The dry leaf aroma is a dark, misty jasmine. It reminds me of fog and high mountaintops. The brewed tea aroma is a good mixture of oolong and floral jasmine. The first infusion is much more flavorful than previous reviews would have led me to expect. I wouldn’t describe this as light on jasmine flavor. Perhaps it’s the oolong base that confuses the taste buds. I believe green and white bases are more prevalent for jasmine scenting. But it’s a beautiful addition to this oolong!
I followed the gaiwan brewing instructions but opted to use my Teavana Perfectea Maker instead of my new Verdant Tea gaiwan. I’ve found that if I’m brewing a tea that calls for boiling water, I just can’t handle the heat with my fingertips on the delicate porcelain. The Teavana Perfectea Maker also allows for easy resteeping and controlled pouring into the Tea Ave cups.
I must say, I was blown away by Tea Ave’s generosity in their initial marketing campaign. I received two identical teaware gifts and sample teas, along with reusable totes and coupons to redeem on a future order. I gave one of these sets to my doula as a thank you for helping me through my tough birth experience. I kept the other for myself.
At first, I thought the aroma cup (the tall skinny one) was going to be a bit useless. But I figured there’s no harm in trying it, so I attempted to keep an open mind. And you know what? It actually does enhance the aroma of teas! The shorter, wider opening of the more traditional tea cup allows the tea to cool faster for quicker drinking but also allows the aroma to escape. I found it much easier to appreciate the aroma using the aroma cup, and it had the added bonus of keeping my refill hot. :) Once I finished one cup, I could immediately pour another from the aroma cup while a second infusion was steeping in the Teavana Perfectea Maker.
BACK TO THE TEA!
I detected a hint of pepperiness at the end of the first infusion. Latter infusions didn’t have that note though. I thoroughly enjoyed infusions 1-3. I allowed the fourth to cool a little too much while writing this note and a bitterness appeared that wasn’t in the earlier infusions. This tea is best enjoyed piping hot. I rinsed the leaves before the fifth infusion and that seems to have eradicated the bitter note. So it’s quite possible that letting the wet leaves sit exposed to air is what caused the bitterness. The tea itself is lovely. Funny, I just read the description of this tea on the package and it talks about fog too. That element really does come across in the aroma!
Overall, I found this tea to be a lovely balance of floral jasmine and buttery, creamy oolong. I don’t think I’ve had a jasmine-scented oolong before and I really quite like it. Oolong is one of my favorite teas. It’s pretty interesting and fun to me that there’s a new company completely devoted just to oolong teas. If I didn’t already have so much tea, I’d definitely consider placing an order. Hopefully I can drink through my stash enough to use that coupon before it expires. If not, I promise I’ll pass it along to one of my fellow Steepsterites. It definitely should not go to waste! I still have two more samples to try, but I think I can confidently say that I am a Tea Ave convert.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Jasmine