This is my first bug-bitten oolong! I’m so excited! I received this as a sample from Green Terrace Teas, a new company based in Taiwan. The samples were vacuum sealed in attractive gold foil packaging and labeled elegantly and clearly in both Chinese and English. I am very impressed by how professional these samples are presented!
After a quick rinse of the leaves, I am totally enamored by the aroma of this oolong. There are notes of apples, cream, butter, warm honey and magnolias. I can’t fully describe what I’m smelling here and those are rough estimates. This is unlike anything I’ve encountered, but the smell is so wonderful I sat and smelled it for a strong minute or two before brewing the first infusion.
Despite an even more floral aroma after a quick 30-second steep, the gold liquor yielded by this tea tastes very sweet and mellow. I primarily taste subtle notes of apples, honey and flowers. There’s a very evident hui gan. The taste is surprisingly mellower than the aroma.
The second steeping has all the same flavors. It is exceptionally mellow and honey-like with crisp notes of apple and floral magnolia tones coming through. The brew is a honey-orange color.
As the brewed leaves unfurl completely, they are gorgeously green with red-brown edges. The tiny holes from leaf hopper bites are quite fun to look at, and the tea has become noticeably more floral. By the third and fourth infusion, it is still sweet but more floral. I can see this tea lasting a good many steepings and I intend to sit and enjoy them without thinking and focusing on describing the tea, so I will end my review here. I’ve become rather tea drunk from this one tea. I feel like I’ve become flowing water.
I brewed this gongfu style in a gaiwan for 30 seconds, adding 15 seconds each time at 194F/90C, using 4.5g of leaf per 100ml water.
The only reason I didn’t rate this tea higher is because I wish some of the wonderful complexities of the aroma came through a little more in the flavor. This really is an incredible tea though and one not to overlook.
Flavors: Apple, Butter, Cream, Flowers, Honey