Hi, Steepster! How ya doin’? It’s always so difficult for me to get started on reviews when I haven’t posted on a regular basis in a long time. I’m still spending most of my tea drinking time going through teas I have purchased larger amounts of over the past two years. This was one of my more recent sipdowns (relatively speaking )as I finished what I had of this tea a couple weeks ago. I found it to be a very nice roasted oolong, though I also noted that the roast was really the only thing that provided any interest. Otherwise, this probably would have been a solid if relatively boring oolong.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves produced aromas of toasted rice, vanilla, roasted barley, charcoal, and cedar. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of sugarcane, toasted coconut, caramelized banana, smoke, chocolate, and roasted peanut. The first infusion introduced aromas of burnt toast and tar. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of toasted rice, roasted barley, vanilla, cream, caramelized banana, and sugarcane that were chased by hints of toasted coconut, smoke, chocolate, roasted peanut, and cedar. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of pine, butter, juniper, apple, green olive, cinnamon, grass, coffee, and grilled pineapple. Notes of tar, and burnt toast came out in the mouth alongside stronger and more readily noticeable impressions of smoke, cedar, and roasted peanut. New impressions of pine, marshmallow, cinnamon, grass, juniper, kale, apple, grilled pineapple, green olive, coffee, butter, watercress, turnip greens, minerals, and cooked lettuce also emerged. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, toasted rice, cream, butter, and roasted barley that were balanced by hints of vanilla, grass, roasted peanut, pine, green olive, smoke, kale, sugarcane, apple, caramelized banana, watercress, and cooked lettuce.
As indicated earlier, this was a very enjoyable tea. The roast had settled quite nicely and allowed some of the tea’s underlying qualities to shine through, though its characteristics had thankfully not disappeared entirely. Unfortunately, most of the tea’s most interesting qualities were provided by the roast, and as the tea liquor started to settle and fade, there was not much left to hold my attention. All in all, this was a very good roasted oolong, but if you are not a fan of such teas or expect a ton of interesting characteristics aside from those provided by the roast, then you should probably steer clear of this tea.
Flavors: Apple, banana, Burnt, Butter, Cedar, Char, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coconut, Coffee, Cream, Grass, Herbaceous, Kale, Lettuce, Marshmallow, Mineral, Olives, Peanut, Pine, Pineapple, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Sugarcane, Tar, Toast, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Vegetal