Here is another tea that I have been meaning to review for some time. I bought this one during the second half of last year, but I don’t remember precisely when. I finally tried it for the first time last night, finishing the remainder of my 10 gram sample this morning. I found it to be a quality oolong highly reminiscent of Taiwanese Gui Fei.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 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 dates, raisins, spices, honey, and roasted almonds. After the rinse, scents of osmanthus, peach, apricot, apple, butter, malt, and wood emerged. In the mouth, I picked up on notes of honey, osmanthus, apricot, dates, raisins, malt, butter, roasted almonds, and wood underscored by gentle spice, apple, and peach flavors. Subsequent infusions saw the spice notes separate into distinct impressions of cinnamon and nutmeg while the wood notes became reminiscent of cedar and pine. Impressions of rose, brown sugar, vanilla, and minerals also began to express themselves on the nose and in the mouth. The later infusions were milder, offering lingering notes of minerals, butter, malt, almond, vanilla, and wood balanced by increasingly distant impressions of honey, peach, osmanthus, dates, and rose.
Both extremely approachable and surprisingly complex, this oolong made for a great late morning/early afternoon session. I appreciated its strength and the tenacity of its aroma and flavor components. If you are a fan of traditional Taiwanese bug-bitten oolongs, I’m willing to bet you would also appreciate this tea.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Apricot, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cedar, Cinnamon, Dates, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Osmanthus, Peach, Pine, Raisins, Rose, Vanilla