At the other end of the oolong spectrum likes this near-black Wild Arbor Oriental Beauty from Tea Setter. The scent is very strong—almost fermented—and definitely earns the label wild. I brewed these potent black matte leaves at a lower temperature and for a shorter steep because I worried that the liquor might be overwhelming.
The brew ended up apricot-colored and tastes like a somewhat lighter version of some of the high-quality Taiwan blacks I’ve tried. I have to say that I would never have guessed that this was oolong, since it clashes with all of my previous oolong experiences.
However, I happen to like high-quality black teas, which this seems to me. Everyone else is talking about fruit. Hmmm… to me, this has a dark and smoky facet reminiscent of Russian Caravan (or a dilute brew of Lapsang Souchong…). I’ll definitely be exploring this tea further. In my second infusion, later today, I’ll use half the water and increase the temperature and steep time and see what transpires.