A rose scented (or flavoured) oolong is not something one would expect to see within the category of fine oolongs. Rose scented (or flavoured) black tea, certainly.
To look at, this tea is a delight. Tiny rosebuds are scattered throughout oolong balls that look like fine quality, green Tie Guan Yin (forest green and wound tightly into pellets). It’s almost a shame to steep the leaves, knowing that these pink buds will be drained of all that is sweet and gorgeous about them.
The recommended temperature for steeping this tea is 85 degrees (for approximately two minutes). This is slightly longer than I would typically wait for an oolong, but the petals need time to impart their sweetness.
The first sip is interesting. The oolong base is lightly-oxidised with a flavour that is buttery and floral, so one might expect the additional of extra floral could be akin to being beaten over the head with flower bouquets. However, there is no overpowering rose essence, but rather, a sweetness and slight sharpness that the rose imparts on the soft, silky oolong tea leaf.
The first two infusions were delicate and light. Aside from the floral (but not in a perfume-ish way), there was a barely-there note of vegetation in the background, and a lingering note of honey.
The second infusion had a much creamier undertone, the soft and silky notes turned into a rich and creamy taste and texture. While the rose remained the top note, it is somewhat softer allowing for the emergence of nutty background notes.
Anyone who loves the look, aroma and taste of roses will truly appreciate this oolong. Personally, it rates up there with Gui Hua ‘Osmanthus’ Oolong (also from Taiwan), which is floral, creamy and absolutely DREAMY!
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Green, Honey, Nuts, Rose