I kind of forgot that I got the oolong sampler from Adagio, but rummaging through my samples today I realized that I have two left to try! I think I was a bit offput by the Darjeeling, which just wasn’t that great. But I had such an awesome experience with the Dancong I decided to dip into this tea today.
The leaves were really broken up, and didn’t look at all like an oolong. In fact it kind of reminded me of bagged tea—I don’t think it was squished during shipping, as my other 3 in the sampler have nice big leaves that open beautifully when brewed. Not really a great first impression, and it went downhill from there: this brewed up so dark and smelled like a mediocre black. It didn’t taste much better, and was missing the nuances of flavor I was hoping for. It was mostly woodsy, with a kind of unpleasant earthiness/ashiness. There’s a hint of that raisin flavor they say it’s supposed to have, but it was way too weak to really pick up on. I’m not sure why, but this brewed up really watery despite using two teaspoons for 8 ounces of water. If I didn’t know this was an oolong I would have guessed it was a low-quality Ceylon.
When it’s cooled the flavors are a bit better and you get a soft floral note, it’s actually not bad all! I’ll bump up the rating a bit for that, but it’s unfortunate that this tea is so unappetizing when hot.