David at Asha Tea sent me a sample of this roasted oolong with my second order of his lovely Alishan oolong. I just drank six infusions of it in the gaiwan, back to back. YUM! This is a very tasty and deeply pleasing roasted oolong. He describes it as having a flavor and fragrance reminiscent of coffee, and that is an apt characterization.
Honestly, I’m normally not all that into coffee. I love the fragrance of the roasted beans, but I’m rarely inclined to drink it. I could never steel myself to handle it black, and when I do go for it I typically tend to the fancy espresso drinks cut with plenty of milk and sweet stuff: like cappuccinos with caramel, lattes with hazelnut syrup, or a cafe miel. Stuff like that. In any case, my body has never really sit well with coffee drinks, and sometimes my lymphatic system has a bit of a fit when I drink them, so naturally I keep my distance.
The thing about this roasted oolong though… is that it has everything I like about coffee in its profile, without including anything that I don’t like about coffee. The first and second infusions surprised me with a light and delicious caramel sweetness that grew in the aftertaste. This subsided for a bit in the third and fourth infusions, then came back even better in the aftertaste of the fifth and sixth infusions when I was steeping it a little longer. I find notes of roasted hazelnut here too, which I’m very fond of. The chocolate flavor in David’s description isn’t as present for me, but that could be partly due to my using a different brewing method than what he recommends. At any rate, with or without chocolate notes, I find this tea thoroughly enjoyable, and would happily order more at some point. I’m getting the sense that David at Asha has a very good taste for Taiwanese oolongs. I hope to try more of his selections in the future.