2009 From Liquid Proust’s aged oolong sampler.
I tried this tea twice: first gong-fu, and then a cross between gong-fu and western style: 60 s steeps of 3 grams in 6 oz water. I preferred the second approach.
The dominant flavor of this tea is the heavy roast, which hits you as soon as the water hits the tea. In the gong-fu session, this was pretty much all i got, but in the semi-western session, there was a stone fruit hiding under the roast, which peeked out at various times; in the finish during the first steep and as the tea cooled in the second steep, and again in the finish of the third steep.
I prefer my oolong roasted, but this one was a bit too much for me. My rating is an average of the first session (81) and the second (85), which was high largely because the tea was fairly interesting, not because it was a pleasure to drink (though there was nothing unpleasant about it, at least for me).
On a personal note, I’m a terrible tea hoarder. Despite my participation in two travelling tea boxes and 3 of Liquid Proust’s samplers, this is only my 21st sipdown of the year. the worst thing is that this one was accidental. this sample was in a bag of teas that I didn’t think I had tried. My usual modus operendus is to save the last portion of a sample pretty much forever. i need to change this.