I had this tea once before, western style, and I think I may prefer it that way. There was an overwhelming coolness that washed over my mouth and a sweet nectary floral flavor pushing through the cool charcoal presence of the roasting. For once, a darker oolong that doesn’t taste like smoke!
Filled the bottom of my gaiwan with leaves. Infusion times: 20s, 15s, 25s, 30s, 40s, 1m, 2m, 5m
First: It tastes like very little at first, but a slight cooling sensation is still detectable. A slight nectar builds on the tongue. The charcoal is very light this steep.
Second: I may have to stop following the directions. He always seems to suggest a shorter second steep, I think in an attempt to capture the first steep. But the second steep is usually the one that knocks my socks off. This is maybe sweeter, but also lighter than the first steep.
Third: Cooling stronger, charcoal more assertive. More caramel sweetness in aroma and taste. Slight touch of ‘leafyness’.
Fourth: Sweeter, more floral smell. Greener flavor. Cooling sensation intense. This steep is most like the western style steeps. This steep is my favorite, even though it is slightly missing the nectars from the first few steeps.
Fifth: Sweetness is back, and so is the charcoal. The aroma is incredible, but the florals don’t translate as well to the liquid. Still, quite good.
Sixth: Minerals, and cooling, and fine baker’s sugar! Loving this finish! Almost vanilla like scent in the aroma cup.
Seventh: Losing most everything but that cooling sensation. Kinda greener too, but even though there’s not much else, I still thoroughly enjoy it.
Eigth: Five minutes is a long steep for a gaiwan! It was HOT! Slight cooling, mostly a flavor of a spent tieguanyin to be honest! Still this tea and I went on a long journey, and it sure took a while to go over the hill.
Overall, I like it. I think about that cooling sensation for about a week after I drink it, and I supposed that’s the mark of a tea that was good enough to stick with you! I have teas that I like a lot more, but this one deserves my high rating none-the-less.
Flavors: Menthol, Nectar, Powdered Sugar