I found an open sample of this, but no corresponding note. Hmmm.
I usually do oolongs in the gaiwan first, then if I have a dedicated yixing, in that, and then I decide whether they’re worth savoring that way or whether they’re not. If they don’t pass, I will steep them in the Breville or make them into cold brew until sipdown.
Flavored oolongs are tricky in this regard because I don’t usually see much difference from steep to steep when I do short frequent steeps. So I’m tempted to skip right to western style. But I have some additional time today so I decided to put this one through a few steeps in the gaiwan to see what is what.
Before I forget, though, I wanted to mention the really wonderful aroma in the packet. It’s a deep, strong, passion fruit smell. If I smelled this coming from a box of dried passion fruits, I’d want to eat them immediately.
I rinsed and then steeped for 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 seconds using 195F water.
The first steep yielded a light butter yellow color tea, with a refreshing passion fruit flavor. A little tart, but not bitter. The underlying tea isn’t really coming to the fore for me, but judging by the leaves it’s a green oolong even though it is from Taiwan. At most I’m getting a sort of buttery undercurrent. I could see this being a wonderful iced tea.
With the next steep (20 sec), there’s a precipitous drop off in the passion fruit flavor. It’s still taste-able, but pale by comparison with the first steep, and I don’t find the tea base stepping in to make up the difference. The color is the same.
The remaining steeps were more of the same, each one a whiter shade of pale.
I don’t really know how to rank this because it’s not like I’ve had a ton of other passion fruit flavored oolongs to compare it to. I’ll just say it’s too bad Todd & Holland doesn’t have this available anymore. I would order some next time I’m in a position to order flavored oolong, but I’d do so with the knowledge that it’s a pretty much one steep wonder to get the full passion fruit flavor.
Flavors: Butter, Passion Fruits