I can’t be alone in wanting to keep the teas I love indefinitely, even when it means drinking them rarely and possibly having them deteriorate. This is one of those teas. Despite not caring for honey, fruitcake, or Christmas all that much individually, this oolong is like honey-covered Christmas cake and it’s fantastic.

I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus one more long soak to get all the remaining flavour.

In the warmed teapot, this smells like spiced honey with floral undertones. The first steep has notes of honey, dried fruit, baked bread, roses and other flowers, spices, and something I’ll call bug-bitten sourness. The aftertaste is mostly honey and it lasts for a while. In the second steep, the bready, honey, and fruit notes get stronger, resolving into dried dates, prunes, currants, and other fruitcake-y ingredients. There’s also a touch of bitterness and dryness, but this tea is so good that it doesn’t bother me.

The honey, spicy, and baked bread notes get even stronger in the third steep, and the rose is pronounced at the end of the sip. This tea has also gotten darker, both in terms of the liquor and in taste, with walnut shell and more grain notes showing up. This profile holds steady through the fourth, fifth, and sixth steeps. Although it gradually becomes less complex as the session progresses, that overpowering honey sweetness never leaves.

This is a ridiculously good oolong that justifies how much I’ve spent on staying in the Eco-Cha tea club for over a year. I’ll hang on to it as long as I can!

Flavors: Black Currant, Bread, Brown Sugar, Dates, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Pleasantly Sour, Rose, Spices, Walnut

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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