I don’t have much experience with Hong Shui oolongs, although with the three I’ve received thus far in the Eco-Cha Tea Club, this could soon be rectified. The dark, loosely ball-rolled leaves look fairly different from the oolongs I’m familiar with, and don’t give off much of an aroma. I steeped 5 g of tea in a 120 ml porcelain teapot at 200F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The first three steeps taste exactly like spiced banana-nut bread, with notes of grain, cooked banana, roasted walnuts, honey, and spices (nutmeg?). The tea loses some of its nuttiness after this and takes on a sesame flavour. It also acquires a peachy finish and a mineral note reminiscent of Chinese Wuyi oolong, although this could be just my imagination. The leaves consistently smell more peachy in the teapot than they taste in the cup.
A perfect dessert tea, this Hong Shui is rich, mellow, and indulgent. If it had come through with a bit more of that peachy flavour, it would have been among my all-time favourites.
Flavors: Bread, Honey, Mineral, Nutmeg, Peach, Roast Nuts, Spices, Walnut