Sipdown! I enjoyed this one for the most part, despite being a roasted oolong. It reminded me that sometimes I need to give teas another chance with a different steeping method (western was decent but gongfu was much more fun).
Gongfu: 15 second rinse, 5-15 seconds steep times (it’s been a long time since had a gongfu session, and was with a new set, so I didn’t quite nail it).
Steep 1-2, leaves not fully expanded: these cups had a thick floral and subtle honey sweetness (not as cloying as some), infused with a slightly fruity sour tang. Reminds me most of the small soft purple plums, with a rich gold center, from our old plum tree (RIP – you were an amazing fruit tree).
Steep 3-5, new fully expanded leaves: the sweetness is slowly becoming a secondary and complimentary component to the the sour and malt notes. The vanilla aspect is now noticeably present but is a reminder that that which smells nice isn’t always “sweet” (those who’ve tasted vanilla extract know what I mean). I’m also reminded of a savoury- sweet sourdough, or a starchy banana- maybe a more savoury plantain. My fourth cup is velvety and very good – possibly enhanced by a tiny spoonful of honey I tried prior to gulping No.4 down. No. 5 has the roasted oolong note which I dub ice cream cone.
Steep 6-7, toppings for toast: the honey returns (No, I promise didn’t eat more honey)! These were nice cups, and the wet leaves went from a roasty roast wood aroma to a jam one, but unfortunately it got a bit late last night so that’s the end of that.
Across the board, the aroma is delicious – like vanilla (orchid) and heliotrope (can’t eat but smells divine), with varying levels roasted malt.
This would possibly go nicely with Cantonese style BBQ duck. It’s lovely with the Vindaloo I was eating alongside it- both have a vinegary/sour note that I’m really craving right now. The curry’s profile of roasted cinnamon, mustard seeds, cloves, and other spices really shines with the florals in general – particularly rose – but the stone fruit and vanilla notes of this tea also pair well in a pinch!
Flavors: Banana, Bread, Floral, Honey, Malt, Orchid, Plum, Roasted, Sour, Stonefruit, Tangy, Vanilla, Wood