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

200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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