After being extremely impressed by What-Cha’s Nepal Jun Chiyabari ‘Himalayan Bouquet’ Oolong, I just had to try this one. Unfortunately, I have been a bit under the weather lately due to seasonal allergies, so I had to work somewhat harder to pick up individual aroma and flavor components than usual. Still, I was able to get a great deal out of this tea.
I gongfued this tea. After a very brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of citrus, fresh flowers, grass, butter, Muscatel, and wood. The rinse brought out touches of almond, malt, straw, and herbs. The first infusion produced a near identical bouquet, though I was able to pick up a hint of honey. In the mouth, I detected notes of butter, malt, almond, grass, wood, and Muscatel underscored by citrus and flowers. Subsequent infusions saw the honey appear on the nose and in the mouth, while the melange of flowers separated somewhat, allowing me to pick out scents and flavors of elderflower, violet, orange blossom, and rose. I also began to get distinct impressions of lemon zest, candied grapefruit, and candied orange peel. Aromas and flavors of baked bread, minerals, lemongrass, pear, nutmeg, pine, menthol, and noble hops (Spalt and/or Tettnanger, perhaps?) appeared around this time too. The later infusions were very mild, offering lingering impressions of minerals, straw, grass, malt, and herbs underscored by fleeting notes of candied citrus, butter, and flowers.
Simultaneously complex and easy-drinking, this was one of the funnest, most intriguing, and most satisfying teas I have tried in awhile. This tea definitely lived up to the hype. It should please new and experienced oolong drinkers alike.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Candy, Floral, Grapefruit, Grass, Honey, Hops, Lemon Zest, Lemongrass, Menthol, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Orange, Orange Blossom, Pear, Pine, Rose, Straw, Violet, Wood