad. The liquor is dark like a black tea and smells of orange flavoring and smoked/roasted tea (Wuyi?). There is a bit of an earthy scent. For $2.75/oz, the leaf is actually better than I expected. The flavoring is pretty much exactly what I expected from Tommy’s description. It is a bit overdone and a touch artificial in the first cup. I can’t tell if the flavor is really that far off or if maybe orange just doesn’t mix well with this highly oxidized roasted oolong. I think the addition of a little lemon to support and compliment this tea would help greatly.
The interesting thing is, the third cup is fabulous. The flavoring becomes just a tasty remnant and the oolong looses its roastiness. The earthiness that was present from the beginning resembles a mild sheng puerh – sticky lip feel and all. Orange and sheng apparently work together really well for me. I would drink this cup all day long.
I wouldn’t reorder this tea BUT based on the quality of the leaf and the great price, I would not hesitate to try some of their other blends.
An interesting side note: every time I take a sip the smell makes me think of the world food mart where I buy most of my teas locally. More accurately it reminds me of incense and hippies. Far out man.