Even though it has been less than a week, it feels like forever since I have posted a review. Where have I been? I took some time off to visit friends in Lexington, KY. I am very likely moving there in a month or two. I guess I’ll have to change my Steepster name since I won’t be living in the eastern part of this state anymore. Anyway, despite the fact that I haven’t been posting, I have been drinking tea. Yes, the backlog is once again full. Yes, I still have notes from October I need to post. Getting back into the groove of regularly posting reviews, I wasn’t sure where to start, so I just randomly chose this tea. I finished a sample of it late last week. I found it to be a very nice milk oolong.
Naturally, I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I noted aromas of cream, butter, and vanilla coming from the dry leaves. After the rinse, I noted an emerging custard scent. The first infusion began to reveal aromas of steamed rice, grass, and flowers. In the mouth, the liquor revealed delicate notes of cream, grass, butter, and vanilla with floral impressions that reminded me of daylily, Narcissus, and orchid. Subsequent infusions brought out the custard and steamed rice on the palate. I also found new notes of coconut milk, spinach, mango, pineapple, daylily shoots, pear, lettuce, sugarcane, minerals, seaweed, and honeysuckle. Later infusions mostly offered hints of cream, butter, steamed rice, lettuce, grass, spinach, minerals, and daylily shoots.
This was a much softer, subtler, more refined tea than I was expecting. The aromas and flavors were masterfully integrated. Nothing came off as being uneven or heavy-handed. Normally, I find flavored oolongs of this type to go way too heavy on the milkiness, but this one (thankfully) did not. Despite the fact that I would not turn to this over a good Taiwanese milk oolong or a traditional, unflavored Jin Xuan, I found it to be a very good tea. If you are into milk oolongs at all, this one is definitely worth a try.
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cream, Custard, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Mango, Mineral, Narcissus, Orchid, Pear, Pineapple, Rice, Seaweed, Spinach, Sugarcane, Vanilla