I received so much tea in the mail today, you would think it was my birthday (wink wink, nudge nudge). Of them, I was extremely excited to try this one and be the first reviewer on Steepster. I have to say, that all of the reviews (shantitea.ca) and hype (facebook) about this tea are completely justified! The tea is visually BEA-utiful: tiny spears of perfectly rolled tea, a dark color with highlights of silver (tips) and gold and cinnamon-red colors. The smell of the dried tea is very faint oolong, clean, light, wonderful.
I put three of the “horns” into my infusing basket, used water just below boiling (as I typically do) and infused hot for 4 minutes with no additives. The spears unfurled a little, in that time and released a new aroma; still clean and light, but a little more body and a typical sweet oolong scent. The liquor is pale yellow. The tea is almost divine, it is like no oolong I have had before, it is light, sweet, a slight crispness at the end of each sip with an overall cleanliness that is more typical of white tea. The slight undertones that are similar to champagne also help to round out the flavors.
Second infusion, same three horns, brewed hot, 3 minutes. Liquor, aroma and taste is similar, no overdone or “burnt” flavor of the oolong. Still wonderful.
Third infusion, same three horns, brewed hot, 2 minutes. Liquor is slightly lighter, but aroma and flavor remain unchanged.
This tea is so wonderful that it can only be harmed by additions. Absolutely wonderful-highly recommended.