The cloudy and chilly weather this morning combined with a trying work day yesterday called me to a gongfu session with this oxidized and roasted red oolong. It has the aroma and flavor of sweet recuperation. Much needed.
This Spring 2018 harvest Hong Shui, like many other red oolong, is high on the aroma factor. When dry, I smell brown toast, rye, raisin, cinnamon, pear, golden syrup, pecan, straw, dried fruit. Warming the leaf brings cedar, cacao and plums. A rinse bring some strange things like sweet pickled vegetables, dill, roasted tomatoes and carrots, perfume, vinyl, raisins and blueberry.
Its character is lightly toasty and musky with cinnamon-pear sweetness and mellow nuttiness. Raisin, floral grape and minerals provide support. As the tea develops thicker, stronger flavors, I also pick up on something a bit like rancid butter but that could be due to sinus issues. The complexity lies more in aromas than it does in the actual flavors. A little drying and a brown sugar returning sweetness.
This is a tea that I think might captivate tea drinkers looking to explore the oxidized/roasted Taiwanese balled oolong. I would recommend it as a western brew. When prepared that way, the long steep time allows the full thickness and sweetness to shine.
Flavors: Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Butter, Cacao, Carrot, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cream, Dill, Dried Fruit, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Fur, Grapes, Mineral, Nutty, Pear, Pecan, Perfume, Plum, Raisins, Rye, Stewed Fruits, Straw, Sweet, Vegetables, Wood