I intended to try this yesterday, but the day got away from me once the turkey was in the oven. So I decided I’d mix it up and start with oolongs today. I feel so adventurous!
I am guessing this is Da Hong Pao, despite the hood nomenclature. It walks like a duck. The leaves are beautiful and big, dark and chocolate brown. They smell roasty-toasty. Actually they kind of smell like toast, the kind one makes in a toaster.
Stepped in the gaiwan after rinse. The Zo is still at 190F (what gives) for short steeps starting at 15 sec.
The tea is medium-dark amber and smells mildly toasty. No sharpness. For whatever reason, I find myself thinking this would make an excellent iced tea. It has a rather singular note on the first steep. No surprising sugars or florals, just a straight up roasted but mild flavor.
The second steep gets a little more interesting. There’s something that smells a bit like camphor in it, though it is very faint. And some wood. It’s still smooth, though there’s a high note that tends toward some sharpness. It’s drying to the mouth. There’s a tad of smoke in the aftertaste.
I’m trying hard to get what the description means by malty here. I’m not getting that. The third steep is similar to the second, though I taste a note that’s sort of like coffee, too. This is one tea that definitely changes from steep to steep. It becomes more complex, too. I suppose this is a reason not to drink it iced, but the idea of having it iced still intrigues me.
The fourth steep is similar. I don’t know whether it’s because I still have a bit of a sniffle, but this seems like it can grab your throat the wrong way when you’re not paying attention.
It has more going on than the ATR that I found a bit boring, and has some odd things about it that don’t endear it to me as much as the Andao. Rating accordingly.
Flavors: Camphor, Coffee, Roasted, Smoke, Toast, Toasty, Wood