Note: I realized this might not be the correct tea. AprTea might have labeled the tea wrong… so the note is for ONE of the oolongs they carry…
I received this free from AprTea a while ago. Sorry it has taken me so long, but thank you again for sending them! I expected a dark roasted, brown in color oolong. But no, my leaves look green. This also REALLY doesn’t look like the photo for the tea. The photo looks like a charcoal oolong, my tea does not. I guess I have a different concept of ‘roasted’ teas than AprTea. Then what do they call the roasted teas, because this also has ‘charcoal’ in the name? It might be a darker green oolong, but still green. The dry leaves have a great sweet aroma. The flavor is also tasty, but nothing I would call ‘roasted’. It tastes like a green oolong to me, with a sweet flavor that could be considered caramel. When cooled, a hint of peach. Possibly I’m not steeping this perfectly for the best flavor, as I’m not noticing distinct notes.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for my smaller mug // rinse // 15-20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 13 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2-3 min
I wanted to try another steep session with new leaves, as I wasn’t tasting distinct notes with my parameters last time. Maybe the infuser or leaf amounts weren’t ideal. The infuser I was using previously lets tiny pieces of leaves into the mug (not to say that was the problem) so not ideal for reviewing any teas. So I’m using my netted infuser this time, where nothing gets through. I’m not sure it made much difference in the flavor! But I also used more leaves and different steep times. The oolong is very smooth and the flavor lingers wonderfully. It’s hints of peaches and cream. Very sweet. I’d say the third steep was the best, so I went for a fourth. There is no way these leaves can be oversteeped. They stay sweet with a thick mouthfeel throughout all steeps. Maybe this is where the ‘caramel’ in the name comes from. In a blind taste test I would never call this one charcoal/roasted but I’ve had some very charcoal tasting oolongs in the past. So this one is still tough to pick out distinct flavors, but it’s a very tasty oolong. It tastes like OOLONG.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // rinse // 14 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 5 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 2 1/2 min
TLDR: Sweet, smooth, thick mouthfeel, never bitter, can’t oversteep it. I wouldn’t call it charcoal/roasted at all.