There is what I perceive to be a fairly strong roast on this one. The first infusion in particular has a noticeable but mellow charcoal note to it, although this fades rapidly during the second and third infusion (which is a good thing – I don’t like drinking something that tastes like an old grill!)
Dominant flavors are roasted nut and a certain dryness in-mouth (not mineral, more like pine wood and dry spice). Aftertaste has a big, tart, citrusy flavor with some stonefruit and melon undertones.
So, all-in-all, it is pretty tasty. I enjoyed drinking it; it didn’t blow my mind or anything, but it was enjoyable.
A few drawbacks include it losing flavor relatively quickly. To counteract this, I had to fill my gaiwan up to the brim with dry leaf. This gave me four good infusions followed by two decent ones before the in-mouth flavors pretty much dropped off and became that sort of woody flavor you get with roasted oolongs.
Considering this, I’m not really keen on paying a premium for this tea when there are equally tasty cheaper alternatives.
Anyway, I wanted to try the four famous bushes of Wu Yi, and now I have. Personally, I’m sticking with Da Hong Pao and maybe Tie Luo Han as a treat. Bai Ji Guan was good, and certainly the most different one of the bunch, but I think I would be more inclined to just get a Bao Zhong or even a Tie Guan Yin if I am looking for a greener oolong experience.
There will be more Wu Yi oolong imbibing throughout this year. I’m excited to spend some time exploring these teas. They are intriguing!
Dry leaf: peanut shell, baking chocolate. Hints of dried fruit (cherry, mango), and baking spices. In preheated vessel, tart citrus notes arrive (kumquat, tart raspberry)
Smell: charcoal roast and roasted nuts. Secondary notes of dark caramel. Hints of dried red fruit in background.
Taste: roasted nuts, charcoal roast. Secondary notes of baking spice, pine wood, and some minerality. Tartness arrives in-mouth prior to finish. Aftertaste of tart citrus, stonefruit, and some melon