This is the fourth tea I’ve decided to try from my December Steepster Select Box (whoo)! I’ve been decently happy with all of them so far, but thought that this tea deserved my first review from the box.
My favorite way to drink higher-grade tea is gaiwan style, just pouring the leaves straight into my cup with water and using my mouth as a filter. I used this technique for my first go-around with this tea, and it produced a relatively light flavor, not overwhelmingly floral or dry like other greener oolongs I’ve tried. All in all, a very pleasant taste.
Today, I decided to give it a shot with a proper gong fu short-steeping series of infusions. I haven’t been able to do such a thing with my teas lately, as my zisha was out of commission for a short time before I reseasoned it. (Just…don’t make chai or mint teas in a clay pot, please, learn from my mistakes! Just buy a cheap second pot. Or, if you insist on doing so, at least don’t let the steeped leaves marinate in the pot overnight.) I gave the pot and leaves a good rinse, and was instantly greeted with a deep, oily scent that reminds me of some well-made Chinese cuisine.
First steeping (15 seconds): I’m in love with how light this tea is. When prepared with short steepings, it’s almost as delicate in flavor as bai mu dan. Mouth feel is only very slightly dry, mostly creamy, with a certain sweetness about the flavor that blends nicely with the overall nutty taste. Floral notes come through at the very end, but only briefly.
Second steeping (30 seconds): Taste is slightly stronger (may be due to water being slightly hotter this time around), but overall hasn’t changed or become more nuanced as I expected. Mouthfeel is slightly drier and less creamy. No complaints here; still enjoying the tea on the 2nd round, even without surprises!
Third steeping (55 seconds): This accidentally went a little longer than I planned, but turned out great regardless! Flavor wasn’t any weaker than the second steeping, but the flavors themselves were a little different; more woodsy and less floral, but it’s still there. Mouthfeel is thinner.
Overall, this is one of the best and most complex oolongs I’ve had, but nothing I would go out of my way to purchase again without a discount (it seems In Pursuit of Tea only sells in 4oz quantities, ugh).