I’ve wanted to try this tea for so long. The descriptions were a little confusing with some people not knowing whether or not this was flavored or natural, and I was not sure how strong the overall flavors would be. Berylleb underplays it a little by saying it has a peculiar sweet and buttery taste. After reading the notes and trying it for myself, I can say it has a very pronounced and sweet peach-guava taste in a very floral and buttery background overall. Gong fu is the better way to go because this is a STRONG tea, though Western might be doable with a minimum amount of leaves. Now, I think I might want an amount of it….along with so many other teas.
Considering how long I’ve wanted to try it, I feel validated in that this tea is actually what I’ve been looking for for a while. It is an affordable and sweet oolong with fruit and florals. I’m surprised that not more people like this tea because it is VERY similar to Mandala’s milk oolong-it has a fruit taffy amidst a buttery toffee sweet second steep and gradually becomes more naturally fruity, floral, and vegetal as it is rebrewed. The later steeps are smoother in terms of flavor whereas the beginning is overwhelming-which is why I would recommend steeps of 15 seconds starting off. The body is also fairly thick and sticky in the beginning, and remains full into the later steeps. I got 9 brews, though I went from 15 sec to 30 immediately and brewed it fairly heavy into a 6 minute finale.
The notes that are up: Butter, Fruity, Cream, Guava, Peach, Vanilla, Vegetal, Flowers, is the best description available. Guava is one of the things I picked up immediately, and there were times where I swear it was distinct from the peach. It’s almost like it fluxed from guava, vanilla peach, flowers, and then sweet buttery vegetals in the first four brew sips. Strong flavor is the only deterrent as it really could be too strong for some.
I’d be very surprised if this tea was not flavored, but oddly enough, I think the fruity notes comes from the tea itself whereas the sweet vanilla candy thing is the flavoring. I could be wrong, but the guava-peach thing is something I associate with Dong Dings. It’s why Beautiful Taiwan’s Dong Ding was my favorite at one point. Then again, fruit and vanilla is more pronounced than ‘milk’ is. There were times where the taste felt a little artificial, but the later steeps were very natural.
I’m not sure who I’d recommend this to because it fits more of my personal criteria than a few others. It belongs to Gong Fu Cha in terms of brewing, the sweeter taste would appeal to dessert seekers and those who do not mind flavorings, but it might be overwhelming for anyone if the leaf is not kept down or the brews short. I did not add to much dimension to has already been written about this tea, but all the reviews of it are fairly accurate. It is fruitier than you might expect, and if you like fruity fatty veggie buttery creamy oolongs, this is it for a decent price for $15.99 per 100 grams.
I rate it 95 because of price, flavor, longevity, slight complexity, and preference. I should do it grandpa in a Tumbler Test, or western with less leaves before I make a final judgement, but I have a feeling I need minimal leaves (good thin) and that it is better gong fu. The flavor’s potency and slight artificiality (if it is artificial) is the only thing keeping me from rating it higher or drinking it more often.