In the tin, this looks very twiggy — big thick twigs, not the little ones like in kukicha. It’s not all twigs — there are definitely some buds in there, but I found the twigs a bit unexpected. Cool looking, though.
The dry leaf has a sort of fruity smell. I’m already getting raisins, even before steeping.
Rinse, 195F, gaiwan, 15 seconds + 5 for subsequent steeps.
The tea is a light-medium amber color and it’s definitely true that this tea smells and tastes like golden raisins. I didn’t get a ton of flavor out of the first steep, which was surprising since I expected a toasty roasty dark oolong. But this is very mild. There’s an undercurrent of toastiness, but it isn’t the predominant feature of this tea.
The fruit is. And it’s not the typical peachy-pitty flavor of darker oolongs. I love that it tastes like its sellers say it will. Though it headed a bit toward white wine at steep 4.
It’s a bit of a Johnny one note, but it sings that note well.
Also, usually I don’t write about what the wet leaves smell like to me. I know that’s a thing that tea tasters do, but I’m embarrassed because my experience is generally some version of “it smells like wet leaves.”
These buck that trend, though, with a grapey, fruity, sugary smell.
Flavors: Grapes, Raisins, Sugar, Toasty, White Wine