I followed the brewing instructions on samovar’s site (I love how Jesse makes brewing instructional videos). Boiling water, first flush use as a rinse. Then all subsequent infusions with 10-14oz of boiling water for 1min. This oolong favours the more green-side, than black – which is what I prefer. Does not come out as grassy, but a nice sweet oolong with faint smoky vegetal notes. Similar to Hawaiian oolong(more likely Hawaiian is similar to this), I experience an tantalizing sensation on the tip of my tongue in the first couple steeps(something I only experience on the first steep with Hawaiian). It eventually evolves into a mellow apricot, but as “advertised”, “goes the distance” at 10-15 steeps. So far my average is 13.
Now the negatives. This tea is rather expensive when compared on a grams/oz scale – sometimes twice the price. The saving grace however, is the amount of steeps you can get out of it – essentially 2-3x the average of most oolongs. Logically that would balance it out in the end, justifying it as a reasonable priced tea? Well, yes and no. If you “go the distance”, then yes. However it is also a large commitment to use it – basically make it a group tea, or save the leaves for the next day, or prepare to go to the bathroom frequently ;). I personally, like to break it up through-out the day. True the flavour evolves, so your not necessarily experiencing the same flavour you started with, but variety is nice to have too.
Personally, I’m very conflicted. I want to make this my “every day” tea. It has all the things I love in certain oolongs, and none of the negatives, with the exception that its a commitment, or its expense if you give up half-way. Definitely one of my favourite oolongs though.