My schedule has been so tight recently that I have not been able to do many gongfu sessions. That means that my oolong and puerh consumption has seriously declined. Transferring to a new job has unfortunately been limiting my free time. When I have had time to drink oolong this week, this has been the one I have been drinking. It’s a nice rolled oolong that is very easy to drink.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. I followed this initial infusion up with 11 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 2 minutes 30 seconds, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, a sniff of the dry tea leaves revealed a mildly floral aroma. After the rinse, I noted pronounced aromas of cream, butter, custard, apricot, peach, and fresh flowers. The first infusion produced a similar, albeit slightly more balanced aroma. In the mouth, I detected a pleasant blend of cream, butter, custard, vanilla, sticky rice, and honey underscored by perfume-like notes of saffron, lily, lilac, honeysuckle, and gardenia. There was also a very subtle nuttiness that I caught just before the fade. Subsequent infusions amplified the fruit, vanilla, honey, and floral notes. The vague nuttiness emerged more fully, revealing the flavor of roasted almonds. A slight breadiness also began to emerge. Tealyra describes it as a toast note, but I thought it was more reminiscent of fresh baguettes. A note of golden raisin also began to appear around this time as well. Later infusions grew nuttier, creamier, and breadier. I noticed that the baguette, roasted almond, cream, butter, and custard notes began to dominate, though I could still detect soft, yet distinct impressions of flowers, honey, golden raisin, and vanilla. Oddly, I did not detect much of a mineral presence. Normally, I get a lot of minerality from oolongs, but not this one. For the most part, it remained smooth, sweet, creamy, floral, fruity, and buttery throughout the course of the session.
This was an intriguing oolong with a great blend of aromas and flavors. I probably could have gotten at least one or two more infusions out of it, but decided to stop where I did because it was late and I needed to get some sleep. Judging from this encounter though, I would not hesitate to recommend this tea to just about anyone looking for a quality oolong at a great price. I honestly think it would please both experienced drinkers and oolong novices alike.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Honey, Honeysuckle, Peach, Raisins, Saffron, Vanilla