This is the tea I ‘grew up’ drinking, starting with Chinese restaurant teas and moving on to this one, which I was taught to revere as special and rare, one my father had learned on from Chinese friends but found hard to get before the 80s. By the time I started to drink it, it was easier to find, but still not something that every chinese market would carry. If I couldn’t find the familiar red tin, I’d go home empty handed rather than buy an unknown tea. A long period when I could not get t from my usual suppliers finally led me to my new local Chinatown, tea shops, and the internet, and this is no longer my favrite tea.
In retrospect I’m very glad that I didn’t find this tea on my first trip to Wing Hop Fung. But I’m glad that I eventually did find it again. It’s inexpensve, reliable, and comforting: a dark roasted toasty oolong with a little sweet, a lot of earthy, a touch of caramel, and when the leaves are treated just right, a bit of spicy too. I have managed to make a harsh bitter cup out of this one a few times, but it takes real effort: boiling water, too much of the dark, tightly curled leaf, and long steeping.
Use teaspoon per mug or 6oz pot, water 185-195, steep 1-2 minutes, and you’ll get another 1-2 steepings from the leaves.
It keeps very well, so it’s a great one To keep around just in case, to introduce newbies gently to the darker side of higher roast teas, and for effortless drinking when you’re to frazzled to break off a piece of puerh or babysit a tempermental green.
I’d rate it about a 65, but can’t Figure out the sliders on the phone.