Alright, here comes the final review of the day. I finished a sample pouch of this tea earlier in the month, probably around the end of the first week or the start of last week. I think I may have built this one up in my head a little too much prior to trying it because it was not what I expected it to be, and as a result, I was disappointed with it at first. I think I was expecting an oolong that would revival an authentic Taiwanese baozhong, but what I got was something that fell between a lightly roasted baozhong, and surprisingly enough, a dancong oolong. In the end, I came around on this tea, but I still doubt I would regularly reach for it over a Taiwanese baozhong or any higher end Guangdong oolong.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was followed by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cream, butter, custard, orchid, and orange blossom. After the rinse, I noted aromas of orange zest and pomegranate. The first infusion brought out a subtle nectarine scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, roasted almond, orchid, vanilla, and orange zest that were chased by hints of grass. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of roasted almond, pineapple, grass, seaweed, vanilla, and lotus as well as a significantly stronger pomegranate aroma. Custard, pomegranate, and orange blossom notes came out in the mouth alongside stronger impressions of grass and subtle nectarine hints. New mineral, macadamia, watercress, spinach, seaweed, pineapple, honey, and lotus impressions emerged as well. By the end of the session, I was still picking up mineral, roasted almond, cream, and butter notes that were chased by hints of grass, orange zest, and pomegranate.
A fascinating and at times elusive Southeast Asian oolong, I ended up enjoying this tea quite a bit, finding it to be an excellent product. Again, it did not remind me all that much of a traditional Taiwanese baozhong, especially in terms of mouthfeel and the way its aroma and flavor components expressed themselves. In the latter two respects, it reminded me more of a dancong oolong, and this connection was only strengthened by the presence of pomegranate, nectarine, roasted almond, and pungent floral notes as I tend to frequently find those notes in such teas. Overall, however, this was a very enjoyable oolong. It made for a pleasant break from the more traditional teas I tend to regularly drink.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Nutty, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Pineapple, Roasted, Seaweed, Spinach, Stonefruits, Vanilla, Vegetal