Oh wow, as soon as I poured water over these leaves I got a huge waft of juicy fruit – pineapple! Maybe kiwi? A dash of carmelized sugar, or dark honey. The flavor does not disappoint either. I used the first steep to rinse, and have made 3 more so far.

This doesn’t fit neatly into my categories of dark and light roasted oolongs, but I’m pretty ok with having to expand my classifications :P This doesn’t have the heavy, nutty, dry, roasted flavor Iget from Formosa oolongs, but neither is it buttery and vegetal like a green one. It has the floral notes of a Tie Guan Yin, but then shifts to honey, fruit and incense.

It is getting a little toasty in later steeps (10 now), but still lots of sweet incense and dark fruit now, like cherries or blackberry pie. Aftertaste is very much like pineapple! Sweet, but also has that enzymatic tingle.

I have a bad habit of forgetting my gongfu teas through the day, so to make sure I got all 18(!) steeps out of this one, I alternated making a cup to drink, and immediately making another cup that I poured into a jar to chill and drink iced later! So I actually got to taste the later steeps this time :) and I’m glad I did, because it started getting rather like a pasty, with flavors of grain and butter.

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA



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