I was lucky enough to receive a sample of this with one of my many Whispering Pines orders. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t available for purchase yet. Thanks Brenden! His customer service always rocks :)
The leaves of this beautiful tea are long, twisty, and dark brown. Just check out the awesome picture on this tea’s Steepster page! They smell very nutty and buttery and brew up a light orangey-tan. I brewed it gongfu-style (oolongs are so great that way!): 15/15/30/40/60 sec.
The first steep was heavily roasted chestnut. I actually don’t think I have ever had a roasted chestnut, or a chestnut at all, but that is what immediately came to mind. I just went with it. And ooh, there’s butter on those roasted chestnuts too! There’s even a subtle character that reminds me of nut shells, but all this fades into a fresh floral finish. I have to say, I have not had a Whispering Pines tea yet that has not had a completely gorgeous finish. That’s one of the reasons I’m such a fangirl. For this steep and all subsequent steeps, I got a hint of astringency, but it only affected the tip of my tongue. Weird lol. With the second steep, the roasted chestnut flavor intensified, but honey also joined the party :). The mouthfeel was richer too. The third steep was similar to the second in taste, but the feel was different. The creaminess intensified, but only on my tongue like someone painted the center of my tongue with a creamy mouthfeel paintbrush. The tips and the sides of my tongue were a bit dried from the slight astringency. This tea is so interesting!! The fourth steep was much the same, but the nut shell taste faded, resulting in a really smooth taste (this steep was my favorite!). The fifth steep still had good flavor, but the creamy mouthfeel was lost as was almost all the astringency.
As you may know, I love oolongs but I have been unimpressed with da hong paos so far because the ones I have tried have been kind of one dimensional. This one, however, has a lot of complexity while still remaining just downright tasty! It’s a win in my book :)
And edit: Here’s a pic of it brewing!
Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Creamy, Floral, Honey, Roasted nuts