I made the mistake of preparing this initially with boiling water. Oops.
Lovely leaf—curly, slender, and wiry.
In that first cup, I tasted very very faint sweet notes: apple, more rum than brandy, and the slightest hint of cream. A bit astringent despite a short two-minute steep. The cream note is along the lines of ice cream. I am not sure how the flavour is so faint and yet each sip leaves the vaguest of sweetness on my lips.
I’d like to note that I am finding these flavours because I am looking for them based on the name of the tea. Otherwise, I likely wouldn’t be able to identify them.
On the second steep with slightly cooler water, the flavour of the tea comes up nicely with a hint of apple. I taste houjicha rather than oolong. Odd. Is it a blend? Or am I missing something? Is my inexperience showing?
My leaf is from a sample. Thankfully, I have enough for maybe one more cup left. I think slightly cooler than boiling is the way to go with this tea. My rating reflects optimism that the next cup will be far better with cooler water from the get go.
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Rum