Good morning Steepsterites, and gather round, because this is one of the most interesting teas I’ve ever seen.
It’s an oolong. From AFRICA!!! I have never seen anything other than blacks out of Africa before, and the vast majority of those were from Kenya. I can’t say I’ve ever been all that impressed with the Kenyan teas. I don’t really care for the CTC method because the leaf size becomes so tiny and difficult to manage when you brew with the leaves loose inthe pot. Flavour-wise I find them a bit like Ceylons. There are some real pearls in between but most of them just aren’t what I’m looking for. This one is from Malawi, though, so I don’t know what the taste profile from that country usually is. Not that you can really compare blacks to oolongs, even dark type oolongs, but you know what I mean.
It’s a nice copper-y colour when pouring, but there isn’t all that much aroma to speak of. What is there, however, has a very nice and very clear cocoa-y note. Oh thank Ceiling Cat! There is another note in the aroma, a spicier one that I can’t quite place. It seems familiar, but I’m not really sure of what it could be.
Gah, this is quite strong! It’s got an astringent, borderline bitter bite, a bit like an Indian black that has been eeeeever so slightly over-steeped. It hasn’t really retained the cocoa-y note in the flavour here, but it’s got that spicy kind of wooden note that I couldn’t identify in the aroma. I believe this is what is sometimes referred to as ‘oaky’. I have no clue what oak tastes like, I don’t customarily go around chewing branches of trees that I find on my way, but oakyness is the association that I get.
If this hadn’t had that bitterness to it, I would have liked it better. I think I steeped it a little too long, to be honest, but it still tastes like it has some great potential. I shall give it points now based on this and then adjust it later based on later steeps. Starting at 82 points.
I would definitely give an african oolong a go another time. I’m not the slightest bit disappointed by this so far.