People, I have been so lazy lately. My backlog has once again grown due to me not posting anything for nearly a week, and it has not been like I have not had time to get anything done. Truthfully, I have not been feeling well and got to a point where I found myself forcing my way through tea reviews due to lack of energy, motivation, and inspiration. Writing them had turned into something I did not enjoy, much more like a chore than anything else. It was tedious for me. I realized I was forcing myself to stick to such a fixed reviewing schedule more out of a sense of obligation than anything else. So, what did I do? I resolved to take a short break. Now I’m back, and we’ll see how this goes. If I feel good about things after today, I’ll get back to posting things on here a little more regularly, but if I don’t, I will probably end up taking another break. Anyway, this was one of the last teas I finished before my brief rest period. I found it to be a solid oolong that was reminiscent of both some Dancong oolongs and some baked Taiwanese rolled oolongs.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 9 minutes, and 12 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of raisin, plum, wood, and black cherry. After the rinse, I found new aromas of honey, peach, rose, and violet. The first infusion introduced candied orange and baked bread scents as well as a subtle aroma of malt. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of raisin, plum, baked bread, malt, cream, and honey before moving on to reveal candied orange, black cherry, rose, and violet impressions on the finish. I also caught some interesting and unexpected roasted almond and pomegranate hints in the aftertaste. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of cream, vanilla, and pomegranate to balance the amplified floral impressions. There were also some fleeting roasted almond scents in the background. Stronger and more prominent black cherry, roasted almond, and pomegranate notes came out in the mouth along with belatedly emerging wood and peach notes. New impressions of minerals, butter, vanilla, and grass showed up too. There were even some hints of coriander and nutmeg that were most noticeable on the finish and in the aftertaste. The final few infusions offered lingering mineral, wood, malt, grass, and cream notes that were backed by fleeting, ghostly rose, candied orange, violet, baked bread, black cherry, and coriander impressions.
A very nice oolong with an appealing texture present in its tea liquor, I think this was mostly a successful experiment overall. I loved the way the floral aromas and flavors popped, and there was appealing depth and complexity to the tea’s fruity characteristics. This being said, my rating may seem a bit low to some of you, but know that I am grading this tea in comparison to some of the other Nepalese oolongs offered by What-Cha. Though very good, this one did not quite equal such offerings as the Nepal Silver Oolong Tea, Nepal Pearl Oolong Tea, or the Nepal Jun Chiyabari ‘Himalayan Bouquet’ Oolong Tea, and for that, I had to assign it a somewhat lower numerical score.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Candy, Cherry, Coriander, Cream, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange, Peach, Plums, Raisins, Rose, Vanilla, Violet, Wood