I’ve had both good and bad experiences with osmanthus flowers in tea. My first time trying it, it was paired with a rather bland oolong from a non-reputable dealer on eBay. It seemed generic. My second time was with Teavivre’s Osmanthus oolong, which I liked when I tried a sample of, then I ordered some and for some reason I had a change of heart. It was just so overpowering and artificial tasting to me (despite that it wasn’t artificial). I gave it to a friend. Later I had a blossoming tea, which I don’t drink often because they are usually not made with very good tea in my experience, but this one had osmanthus flowers in it and was really sweet and tasty. All that said, I just learned that Huang Jin Gui doesn’t actually HAVE osmanthus in it, but has a similar taste to it and it thusly named. Aha! Let’s give it a try.
The osmanthus scent in this tea is very light, so I think I’m on the right track to really enjoying this one. The first infusion yeilds a light, creamy brew with a hint of sunflower seed and very subtle notes of osmanthus flower that add just a touch of sweetness and a ghost of apricot flavor.
There are some VERY interesting raw puer qualities coming through in the flavor of the second infusion, or at least they are flavors I’d expect more from a raw puer. It’s hard to describe… sort of nutty with little hints of seaweed and evergreen forest, a sort of dew taste as well. There’s an almost minty hui gan sensation on the tongue after a drink.
Third steeping, this tea has a really delicate feel to it similar to a Jin Xuan. It’s kind of creamy and light. There are some hints of vanilla and clove in this infusion, though these are very light and they are paired with a light vegetal/floral on top with a nutty undertone.
By the fourth infusion the flavor is nearly gone already, so that’s no bueno. It’s very light and slightly creamy/nutty. I’ll end my review here.
This tea does remind me quite a bit of the generic vacuum packed oolongs I will get as samples when I buy teawares from vendors on eBay. They are never fantastic but sometimes enjoyable. I liked this one. It was better than some teas from really popular vendors on Steepster, but not one I’ll be interested in purchasing.
Flavors: Apricot, Clove, Creamy, Floral, Nutty, Osmanthus, Vanilla, Vegetal