May Flowers! So, this ended up being another overleafed gong fu attempt… I wonder when I’ll figure out the secret? Seems that any time I look up what I should be doing based on the amount of water it holds and the type of tea I’ll be brewing, I need to take about a gram off of what the estimates say or my results are too bitter to drink. Because both times now that is what I’ve done, and my second attempt has been fine…
I used 4g of leaf in my 150 ml beginner’s gaiwan (though to be fair, I only fill it about halfway since I’m making a single cup, and even then I end up emptying a bit of each infusion into a “drainage” cup), at 190 F using a first steep of 20 seconds with subsequent steeps starting at 10 seconds and increasing in 5 second intervals. My session was a quick 7 infusions before my tea felt weak enough that I decided to wrap things up.
This tea has a very vegetal dry smell, but steeped has a very strong, perfumy aroma. In fact, the aroma was almost as perfume-floral potent as Jasmine Pearls… phew. And that isn’t exactly my tea, because of the extremely heady aroma. So the first few infusions were a bit strong for me, with a very thick floral orchid taste and scent. This is probably the most orchid oolong I have ever had! There was a very subtle hint of a nutty taste and a bit of cinnamon left on my tongue in the aftertaste. Around the fourth and fifth infusions the tea mellowed out a bit, and those were probably the most pleasant infusions, as the floral had tamed itself a bit more to my liking, and the aroma wasn’t so overwhelming. By the sixth and seventh steeps, the flavor was still pleasant, but noticably starting to loose steam.
Unlike many oolongs I’ve tried, I didn’t really notice the flavor changing from infusion to infusion, so in the future this is probably an oolong I’ll prepare western style instead; I think that may also produce a slightly less overwhelmingly “perfumey” experience out of the gate as well, which is the one thing about this tea I didn’t like. Perfumey teas tend to aggrevate my head the way strongly scented hand lotions or perfumes do, as far as migraines go, so I tend to avoid them. The mid-infusions didn’t have that problem, so I think a western brew will do this tea well, so I do plan to explore it again.
The tea was just a bit one-note… granted, it was a note I enjoy, flavor-wise, but the strong aroma, lack of flavor versatility, and short staying power don’t make this a favorite oolong overall. It is certainly a good choice for a strong floral hit that isn’t jasmine, though!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral, Nuts, Orchid, Perfume