This is the last of the September reviews. As I have mentioned several times previously, the backlog really is shrinking at a steady rate. I should be all caught up in no time. Anyway, the low numerical scores previously assigned to this tea surprised me. I found it to be a more or less excellent Vietnamese oolong.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 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, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of raisin and prune that were underscored by hints of cinnamon. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of baked bread, cream, malt, and brown sugar. The first infusion introduced aromas of roasted almond and honey along with a suddenly amplified raisin aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of raisin, prune, honey, and cream that were chased by hints of baked bread and roasted almond. Subsequent infusions saw butter, pear, rose, nectarine, and tangerine zest aromas emerge. Malt, brown sugar, and cinnamon notes belatedly emerged in the mouth alongside stronger baked bread and roasted almond impressions as well as mineral, tangerine zest, butter, oat, apple, vanilla, nectarine, and rose notes. The final few infusions offered mineral, pear, tangerine zest, rose, and roasted almond notes that were backed by cream, butter, and baked bread hints.
This was an incredibly nice Southeast Asian GABA oolong that thankfully did not suffer in comparison to its Taiwanese peers. I still do not get the lowish numerical scores this tea has garnered in the past. Though I am clearly the outlier here, I found this to be a very worthwhile tea.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Pear, Raisins, Rose, Stonefruits, Vanilla