8 Tasting Notes
First off, the packaging is almost definitely lying about this being hand-picked, as the leafs are cut mainly to ~1cm squared pieces. However, it’s a very pleasant tea. The aroma is very floral. Although it said to steep for 1 min, I did only about a 20 sec first infusion in 5 oz. water after a quick rinse. It still had a moderate amount of astringency, which I liked. Beyond that, I agree with the “muscatel” description; pleasant sweetness, not very spicy, mild woodiness. Moderately thick mouthfeel. I can get several enjoyable infusions.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Muscatel, Raisins, Wood
Appearance: twisted reddish-brown whole leaves when dry with very few stems or non-tea parts. When brewed, the leaves appear to be about half oxidized. Aroma: astringent, spicy up front, with fruity and nutty notes. Mouthfeel: middle of the road. Taste: 1st steeping: Considerable astringency, followed by a distinctly lychee-like flavor, with some cinnamon and black pepper mild spice, as well as nutty and woody notes. There’s some of the longer-lasting mild bitterness, but not it’s more at the front of the mouth than the back of the throat like a high mountain greener oolong would have. 2nd steeping: similar, but more of a honey flavor, and the astringency and spice notes are considerably reduced. This trend continues with increased steepings. Overall, I like the first steeping very much, but the following steepings lack some complexity.
Flavors: Astringent, Black Pepper, Honey, Lychee, Wet Wood
This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted! It has a long-lasting mildly bitter flavor that sits with you well after you finish sipping It feels warming in the throat. Its flavor is complex – spicy, herbaceous, roasted, fruity, slightly sweet, with a sweet and bitter finish. It has a slightly viscous mouthfeel. I am sad I only have a few grams of it left.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Black Pepper, Caramel, Fruity, Herbaceous, Nuts, Roasted, Spices
Vegetal, grassy, fresh, and very light, with limited depth, and not much back-of-the-throat pleasant bitterness that I like so much from higher mountain oolongs. It’s quite pleasant, but not particularly remarkable.
Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Guava
What a long-lasting tea! At first steeping of 3 minutes in a 6oz. yixing after rinsing, I was shocked by how forward the smoky flavor was. Very complex nutty, slightly sweet aftertaste, with a slight back-of-the-throat lingering tannic flavor you get from a greener oolong. I steeped this 6 times, and the flavor was still decently strong at that point. The smokiness was less overpowering each steeping, and the sweet, stonefruit-like flavors became stronger until the 5th steeping or so. The first steeping was a bit unbalanced, but the 2nd through 4th steeping were great.