As of this afternoon, I can smell and taste again. I didn’t know how long that would last, so I decided to enjoy it while I could. That meant that it was time to break out a high mountain oolong. I had 4 grams of this tea left and decided to finish it off while I had the chance.
Naturally, I opted to prepare this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped all 4 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 11 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted subtle aromas of butter and orchid. After the rinse, I detected a pleasant mix of vanilla, butter, cream, and orchid scents. There was also a subtle hint of some kind of mild spice, but I could not place it. The closest I can get to describing it would be to compare it to sweet cinnamon. The first infusion produced a balanced bouquet with a slightly more pronounced vanilla presence. In the mouth, there were mild, balanced notes of cream, butter, vanilla, spice, and orchid underscored by a touch of grassiness. Subsequent infusions did not do all that much different. The vanilla, butter, and orchid impressions swelled. The impressions of grass were also slightly amplified. There was another kind of vegetal presence too. It may seem strange, but it reminded me of banana leaf. I got a hint of green plantain on a couple of these infusions too. The later infusions were typically mild and mellow, but with slightly more flavor than expected. There was not a ton of minerality to this tea. Instead, the later infusions emphasized a balance of mineral, cream, butter, and grass to go along with faint orchid and plantain notes.
I know my perspective may be skewed owing to my inability to do much with teas like this for quite awhile, but I greatly enjoyed this tea. It was not particularly busy or complex, but it had a great deal of charm. Though straight-forward, the blend of aromas and flavors on display was unique and instantly appealing. I also appreciated the texture. This tea had great body and was so silky in the mouth. I’m glad I had the opportunity to snag some of this before it disappeared for good.
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Fruity, Grass, Mineral, Orchid, Vanilla, Vegetal