I need to write more. Boo.
So after the leaves from a mystery-origin (Protip: don’t label tea tins with post-its) TKY were spent, I brewed up some of this, and in contrast to the TKY, this tasted much bolder and very fruity….the fruitiness especially got my attention… golden raisins and white peaches come to mind. I actually enjoyed it more than the TKY, which I found strange, since this tea is much older and lower-quality than the TKY I was drinking. This leads me to a few possible conclusions:
- The mystery TKY I was enjoying before this is actually older/lower grade than I believed, and was just a bad comparison. I’ll be honest in that I was very passively enjoying the TKY while working on a project and wasn’t especially paying a lot of attention to it.
- I have had so much TKY lately that I am burned out on it or it just tastes standard to me, and it was nice to have something different in an oolong.
- This tea has been sitting around so long (seriously, I think I’ve had this little tin for three years) that it magically developed new flavor characteristics with time. Kind of unlikely, I think (at least, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of green oolongs aging well), but I won’t rule it out.
I mean, I’ll be honest, I never thought of this as an amazing tea. I’m pretty sure that this is leftover from a sampler from years ago when I was beginning my tea-tasting journey; I guess in that early phase of trying every tea possible this one fell by the wayside in that awkward category of, “good, but there are better”. So it became a “mixer,” something I would occasionally add a few leaves of to my morning mug-worthy blacks for some extra richness, but not something I considered taking the time to gaiwan-brew. Once I lumped it into that category, it kind of stayed there for years, and I think my tastes have since changed. Honestly, the only reason I decided to brew it is because I only had a tiny bit left, and I’m trying to finish off all my little bits. But this tea really surprised me. I’m a little sad it’s gone.
I don’t think I will order this again (I might, just to settle the nagging theory that it was the age that brought out the best of it), sadly the flavor faded after only a few short steeps but I definitely want to investigate other huang jin oolongs now.
When I was first exploring the tea-world, I guess I latched onto TKY as “BEST OOLONG EVER” and made the mistake of shunning other perfectly good oolongs such as this. Discoveries like this kind of make me kick myself over missed opportunities, but at the same time are pretty exciting; I feel like a tea-newbie all over again!