Golden Moon sample No. 8 of 31. I was glad that my random selection today was an oolong. I was in the mood for one. I can already tell I’m not likely to stop at one oolong today.
The dry leaves are very green, ranging from a dark forest color to a much lighter yellow green. Some stems are present. The leaves are tightly curled, almost in little balls. Their fragrance isn’t strong; they smell a little grassy, with a slight bit of toastiness (not nearly as as much as more oxidized oolongs often have). There’s a hint of a floral note, but it isn’t anywhere near as intense, or as beautiful, as that of the Life In Teacup An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style.
Liquor is pale yellow with a green tinge, very like that of many green teas. The aroma is unusual. It is floral, but… it unfortunately reminds me of the floral smell of some dishwashing liquids. It has a soapy undertone.
Thankfully, there is no soap in the taste. I do get a little bit of butter, a little bit of cream, and some floral taste on the first steep.
Second steep: 3:30 min. Color is a deeper yellow, aroma is still a little soapy, but it seems to be less now. Flavor has a more toasty, vegetal quality now. Not as heavy on the butter. There is a mild floral sweetness as well.
Third steep: 4 min. Less toasty, more vegetal, about the same buttery, about the same floral.
Fourth steep: 4:30 min. Not toasty, less vegetal, more buttery, more floral.
Fifth steep: 5:00 min. Sigh. I’m not going to do a fifth steep. I’m just not liking this enough to do another one. :-(
On a positive note, I love how wet oolong leaves look. When they unfurl, they are quite dramatic looking. It’s the same effect as those little gelatin capsules kids drop in water, and as they dissolve animals made of sponge come out that are four or five times the size of the capsule. It makes steeping somewhat unpredictable, though, since you never know whether the leaves are going to outgrow the filter when you start. (Are those oolong leaves in your filter or are you just glad to see me?) These were no exception. Wet, they are grand, majestic things that have expanded to take up about four times as much room in the filter as when they started. Olive green, with interesting serrated edges.
In all, I’m unlikely to order this one. It doesn’t bowl me over. It doesn’t even show enough promise that I want to give it another chance. I don’t find the aroma appealing, it doesn’t do anything special for me in terms of mouth feel. And it isn’t as flavorful as others I’ve had, nor does it have the character of some I’m currently enamored of.
I’m a little sad about it as I was hoping to discover another favorite. C’est la vie.