Here is my most recent sample sipdown. I was (am) still wiped out from the Georgia trip and ended up doing a long session with this oolong to wind down after I left work. I found it to be a worthwhile tea that rewarded patient, focused sipping.
I gongfued this one. After an approximately 10 second rinse, I steeped the entire dragon ball in a 5 ounce easy gaiwan filled with 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 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, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 9 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry dragon ball produced subtle aromas of wood, grass, roasted nuts, and light char. The rinse brought out hints of seaweed, brine, hay, grain, and stone fruits. The first infusion saw touches of honey, mushroom, and malt appear on the nose. Predictably, the tea liquor was very slight in the mouth. I could just barely pick up on touches of grass, hay, light char, wood, seaweed, mushroom, and roasted nuts. To be honest, this tea was not really meant for the flash steeps I favor, but I persisted anyway. Subsequent infusions saw the nut impressions separate. I was reminded of a combination of roasted almond, beechnut, and chestnut. The impressions of char, wood, grass, hay, mushroom, and seaweed strengthened somewhat. The honey, brine, malt, and fruit flavors also appeared. Shortly afterwards, I was picking up fairly distinct impressions of apricot, longan, lychee, and peach while impressions of birch, caramel, camphor, wintergreen, minerals, marigold, rose, grain, and butter began to emerge. The later impressions were smooth, offering definite top notes of minerals, hay, butter, grass, malt, and wood underscored by lingering hints of stone fruits, honey, grain, caramel, camphor, nuts, and wintergreen.
Much like the unroasted version of this tea, this was odd and somewhat tedious, but enjoyable. Of the two, I preferred this one. I enjoy roasted oolongs and the light roast that was applied to this tea added some intriguing depth.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Camphor, Caramel, Char, Chestnut, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lychee, Malt, Marine, Mineral, Mushrooms, Peach, Roasted nuts, Rose, Seaweed, Wood