I subscribed to the Eco-Cha Tea Club for more than a year and generally enjoyed their offerings. (I eventually quit due to the cost and my ever-expanding tea stash.) I’m glad to be able to try this roasted bug-bitten oolong from Daylon. I steeped 6 g in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
Dry, the tea smells of honey, nuts, and flowers. The first steep is indeed like a lightly roasted high mountain oolong, with honey, mild roast, violets, orchids, other florals, nuts, and grass. I get the weird impression of floral Honey Nut Cheerios! The second steep offers a slightly bitter, sappy note that I’ve found in bug-bitten teas, though Daylon is right that I wouldn’t have necessarily concluded this tea was bug bitten if not for the label. By the third steep, it begins to take on the characteristics of a roasted oolong, with strong honey, nuts, Graham crackers, and grass and a few remaining floral notes. The next few steeps emphasize honey, roast, and wood, and have a tang that could be called lemony. Like many similar oolongs, the end of the session is all about the roast.
I steeped the remainder of my sample Western style in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 2:30, 4, 6, and 8 minutes. The first steep has notes of honey, caramel, nuts, Graham crackers, violets, sap, and roast. The second steep adds roasted pecans and more caramel. The next couple steeps have those lovely floral and nutty/grain notes, but the roast gradually takes over. My strainer was also full of leaves by the end of the session, suggesting that I might have used more leaf than I initially thought.
This is a rich, comforting oolong with all of the expected Gui Fei notes and an extra dash of florality. However, I should have finished it when the weather was a bit colder. Am I the only person who prefers winter to summer?
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Graham Cracker, Grain, Grass, Honey, Lemon, Nuts, Orchid, Pecan, Roasted, Sap, Violet, Wood