I don’t know if this is a good thing or not, but I have been using my time off work to drink a ton of oolongs. I have been trying to clean out more space in my tea cabinet and was shocked to discover that the oolong shelf was overflowing. Moreover, I had a number of green oolongs that were still good, but needed to be consumed in order to get the most out of them. This is the one I decided to start with and I’m glad I got to it when I did. So far, it is the best oolong I have had this year.
I brewed this one gongfu. Yes, I am finally reviewing a tea that I brewed gongfu style. I steeped approximately 7-8 grams of tea leaves in 208 F water. I did not exactly follow Verdant’s gongfu brewing guidelines for this tea. Rather than increasing steep times by the recommended 2 seconds, I increased steep times by 5 seconds per infusion. No joke, I still got 12 good steepings out of this tea.
First Infusion: Prominent aromas of butter, cream, and flowers were present on the nose. In the mouth, I picked up robust notes of hay, grass, lettuce, bread, minerals, butter, cream, custard, lilac, jasmine, orchid, and saffron.
Second Infusion: Cream and flower aromas were heavy on the nose. I picked up big floral notes on the entry that were soon chased by mellow flavors of steamed buns, custard, butter, cream, minerals, and lettuce.
Third Infusion: Very creamy and savory on the nose with balanced floral aromatics. The flavor was savory up front, offering relatively robust notes of cream, steamed buns, butter, and custard. A nice balance of floral and vegetal notes rounded out the flavor.
Fourth Infusion: Again, very savory on the nose with lots of butter, cream, and custard. The floral aromas were starting to fade a tad at this point. In the mouth, there was still a nice mix of floral and savory flavors with vegetal and mineral notes on the finish.
Fifth Infusion: Savory aromas on the nose with slight floral aromas in the background. In the mouth, there was a pleasant balance of flowers, cream, and custard. The mineral notes were more pronounced on the back end compared to the fourth infusion, as were the vegetal notes. I also noted the return of grass and hay-like flavors on the finish.
Sixth Infusion: The aroma was very similar to the previous two infusions, as was the taste, though I noted that the grass, hay, and lettuce notes were slightly more pronounced here.
Seventh Infusion: Mild nose with subtle aromas of cream, custard, minerals, and flowers. Smooth, subtle notes of custard, cream, butter, lettuce, hay, grass, minerals, and flowers in the mouth.
Eighth Infusion: The nose was similar to the seventh infusion. In the mouth, I picked up smooth notes of hay, grass, butter, lettuce, and cream balanced by fleeting impressions of lilac, saffron, and jasmine.
Ninth Infusion: The nose was similar to the previous two infusions. The flavor profile emphasized lettuce, grass, hay, and minerals on the entry, while custard, cream, butter, and floral notes lingered in the background.
Tenth Infusion: Fleeting aromas of cream, lettuce, grass, hay, and flowers on the nose, with strong lettuce and mineral notes in the mouth underscored by flowers, cream, and butter.
Eleventh Infusion: Slightly creamy, floral nose with vegetal impressions. Lettuce, grass, and mineral notes dominated the entry, though fleeting impressions of cream and butter provided a semblance of balance.
Twelfth Infusion: The aroma was very similar to the previous infusion, as was the flavor, though everything was very muted except the mineral and lettuce notes. Even though I have a very sensitive palate, I decided to stop here as I expected that another infusion would not leave much of an impression.
Overall, I really like this oolong and was shocked that it has such a low overall score here on Steepster. I’ll concede that it may not be all that complex, but I feel that it presents subtle nuances in its flavor profile very well over the course of a long session. I respect and admire that.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Hay, Jasmine, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Saffron