I received this tea from the 2017 Regional Oolong Group Buy hosted by Liquid Proust
I tasted this side by side with the un-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 un-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 smells like a light-medium charcoal roast with a suprisingly strong floral scent, must stronger than the un-roasted tea. The teapot lid smells of dandelions and honey by an old campfire where only ashes remain.
The liquor brews up a delightful gold with a bit more opacity than the un-roasted tea. The smell is again like a field of dandelions. The taste is very good, sweet with notes of caramel and burnt sugar moving into a edamame like savory taste. The mouth-feel is thick and creamy with notable cooling effects upon inhalation.
Steeps two and three loose progressively more floral taste and sweetness in favor of the savory notes. It tastes like grilled zucchini or a fresh miso soup, and the mouth-feel is getting thinner as well.
Steep four tastes like roasted walnuts and has an oily consistency that it keeps until steep 10 developing into butter notes around steep 7. The tea was quite pleasant to drink throughout the session, but the first three were the best.
The charcoal roasted tea is notably more savory than it’s un-roasted partner, although the roasting seems to have increased the floral aroma. While not quite as good at first; the charcoal roasted tea holds good flavor for much longer than the un-roasted and was notably more complex. The un-roasted tea was a bit one note (although that note was glorious)
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Char, Dandelion, Honey, Roasted Nuts, Soybean, Walnut, Zucchini