Revisit Review! My initial review of this tea was over a year ago, and since it’s one of my oldest teas, I’ve moved it into my sipdown corner. I figured since I’ve been drinking it a lot lately working on clearing it out of my stash, I should revisit it.
My initial review was for this tea brewed western style, and can be viewed here: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/379618 . Lately I’ve been making liters of this oolong cold brewed and taking it to work in my water bottle. The flavor is very floral, like a spring meadow, with honeysuckle, lilac, orchid, and perhaps a subtle touch of a soft perfumey jasmine note being the main floral flavors I taste, and it has a very strong aromatic quality and sweetness to it. I’m also getting a subtle hint of pear after some of the florality subsides. It’s been very refreshingly green and it will probably be easy to clear this older tea out pretty quickly gulping down iced brews.
But since I hadn’t tried this oolong gong fu style yet, I wanted to make sure I tried it that way at least once while I still had some leaf, so I decided to dedicate the time to it this evening. Since it was pretty late, I only used around half capacity in my shiboridashi; I didn’t want to use my little baby-gaiwan since big leafy oolong don’t really have the room to open up properly in it.
70ml / 4.5g / 205F / Rinse|30s|35s|45s|50s|60s|75s
The aroma is very floral, smelling of violets, orchids, and lilacs, with a slightly sharp minerality. The flavor after the first steep was floral, soft, and sweet, with just a hint of a pear note toward the finish. The second steep brought in much stronger aromatics, with the floral note having a somewhat perfumey aroma. The tea is quite sweet, like honey, and the orchid flavor settles thick and syrupy on the tongue. When the flowery flavor fades, a vegetal taste is left on the tongue; it’s a leafy green taste that is slightly like brocolli, but it is quite subtle. The third steep was more of the same, though a sharp mineral flavor came forward toward the finish. The fourth and fifth steeps found the aroma softening a little, and the tea sweetening some, with slightly stronger honeysuckle/honey/cream notes, but the mouthfeel was thinning out a bit. By the sixth steep the tea had grown thin in flavor and tasted a little soapy and astringent to me, so it seemed the right place to wrap things up.
This is a tea that I didn’t see much difference in the gong fu brew compared to western and cold brew. It’s highly floral and I like the strong orchid/lilac flavor, but those that don’t like floral teas would not like this tea. It almost borders on being too perfumey for me to handle, but somehow stays just within that fine line where the aroma doesn’t set my sensitive migraine head off. Since I don’t really get anything new from gong fu with this one for the time and effort it takes me to brew that way, I’m pretty happy to finish this off cold brew style (plus, it makes a really nice cold brew!)
Flavors: Broccoli, Cream, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Mineral, Orchid, Pear, Perfume, Sweet, Vegetal, Violet