Thanks to Kawaii433, I was able to try my first ginseng oolong :)
I was amused by the dry goods because they looked like aquarium pebbles that smelled like ginseng and syrup. With the Mandala-recommended rinse, the pebbles hadn’t yet cracked open but they smelled of ginseng and cooked vegetables and greens.
After the rinse, I did 7 steeps western style at 30/30/30/40/50/60/? seconds. It started off really pleasant, with a nectar sweetness and light ginseng-herbs. The nuggets finally cracked open in the second steep and were fully unfurled by the fourth. The brew stayed pleasant with its nectar and ginseng-herbal qualities. It had some light oolong grassiness, hay impressions and butteriness came forward in the mouth and the aftertaste. The tea made me really warm!
I was hesitant about approaching this tea since I’ve read some reviews about ginseng oolong being very vegetal and obnoxiously sweet from licorice root mixed into the ginseng coating. That was definitely not the case with this tea. It was very clean with no grit from the coating (what made it through my strainer settled in a very thin layer at the bottom), lightly sweet and grassy, a bit mineral. To repeat myself: light and pleasant. Very easy sipping. Thanks again, Kawaii433.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Mineral, Nectar