While organizing all of my teas this weekend, I came to the realization that I have a ton of stuff from Tealyra that I need to finish. The thing is they have so many good sales that when I do order from them, I end up with a ton of exciting new teas to try. Since then, I have been taking baby steps toward reducing the number of Tealyra products in my home by working my way through a pouch of this oolong.

For this session, I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. I followed this infusion up with 12 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I noted that the dry tea leaves emitted mild aromas of butter, cream, and fresh flowers. The rinse somewhat intensified the butter, cream, and flower aromas, while also bringing out a subtle vegetal scent. The first infusion produced a similar, though somewhat more integrated bouquet. In the mouth, I detected mild notes of cream, butter, and steamed rice underscored by fleeting impressions of fresh flowers, cucumber, and sweetgrass. Subsequent infusions saw the floral aromas and flavors intensify and subtle fruit notes emerge. I began to detect distinct impressions of lily, honeysuckle, and magnolia, as well as hints of tangerine, cantaloupe, and honeydew. The vegetal, grassy notes were also more pronounced, especially on the finish. The later infusions were very mild. I mostly picked up aromas and flavors of butter, cream, cucumber, and sweetgrass underscored by subtle minerals and an extremely distant floral presence.

Overall, I found this to be a very mild oolong that was easy to drink. I know that Tealyra advertised plenty of dark floral flavor with this one (whatever that means), but I didn’t really get any of that. What I noted was a lot of very bright floral notes balanced by plenty of savory cream and butter notes and mild fruity, grassy, and vegetal qualities. There was nothing deep or dark about this tea. It was a mild, approachable high mountain oolong. I liked it, though I have to admit I found it a little boring. I tend to find many Alishan oolongs a little boring. Still, I would not hesitate to recommend this tea to someone looking for a solid introduction to high mountain oolongs or for an oolong that is basic and drinkable.

Flavors: Butter, Cantaloupe, Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Grass, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Rice

195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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