Summer Vacation! I’m onto Taiwan now, and while I don’t have a lot of Taiwanese teas in my collection, they usually bode well for me (I really like Taiwanese oolongs!) Depending on how this last week of August goes, if I run out I may make a vacation stop in Thailand or Vietnam… we’ll see!
First up is this sampler that was gifted by derk! Thank you derk! I have never tried anything pomelo-flavored (or eaten anything pomelo for that matter) which is what made me curious about this one. I like trying “exotic” (to me, anyway) fruits. I’m attempting this gong fu style since it is my day off and I have some more time this morning, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t have a lot of practice with it. I’m doing the 4g in about half the volume of my shiboridashi, which comes out to 75ml, because the full 150ml per infusion is just too much tea for me over the course of several infusions of a session. Still waiting on that tiny 50ml gaiwan from China… shipping woes.
Gong Fu [Shiboridashi] / 4g / 75ml / 200F / 10s rinse / 30s|45s|60s|65s|70s|80s
The aroma is very floral, but citrusy… like orange blossoms and citrus oil. It comes off slightly perfumy when the tea is still very warm and steamy, but I find that settles a bit as the tea cools. The flavor is certainly something unique; I’ve had teas with a natural fruity/floralness before (sakura), but that soft cherry note is very different than this citrus note from the pomelo flowers. It tastes like a light mandarin orange flavor mixed with jasmine flowers, and below that is a fresh green watery vegetal note from the oolong, along the lines of lettuce/celery/cucumber. The pomelo flavor leaves an aftertaste on the tongue, and there is a very mild astringency left after the sip. In the second steep the pomelo flavor was much fuller and I got a grape note beneath the florals that was very pleasant, but the astringent drying on my tongue in the finish was also a bit stronger. The increased steep time by the third steep seemed to help a lot with the astringency in the finish, and the floral became very smooth and flowery, and the tea quite sweet with some new sugarcane and pear notes. I went for six steeps and at that point the flavor was starting to give out and become quite mineral-like.
A very pleasant oolong and unlike anything I’ve tried before. A bit drying (some accompanying water is a must) but the citrusy floral note produces a very unique flavor. Thanks for letting me try this, derk!
Flavors: Astringent, Celery, Citrus, Cucumber, Drying, Floral, Grapes, Jasmine, Lettuce, Orange Blossom, Pear, Smooth, Sugarcane, Vegetal