I ordered this based on an existing impression of another “Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy” brand. That brand, the name of which escapes me to this day, was much lighter and sweeter in nature, that required a good 3 minutes of steeping just to unfurl, and more green-oriented(vegetal). This variation is very dark, roasted and smoky – concentrated even – leaning more to the black tea variety. It was after fiddling around with it that I found a “palatable” setting of only 30 seconds a steep at the White-Oolong temps. 45 seconds max on re-steeps. I’m usually wary of suggested steep times on tins, when they immediately say boiling. And for a such a long period, with a larger quantity of leaf(tablespoon vs my own teaspoon), this, to me at least, would be over-powering. I have yet to try that method, but if I do, I’ll be sure to update my findings, but I’m comfortable with what I have now. My way of brewing, the tea’s the smoky and roasted flavour does not become over-powering, but a more calming accentuated flavour, ideal for fireplace settings, and especially the winter season. I get the woodsey, smokey taste notes mentioned, and after a couple steeps, I definitely detect the apricot. Not as sweet as I had expected from another Monkey Picked, but still a good quality/price ratio oolong. Currently my “every day tea”.

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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