I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about oolong. I thought I didn’t like it but it’s looking like maybe I just don’t like it steeped western style. Every western style cup of oolong I’ve had has been disappointingly weak and boring, even the ones where the dry leaf smelled amazing. My opinion of oolongs has greatly improved since I started gongfu-ing them but there have still been several that are just okay and I haven’t tried a huge variety of oolongs yet. I really liked Yunnan Sourcing’s aged Da Hong Pao so I was excited about White2Tea’s February subscription box featuring yanchas…and then my box got lost in the mail and the replacement didn’t arrive until late summer. I’ve tried a few of the teas from the yancha box and been kind of meh about them. They’re not bad, they’re perfectly drinkable, they just haven’t wowed me. I like this one, though.
I brewed and drank through most of my session with it without reading White2Tea’s description. The dry leaf smelled almost chocolatey to me. Maybe more like the kind of chocolate flavoring sometimes added to teas than actual chocolate. The brewed tea had a lovely floral scent. Not really sure what kind of floral. Kinda darker and heavier than the clover blossom floral I get from the green teas I like. There’s another flavor that I think must be that rocky mineral flavor people talk about. It’s somehow familiar…but not? I don’t spend a lot of time licking rocks but I can maybe see how that description would fit. Maybe a little metallic? I don’t know. Kiiiiinnda reminds me of the well water we had in the place I grew up (no idea what the mineral content of that was but it was definitely different from what we’ve got in our current house…the water here smells like a dirty fish tank and leaves rust colored scum on everything). Metallic rock water SOUNDS gross but it’s kinda working for me. The wet leaf does not smell appealing to me at all. Weird how I can like the smell of the dry leaf, the brewed tea and the empty cup but hate the smell of the wet leaf. Looking at the tea’s description afterward…wood, red fruit, honey. Hmm. MAYBE I get some honey sweetness with the florals and a hint of fruity tang in that sort of metallic-ness?
I’m glad this tea seems to be part of White2Tea’s regular offerings and not a special production for their subscription club. I’d consider getting a bag next time I order. There’s always a struggle figuring out what to reorder while leaving plenty of room for new things and staying within budget.