This was another tea I kind of forgot I had. Fortunately, this was a roasted oolong rather than a green oolong. Aside from this tea being roasted and processed in a strip style, I do not know much about it. I don’t know whether or not it was a baozhong. All I know is that it was both very unique and very good.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of char, roasted grain, and roasted vegetables. After the rinse, I noted stronger aromas of roasted vegetables coupled with emerging impressions of flowers and nuts. The first proper infusion brought out scents of wood. In the mouth, the liquor offered notes of grass, wood, roasted grain, char, and roasted vegetables. There were hints of flowers too. Subsequent infusions brought out rather subtle impressions of nuts, cream, butter, blueberry, blackberry, elderberry, minerals, lilac, violet, lily, banana leaf, and cattail shoots. It was an interesting mix of aromas and flavors. The tea liquor most definitely offered something of a heavy, broth-like umami presence overlaid with unique floral, nutty, fruity, woody, and vegetal tones. The later infusions offered lingering touches of minerals, butter, cream, wood, roasted grain, banana leaf, grass, and roasted vegetables.
A super unique Taiwanese oolong and also an incredibly tasty one, I found it difficult to compare this tea to many of the other oolongs I have tried recently. Furthermore, I noted that it held up very well in storage. Prior to brewing this tea gongfu, I had experimented with it as an iced tea and also tried a couple of Western preparations. All worked quite well. I would recommend this tea highly to curious drinkers, but unfortunately, it has been out of stock for some time, and since no newer harvests have been offered, I get the impression that a newer version may not be offered in the near future, if at all. Should that end up being the case, it will be a shame.
Flavors: Blackberry, Blueberry, Butter, Char, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Grass, Mineral, Nuts, Roasted, Umami, Vegetables, Vegetal, Violet, Wood