A new day, a new tea! This one somehow managed to hide from me, managing to be the sole untasted tea from my TeaSpring order a few months ago. But I found it yesterday and decided we can’t just leave it unsampled so it gets busted open today!
I really like milk oolongs. But see, they don’t taste milky to me. I don’t know why exactly, but I always end up tasting a light and strong sweetness that makes me think of Juicy Fruit gum (which is a positive, in my world). Nothing like milk (though I suppose an argument could be made for a bit of condensed milk due to the sweetness) but I love them still.
This, however, is surprisingly different. There’s a heaviness, an almost spiciness that reminds me of white pepper. Underneath that is the sweet tropical fruitiness that I associate with Juicy Fruit and milk oolongs. The end taste’s fruitiness continues well past swallowing, becoming higher and sweeter as I breathe through my mouth. It’s gorgeous.
As it cools, the darker spiciness and lighter sweetness start to sink into each other creating this heady, rich mix of thickness and sweetness that still isn’t milky to me but is much too sophisticated and sensual to be associated with a mere gum.
In the second steep, the flavors have swapped. First I get the sweet, thinned condensed milk fruit-ish sweetness followed by the darker, heavier former spiciness that has evolved into something more bready, like fresh white rye bread. The overall taste has muddied up some but it still tastes very yummy. Not as sophisticated as the first steep, but tasty enough that my cup emptied super fast. The aftertaste is still sweet, but not quite as pretty and it is coupled with a prickly faint pepper note that isn’t as nice as the first steep but still interesting and enjoyable.
Not the most perfect, end-all-be-all of milk oolongs and probably the one that has reminded me least of Juicy Fruit gum. But I quite like this and think it is a very nice example of the milk oolong category, or at least my somewhat limited experience with it.