This tea has grown on me quite a bit since I first tried it, which is good because I have a lot of it. It’s become my quick and dirty oolong. Most of my oolongs are the kind that I feel guilty about if I don’t brew it properly. The kind where I have to get out my gaiwan and resteep them a million times or else I’m going to Tea Hell, where they only have Lipton and Tazo Joy. This oolong from Utopia Tea is good. I enjoy it. There’s no guilt though if I make a tea party foul.
Dry, it smells woodsy. A little sweet. Kind of roasty smokey. It actually doesn’t smell that good in the bag imo. In fact, I had a bit of an awshit moment when I opened it up for the first time, thinking, what the hell am I going to do with all of this? I’m not even sure what it is that’s off-putting, really. Something kinda sharp. Anyway. Fortunately it tastes better than it smells. The liquor is pretty. Dark golden brown. It tastes woodsy and roasty, but without whatever aroma that wasn’t sitting well with me. I get a little bit of the citrus they talk about in the description. Not the vanilla though. It’s pretty smooth, though I can’t say that it’s really spicy. Pleasantly warming.
Not a super glowing review. However… I drink a lot of this. It’s become my workhorse tea. I work with digital media and usually my most productive hours are in the evening to late night (I prefer being stuck in a computer when it’s dark outside). When I know I’ve got a long haul and I start getting out the double-ended candles, I grab this tea. It’s got a good warming flavor and nice level of caffeine that just make it pleasant to drink while working late night. It’s not super fabulous though so there’s no guilt if I steep it once and forget about it. The tea is also pretty forgiving with temperature or time, so if I go all digital ADD and forget to pay attention to it while brewing, it’s usually okay. If I go incredibly ADD and leave it for an hour or burn it, I don’t feel too bad about tossing the cup.
It’s really the perfect balance between tea I want to drink because it’s delicious and tea I want to drink because I know at some point I’ll be an airhead and forget about it.