Welp, this sample has been sitting in my drawer since I last ordered from Mandala, aka a year ago. Not sure how that will affect the taste of the tea, but here goes.
Now, I know, like most oolongs, this is likely meant to be gong-fu. But as you all know, I really don’t do gong-fu, so it’s brewed western style with low steep times. I did give it a rinse though first for 10 seconds.
Brewed: 195F/12oz/5g/30sec (first steep)
Taste is… very complex. I’m getting a strong roasted flavor, along with sweetness, and… onion? Like, is this supposed to taste like onions? It’s odd. I’ll have to look.
Wow, so caramelized onions are listed as a flavor. It’s an odd profile, but not unpleasant. There’s a bit of honey there too, but it’s muted. It really does taste like caramelized onions!
As it cools, the bitey onion flavor mellows out, leaving a lingering sweetness behind. There’s a note of toast? I really hate trying to describe these complex cuppas. My palate isn’t nearly refined enough for this type of tea. Just take my word that it’s complex and hard to pin down all the flavors. It should be noted that I rarely drink oolong, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a roasted oolong before, so this is uncharted territory for me.
Overall, this is pretty good. Definitely different from my usual fare! I’m not going to give a numerical rating as I have no idea how to judge this compared to other oolongs. I may have to branch out and try some different oolongs in my next order.
Flavors: Biting, Honey, Roasted, Toast