I bought a sample of this in the quest to taste osmanthus for the first time.
Gone gaiwan. 5g, 150mL, 205F, flash rinse, 5/10/20/30/40/60/90s.
Autumn 2017 harvest. The dry leaf smelled strongly of – this is just my association, I kept trying to think of better descriptors because it was lacking the preservative/coloring smell – cherry cough syrup, dark chocolate and faint baby powder. Warmed and rinsed leaf scents were similar, dominated by dark chocolate, followed by cherry cough syrup and mandarin orange with floral here and there. So very fragrant.
The tea remained somewhat unchanging in taste and lacked a gravitas. It wasn’t a flavor-bomb and created a sense of being-light bodied even though the mouthfeel told another story. The cherry cough syrup of the leaf turned into something more like a medicinal? cherry candy. Now that I think about it, combined with the dark chocolate, it tasted similar to a kind of candy I’ve had before but so much lighter. There were also notes of wood, minerals and metal. In the second steep, an intensely warming and pure cinnamon came in, said goodbye. There was a separate cypress cooling sensation that arrived midway and joined with the cinnamon appearing again at the end, tasting like camphor and persisting in its warming/cooling effect. I can an hour later still feel it in my ears. It feels like medicine.
Despite the liquor being light in taste, it was rather thick and oily in body. It was also lightly astringent, and like the Laoshan gongfu black I had recently, I was salivating furiously.
Combined with the oily texture and the taste of minerals, this all created a sense of palate cleansing, diminishing the astringent effect. Weird. Bottom of the cup scent was honey, dark chocolate and again with that cherry which all faded as the steeps progressed. In terms of energy, it seems to have for me a tolerable amount of caffeine. I became verrry relaxed and meditative.
At first this tea was off-putting due to the leaf aroma, and I sat skeptical the whole session. But you know what, it’s growing on me as I type this. It comes across as both refined and not. I find it very intriguing. I might be perplexed. It’s definitely not a daily drinker but I would like to have some on hand and also give western style brewing a try. Gonna leave it unrated.
I’m still left wondering what osmanthus tastes like. I should buy just the flowers.
Flavors: Astringent, Camphor, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Honey, Medicinal, Menthol, Metallic, Mineral, Orange, Pleasantly Sour, Smooth, Thick, Wood