A very good high grade Formosa oolong. I steeped this for only one minute to begin with, as recommended, but the flavour works better – for me, anyway – if it’s infused for several minutes. This tea has a beautiful smooth, almost milky flavour, with some lovely floral notes. It reminds me a lot of my favourite Gin Shan Creme Oolong from teas.com.au, though this one is slightly milder all round.
The first steeping brewed up quite light, a pale green-ish yellow, so I left the second steeping for two minutes instead of one and it worked out much more the sort of flavour that I was after. The colour of the liquor was still quite light compared with other oolongs, which isn’t surprising considering that baozhong/pouchong is the least oxidised of all oolongs.
The smell of this tea right after you pour the water on the leaves is distinctly vegetal, and yet there isn’t a lot of that in the taste. It’s very smooth to the taste at first, almost bland, but the further you get through the cup the stronger the character of this tea, without ever being astringent. The aftertaste is distinctive, quite strong and a not quite sharp mix of floral notes and… not quite sure how to describe the rest. About the best I can do is: strong (proportionally, considering the light nature of this tea) but not bitter.
I was only going to have two cups of this tonight, but writing this review has really put me in the mood for a third, so now I’m going off to put on the kettle!
I found a little of this left in the cupboard, a little past its use by date, but it’s such a good tea I really didn’t want to just throw it out. I made it with about half as much again the usual quantity of leaves, and that seems to have worked out pretty well. The colour is much the same as usual, a pale green-ish yellow, while the flavour is perhaps not quite as strong as it is with fresher leaves. However, it’s still an excellent oolong, particularly if you’re in the mood for a tea from the “green” end of the oolong scale.
I’m failing to pick up the promised citrus notes, but since I never noticed them before, either, I don’t think that’s the fault of keeping the leaves too long. I think it’s more a case of the retailer drawing a long bow in their description. I’m really not sure quite how to describe the taste of this tea. It’s not really like anything except itself: a high-grade, very “green” oolong, smooth without being as silky or buttery as some others, and with a distinctive personality.
Time for steeping number three…
A first class Taiwan oolong. Steeped for two minutes in water at 90C. Great tea.