I awakened to find that I still have the sore throat of yesterday lingering, as well as a general malaise and really whiny sinuses. The last time this happened, I drank lots of oolong tea and that seemed to boot it right out the door, so I am going to spend the morning getting to know this lovely sample sent by Nuvola for review!
The sample was packed in the most adorable little brown envelope with the string and two button closure on the back. (Forgive me, but I find pretty mail and packaging really exciting! I even love the little Par Avion stickers – I have it on display now in my cloche along with vintage ink bottles and nib pens. This is how cool it is!) The sample was wrapped in bubble wrap and was undamaged. The leaves were not crushed at all!
I made this is my eight ounce gong fu pot. The tightly rolled leaves were a thin covering on half of the bottom of the pot, and after steeping they have expanded to fill the pot more than halfway full of leaf alone! The leaves are now a deep, dark green color, almost black. This promises a nice roasted oolong flavor to come.
The liquor has a definite baked aroma. Oh, I do love dark oolongs! As I lift the cup there is a sweet fruity note teasing me. Hey, my sinuses may be angry but they are not blocked and they are on duty this morning. I believe I would call this a baked apricot aroma, with even the smell of the Maillard reaction coming through.
With each steep, the dark, heavy baked flavor subsides a little and the fruity sweetness comes out more. I feel as though the tea knew I was feeling poorly and gave me a nice roasty kick to start me up and then started wooing me with sweetness. I am on the sixth steep and seriously, this tastes like I have added something to it now, some sort of natural sweetener, but I haven’t added a thing.
The warmth has soothed my throat, the heat has opened my head a bit, and the delicious flavor experience has made this morning much more civilized than it would have been without this tea.
Thank you, Nuvola, for letting me try this excellent Ti Kuan Yin. I will continue steeping as I believe there are at least two more good steeps in these leaves.