Thanks to Lion for this sample! What an interesting tea this is. Looks like an oolong but apparently is a red tea.
Did a flash steep in 190 F. First infusion of about 15 seconds in the gaiwan. Liquor color is a pale blonde… much like a lightly oxidized oolong. A delicious light sweetness fills the cup. It coats the tongue and throat.
Second steep, 20 sec. Honestly, the wet leaves smell so much like an oolong. Are we SURE this is a red tea? Haha. The sweetness stays here. The scent has an almost hay like quality to it so when I’m drinking this steep there is a play of sweet hay balance going on here. I really am enjoying this.
Third steep, 25 sec. On the third steep, you can see the leaves unfurl and actually start to look like a red (black) tea. The liquor has darkened up slightly to a honey gold color. The sweetness is still there. I got a very small note of tang/sour on the front end but I might have missed it if I weren’t paying attention enough to write this review. The coating sweetness still is the prominent feature here.
This tea petered out after about 4 steeps. I’m sure I could get some more steeps but I might be sacrificing quality at that point. Overall, I am really happy I was able to try this tea. It has a very natural sweet quality to it that I enjoy.
Flavors: Hay, Sweet