I’m still making my way through some of the Toba Wangi teas I purchased this year. This was my most recent sipdown and it ended up being one of the more intriguing and enjoyable oolongs I have tried this month. The tea, itself, was quite reminiscent of a high-quality dancong oolong, though I imagine that open-minded, adventurous oolong drinkers would enjoy it as much as dancong enthusiasts.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 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 picked up aromas of roasted grain, orchid, hay, and stone fruit from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I detected a stronger orchid scent and emerging honey, nectarine, and plum aromas. The first infusion further emphasized floral and fruity aromas, though I did not note anything new on the nose. On the palate, I found a prominent orchid note which gave way to subtler impressions of grass, hay, roasted grain, and stone fruits. Subsequent infusions continued to bring out strong orchid impressions, though I also began to note emerging violet and plumeria notes. The stone fruit impressions grew stronger and more distinctive. I found distinct plum and nectarine notes all over the place. The honey also started to show up in the mouth. Impressions of minerals, cattail shoots, pomegranate, watercress, cream, butter, malt, pear, and raisin emerged too. The later infusions emphasized butter, malt, and mineral notes, though I could still find lingering fruity, vegetal, and floral notes in the background.
This was a fun and unique oolong that brought a lot to the table. It also demonstrated admirable longevity and versatility; I made a point of later brewing it Western and it turned out great. To be quite frank, I preferred this tea to some of the dancongs I have been trying lately.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Grain, Grass, Hay, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Raisins, Vegetal, Violet