I received this tea from the 2017 Regional Oolong Group Buy hosted by Liquid Proust
I tasted this side by side with the charcoal roasted “sister tea” in a nice long session with a friend who is new to oolong, I will include comparison notes as well as reviewing the charcoal roasted tea. Both are brewed 5g of leaf in 200ml glass teapots with 190F water and 30 second infusion times (taking into account the ~10 second pour)
The dry leaf is more subdued than I would have thought with a strong and biting oolong scent and not much else. The teapot lid carried an extremely strong floral scent with more strong oolong notes.
The liquor brews up a stunning gold color like a freshly filtered apple juice and smells like a meadow of wildflowers and grass that has just been mowed down with their scent still thick in the air. The taste is what really took me aback… before this I didn’t really see what the fuss was about the floral oolongs fetching high prices, I have had floral tea before I figured it was just a pretty common tasting note, I was dead wrong. This is ambrosia truly the nectar of the gods I am drinking. The pure sweet floral taste with hints of fresh honey and beeswax made me exclaim out loud how wonderful it is, and the rest of my group could not stop talking about this infusion. The mouthfeel is like a thin broth with an excellent lasting sweetness.
The second infusion was a pale comparison of that first taste with the same general notes but a bit of orange zest sourness coming through. The third infusion loses a bit of sourness and keeps mostly the same. Steep four is much more buttery and grassy getting progressively fruitier and less flavorful until it died at steep 10.
Overall this is a great tea; however, you trade longevity for amazing tasting early steeps. Maybe this is a tea that would be better western style to really bring out the early notes, as after steep three it wasn’t a tea I was fond of, but before that it was amazing.
The charcoal roasted “sister tea” is more muted early on; however, I was able to take it all the way to steep 10 and still enjoy it. The roasting mellowed out the floral notes, but made an overall sweeter more well rounded tea. It also had significantly more umami flavors and more cooling.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Grass, Honey, Mineral