I think this is my first Hawaiian oolong, which is pretty cool!
I drank this one Gong Fu though I do have a sneaking suspicion that it would probably come out better in a Western mug – but I wanted something Gong Fu and I thought this would be a cool experiment/trial just to see what it could be like. I’ll be honest, I’ve not ever really been WOWED by a Hawaiian grown tea: they’re almost more appealing just as a novelty type of tea – this tea wasn’t an exception to that. However, tea growing in Hawaii is still very new and experimental, and I think that given time there’s real, genuine potential for Hawaiian grown tea to become something very cool and tasty!
My experience with this particular oolong was that, as absolutely STUNNING and beautiful the dry and steeping leaf was, the taste was a little bit flat/dull and lifeless. It was fairly green tasting and grassy/lawn clipping-ish with floral body notes and undertones that reminded me a bit of lily. I didn’t really experience and evaluation of flavour throughout this session, and even the two main notes that were present (the grassy quality and floral note) lacked the clarity and sweetness that would have made them more appealing qualities. The cup just tasted kind of muddled and unstructured. The finish was also a little bit astringent, which could have been an interesting contrast if the main notes were sweeter/more lively, but given the general flatness of the cup the astringency served more as a negative reinforcement of those traits.
I think the saving grace was actually that I was munching on slices of dragon fruit throughout the session and dragon fruit is so delicate and lightly flavoured with a soft, overall sweetness so it was almost like it was “injecting” sweetness into the session.
So far I think Hawaiian grown black tea has been my favourite type of Hawaiian grown tea…