Why was I compelled to buy a tea that has such poor reviews? Because sometimes I’m stupidly curious and I’ve never had a piss poor oolong that’s gotten terrible reviews.
Spring 2018 harvest. To start, these are some giant nugs and they’re shades of green I’ve never seen in unroasted oolong. They smell like roasted walnuts, crispy rice, green cardamom, deep vegetal, violet? and toasted marshmallow. Wut. A few notes I’ve never experienced before. Warmed in the teapot then rinsed, they release aromas of spinach, sugarcane, sake, rice, herbs and cardamom. Very vegetal, savory and sweet.
Five grams of leaves in my 100mL teapot produces 5 steeps at 30/45/60/70/90s. The liquor starts off strongly with spinach, herbal medicine, sugarcane, and lemon water, retaining those notes throughout. A penetrating bitterness comes in on the second steep along with bold, savory sake without the alcohol. That clear, light yellow liquor is producing an unexpected intensity in flavor. After I’m done with the second cup, a strong returning sweetness hits the back of the throat and comes up up up, like ‘Hey, lemme out here!’ Later, some aftertastes of butter and rice appear. The texture is smooth but drying, not thick or thin or anything else. I suppose it’s just there. The bottom of the cup smells like a medicinal sake and also like some sencha I’ve had before.
This is certainly a different oolong and one I’m actually really glad to have experienced. I can see it being appealing to a very small subset of seasoned oolong drinkers looking for a change of pace or even sippers with a taste for the burly but this Wild Cultivar is definitely not for those looking for a refined, floral experience. That said, I might be in that small subset. I won’t order this batch again but I’ll have no problem finishing off the other 5 grams. If MST ever offers this Wild Cultivar again, I’ll buy another 10g sample.
Oh yeah, some of these giant nugs unfurl into leathery GIANT LEAVES. The biggest tea leaves I’ve ever seen in my life — some pushing 15cm in length. I feel like I should dry them out in my plant press and mount them.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Cardamon, Drying, Herbs, Lemon, Marshmallow, Medicinal, Rice, Sake, Spinach, Sugarcane, Toasted Rice, Vegetal, Violet, Walnut