I’ve only had a couple of roasted Oolongs before. Maybe the ones I’ve had were poor quality, even though one I had was supposedly good. They mostly tasted like tire fire or burnt rotting wood to me. Not that there’s not a place for that, like having a tea to satisfy an immersion in self contempt, or an occasional anomalous craving, but certainly far from my favorites. This tea… Yeah. This one is delicious.
The first steeps were all intense dark chocolate. The smell, the flavor, everything. I pick up a lot of chocolate in most Keemun, and some ripe Puerh but this is uncanny. If someone blindfolded me and told me that I was drinking hot chocolate made with water instead of milk, I would believe them!
As the steeps went on, the bitter dark chocolate (a very good thing) started to sweeten up. The chocolate was still undeniably present but milder than at first. All of the flavors really lingered a long time, chocolate and sweetness going on forever. The tea started picking up some sweet potato skin flavor. The body, smooth, and creamy.
This beauty was still going, the sweet potato flavor was now in full tuber mode, meaty interior, skin and all. And what better to accompany sweet potato than with marshmallow. Favors of marshmallow roasted over a campfire were now present and picking up with every infusion, as was the sweetness already present in earlier steeps.
The main flavors were now a ghost of their former selves, but the sweetness still held on. The whole time through, the tea was never overly tannic, the dryness being somewhere along the lines of a gentle Keemun, rather than a green Oolong, or a typical black. And I had brewed it up at a higher temperate range, 200 to 205F. Just to see what it’s like, I’ll go lower next time, 180-185. I have to thank LP for including this in the Dark Matter buy, I was pretty close to giving up on roasted Oolong. I could have kept this going for a few more rounds of hot water with lingering sweetness, but it’s time to stop watching Star Trek and get outside. Even if it is taking my taste-buds to strange new places, where I have never gone with a roasted Oolong before, it’s beautiful outside!
I used 2.7g of leaf in a 160ml Easy Gaiwan, a little less than half full, so about 60ml or 70ml. I steeped it at 200F to 205F. The infusions were flash steeps for the first 4 steeps, between 10 to 30 sec for the next 6, then a minute and up for the remaining 6 to 8, the last few being a few minutes each. (I didn’t do an exact count)