Hoarded this 2021 sample til the mood struck me. I steeped it up about twice so far in short 15 and 20 second steeps, and it’s heavy on the baked pear and syrupy thick texture, but light on the roast and woady profile this time. Now, even steep three at 15 sec, and four at 30 sec, there’s a sweetness that leans almost in a vanilla or maple direction. Steep three was a little bit woodier, but four fruitier with the fancy poached or baked pear flavor again. Steep 5, forgot the time-maybe less than a minute, aroma remaining. The charcoal creeps up a bit, but so does some minerals, vaguely cinnamon (by association and imagination), and rock sugar. Oh yeah, didn’t I mentioned a cooked version of a pear yet?
Either way it keeps coming and its a nice break from the frequent greener oolongs I’ve had. I still prefer to drink the greener oolongs more often for some reason, despite the cinders I’ve flecked from my wallets well scorched hole. Oddly though, my palette like fruitier tones and higher oxidized oolongs tend to be in fact fruitier than green ones, but I go back to the green ones.
Sometimes, the higher oxidised oolongs are actually too sweet for me, edging for cloying. I know most people wouldn’t use that word for red oolongs and I’d argue they are a little bit better suited to a western palette in some ways, but it’s the weird border into fructose, honey or syrup that makes me think they are. I’d be curious if anyone else has the same kind of experience. I know I’m hypocritical because I like vanilla, floral, chocolate, or fruit leaning black, white, and oolong teas, but I’d be happy to know I’m not the only one. Maybe it’s just my western palette preferring those teas.
I still recommend this one though. It’s quite good. I still agree with most of the earlier notes written, and the newer ones drawing the dill and spice comparisons. It’s like a savory baked fruit desert or starter.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Brown Sugar, Charcoal, Cherry, Cinnamon, Fruity, Honey, Maple Syrup, Mineral, Pear, Red Apple, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Woody