My last to try from the Steepster select box. Green oolongs are usually not something I prefer due to their florality, so I’m not really expecting to be bowled over by this. But, after reading the story of the tea itself and the farm it comes from I am curious to give it a try.
Steeped gong fu method per the Eco-Cha website instructions.
First steep, 1:10.
Smells of butter, tastes strongly floral. Reminds me strongly of a Ti Kwan Yin (though without that thick, oily mouthfeel), down to the tightly rolled balls that constitute the appearance of the dry leaf. Perhaps I am imagining it but as the tea cools I do think there’s an indistinct fruitiness that is trying to assert itself. Those flowers are pretty tough to contend with, though. A pretty yellow liquor and zero bitterness.
Seconds steep, 1:30.
Now that some of the leaves have unfurled I am seeing a lot of branches still attached. Interesting. I wonder how they were concealed? Did those tight little leaf balls really contain that? Mm.. the dry leaf now holds a very sweet pear note. I hope the liquor does as well. It has, sort of. The floral note is still the strongest but fruit (apples or pear) has become more obvious too. Much more juicy and sweet to taste. Definitely like this steeping better.
Third steep, 1:50.
In the smell of the dry leaf – flowers again, a darker, spiced fruit. Cinnamon, strangely enough. This steeping has considerably less floral and is becoming a bit astringent. A mix of astringence and fruit, but the flavor is waning in general.
Fourth steep, 2:20.
This will be my last steeping, as it’s really really light on flavor now…almost tasteless. Flowers are back, fruit is gone. It’s come full circle, if you will.
I will say this was an enjoyable experience. It solidified what I already knew about my tastes and greener oolongs. Still, it was the first time I’d ever gotten to do a gaiwan steeping of a green oolong and there is a lot to being able to smell and examine the leaf between steepings. It was quite relaxing and a great exercise in mindfulness, and that’s never a bad thing.