I’m not sure what to make of this tea. I wasn’t crazy about it on first steeping. The TeaSource site describes this as a “greener” oolong. I’m fairly new to fine loose-leaf teas and particularly to oolongs, and it was quite a bit greener than the Iron Goddess of Mercy or Big Red Robe in my repertoire thus far. With a slight vegetal note it reminded me of Sencha, which I didn’t like, as well as having that rather astringent, mineral note I’ve found in oolongs. I didn’t think this was a tea that I was destined to like.

Yet I loved, loved it on second infusion! I’ve heard the character of oolongs can change a lot from infusion to infusion but this was quite different from the change I found in the other oolongs on second steepings. The vegetal and astringent notes were completely gone and I could now taste the silky, floral notes promised in the description. (Described by some as “honeysuckle” or “orchid.”) I’d rate this tea much higher if I could get this effect from the first infusion. I have heard suggestions that oolongs should be rinsed with cold water before steeping. Maybe that (or a longer steeping on first infusion) might help. Because it’s as if having two different teas here.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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