This is just unbelievable. And I do not even like oolongs! Or maybe I should say I didn´t. And did not know plain tea could be like this.
I was sort of dubious about it. I am not usually so fond of oolongs, but both the concept of a milk oolong as the reviews about this particular one were tempting. As are Theodor´s tea tins in general – and I am a tin fetishist, and Theodor´s tins rate quite high on my appreciation scale (you can pile them! Close very safely! Colors differ according to tea type…). But Thé-o-dor´s tea tins are always the same price everywhere (20 euros) which is almost always ridiculously expensive for whichever is inside (particularly when it´s hibiscus and fruits). This might actually be the case where the price of the tin is not too ridiculous for this particular tea. I chanced upon a tin of this locally and with a discount, ok, sold!
I then got buyer´s regret as soon as I unsealed the tin – the dry leaf is very oolong-y. Green oolong and I am not a oolong lover. No hints of the promised caramel or vanilla notes. I was so not sure if I was going to love this. But I was going to give it a fair trial. I used not too much tea, maybe 2 grams or even less for a cup and used tap water (it did not seem to matter at all) and followed the brewing instructions in the tin (love that, that the temperature and time is written right at hand).
I dumped the leaves into the damp warmed pot while the new water warmed and something magic started to happen. The scent, while still of oolong tea became much stronger, richer and with totally new notes – fruity, sweet, vanilla-ey, fudgey sort of. Putting the not-too-hot water in the pot, it just became stronger, richer, full of many other scents. I never made any tea where scent changed and evolved so profoundly and so strongly!
The liquor was wonderful. Tea and just tea with nothing artificial but where the scent really was quite unbelievably evocative of other things, sweet, delicious things. Condensed milk sweets, or maybe pineapples somehow, or vanilla. No bitterness or any astringency at all and somehow still with some body. I had this with a bit of honey-rosemary cake and having the cake with its subtle flavours and sweeteness and then the tea was an even better experience. If you have this, have it plain, no milk or sugar, but accompanied by some sweet!
I found myself tipping the cup vertically in order to get at the last drop, and then re-checking the cup again to see if any was left just incase. Besides this being admittedly pathetic is something pretty rare so this rates very very high on my appreciation scale. I tried a second infusion and it was very good, though not quite as perfumed or as intense as the first steep.
This is really amazing tea. And I don´t even like oolongs.
Tangent to topic : something I appreciate in Theodor´s teas is that they give precise tea instructions, which differ from tea blend to tea blend even if they are the same general type of tea, written in the tea. That is priceless to me and gives me confidence they do care about what they are selling. If you are selling tea expensively, please put as much useful information to brewing it properly as possible.