I had high hopes for this tea, one of the Teavivre oolongs that I have recently ordered 5 million samples of at their sale (which is still ongoing, I think). A cool name and story, good pedigree, and I also like almonds. Did not happen.
I brewed it both Western (4g per 500ml water 5 mins) and gaiwan (5g 65 ml, starting with 10 secs) and it all came out the same.
The dry leaf smells of peanuts and orchids. The main flavor is the pronounced and long-lasting bitterness, kinda like very dark chocolate sans chocolate fatty goodness. It is sharp and offputting at first but then you sorta getting used to it. Other flavors are faint peanuts and even fainter, barely perceptible floral and fruity sweetness. It definetly does not smell or taste like almonds.
First I was completely flabbergasted by the absence of other flavours and pronounced bitterness (who would like THAT?!) but then as the tea chilled a bit and I was mindlessly sipping it I realized that I am OK with it. So, either it is an acquired taste and you need to drink it for days to develop it or it was just a case of Stockholm syndrome.
In summary, if you are a big fan of lasting bitterness and peanuts, this is the tea for you. But I personally would put my faith in the statement by Teavivre that “it is one of the ten types of flavors of Phoenix dan cong” and will explore nine other types first before even considering revisiting this one.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Floral, Orchid, Peanut