This is a really lovely oolong from Verdant. I found the flavor profile unusual, at least in my tea experience so far… Most of the oolongs I’ve tried are either green/orchid/floral or roasted/peach/orchid in terms of flavor. But this oolong is very smooth and creamy, and tastes strongly of oak. I can taste a subtle note of vanilla, almost more of a texture than a taste. There’s a bit of a nutty quality too, but the oak is the most dominant.
Incidentally, I steeped this tea according to the “Western” parameters on Verdant’s website. I have to say, I really like how their teas taste with the extra-short steeping times. (Just 30 seconds for the first steep, then adding 15 seconds for each cup afterward.) I have to use a lot of leaf, about a tablespoon or so, but it’s worth it. The tea turns out so flavorful and smooth, and it seems like it’s easier for me to pick out the interesting notes.
Anyway, this is a delicious and sophisticated oolong! I’m glad I had the chance to try it as part of their 5 for 5 sampler, and to expand my experience with tea. I’d never tried a Big Red Robe oolong before, and I have to say, I’m intrigued. Too bad I’ve already finished off my sample! Perhaps I’ll order more soon?