Red oolongs get less attention than they deserve, so I was happy to see this sample in my last What-Cha order. (Then, of course, I let it sit for over a year. . . .) I steeped 5 g of leaf in a 120 ml pot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of apricots, berries, grapes, flowers, roast, and honey. The first steep has notes of cherry, banana bread, apricot, plum, honey, and roast. The next steep adds muscatel and jammy berries, with a bit of a drying finish. The next couple steeps have even more baked cherry, blackberry, plum, honey, butter, banana, roast, nuts, and florals. The fruit kind of melds into a general impression, but I can pick out individual flavours if I try. The next couple steeps are a little more drying, but still have that intense cherry flavour. The roast and nuts are becoming more prominent. I finally get some jasmine in steep six, along with a more pronounced grape/raisin note. The cherry persists over the next few steeps, while the tea increasingly has notes of roast, wood, bread, and minerals.
This is a lovely dessert tea with a distinct cherry flavour that I haven’t found too often elsewhere. Some of the other fruity notes are muddled, though that could be because I wasn’t using enough leaf. I’m not sure this would be an everyday tea for me, but I’m glad to have tried it.
Flavors: Apricot, Berries, Blackberry, Bread, Butter, Cherry, Drying, Floral, Grapes, Honey, Jam, Jasmine, Mineral, Muscatel, Nuts, Plum, Raisins, Roasted, Wood