Thank you Alistair for the sample! I was tempted to try this one, though I was kinda hesitant because I had my sights on the Vietnam Gui Fei. I’m guessing that this might be an underappreciated oolong based on the reviews that were on the website.
This oolong is described as having a stonefruit quality with background florals, and that is right with the sample. I was barbaric with the preparation and used 8 grams in 11 oz of hot water beginning at one minute, two, then three and half, and four.
The dry leaf reminded me of roasted plaintains, and the teas taste matched it. It was as red, viscous, and a little malty as some hong chas, but it was light and floral enough to be an unmistakable oolong. The stonefruit qualities are there like plum, but the mix with the florals make it more like the plantain I got in the smell. It has a nice fructose sweetness too, and although the soft plantain and syrupy sweetness assert themselves in a fairly thick to medium texture, it has some of the floral notes of a si ju chun like violet, orchid and perhaps magnolia, but they are very, very faint. Sometimes, there were hints in the texture that reminded me of coconut milk because it was that thick, but I side more on the plantain note. Overall, it still tastes like, well, tea.
The tea was very flexible and very easy to drink. It was maltier with longer steeps, and creamier and more floral with shorter steeps. It’s a good and naturally sweet oolong, but the plantain note might divide some people. My main problem is being spoiled by Alistair’s other selections since they do tend to have more depth as another reviewer has noted. This would make a pretty great daily drinker, and it is nice in not being too green, but that is up to the buyer and their preferences.