This tea seems to be very susceptible to changes in brewing parameters. It is very easy to get unpleasant “green nut” bitterness if overleafed or oversteeped.
I only had a 10g sample split across two sessions. Overall, I wasn’t terribly impressed; the flavor was similar to an underwhelming Darjeeling black. The green nut-like bitterness was present in many of the brews – BUT, this could be my fault for attempting this gong fu style. The aftertaste, though, was rather pleasant.
My first session yielded more fruit flavors, including muscatel “grape leaf” flavors. My second session had more baking spice and caramel notes. So, I am sure this tea will change depending on your palate. Overall, I got vague nut flavors, particularly raw and slightly bitter nut notes. Nice aftertaste followed.
I would be interested to see what the oolong processing added to this tea – I would like to try it as a green or a black. The whole leaves I could find were all very small – about ¾ inch – not what I’m used to seeing as an oolong. It was processed with very light oxidation and there is no roast to speak of.
Dry leaf – grape leaf, some red fruit (red currant, freeze-dried strawberries), horehound, sassafras. Musty with a noticeable bite of bitter herb. In preheated vessel – nuttiness comes through, noticeable sour fruit notes.
Smell – nutty, grape leaf
Taste – green nut, roasted peanut, citrus-like tartness and sourness. Development has some baking spice and caramel as well as green-nut bitterness. Finish has caramel sweetness. Aftertaste of grape leaf, raw nut, caramel, hints of baking spice and fruit.