The Great Un-Steepstering of 2020 Review #9 (08/23/20)
The site is (mostly) working again, but I’m not quite caught up with posting my backlog (at the time of this writing); I’m only posting one a day as to not overwhelm both readers and the (still somewhat slow) site, so until I catch up to “real time” my reviews will be back-dated (though the gap is getting closer!)
My friend Todd (https://steepster.com/ashi here on Steepster) is currently in evacuation due to the California fires. On Sundays we normally “watch TV” together (I live in Idaho and he in California; we “stream” at the same time and use a chat program to interact in real time!) and decided to keep our “Sunday TV date” since he could stream from his hotel (good to keep the mind on other things and keep to routine, right?) but before the stream, we decided to try out having a tea time together on Zoom! He doesn’t have any “tea stuff” right now due to the evacuation, but picked up some bottled houjicha from a convenience store and had a lavender cocoa from Peet’s he’d picked up from earlier in the day when he went to visit the family that is currently babysitting their coop of chickens. I decided to make this tea.
Since I followed my last Dazzle Deer oolong sampler to the T with their directions and it was a bit astringent, this time I used the website that I tend to always use when it comes to “water-to-leaf” ratios (something I have a hard time judging myself), OCTea (https://octea.ndim.space/#/) and… hey! I had no astringency this time! I did have to use a slightly larger steeping vessel to accomodate, but s’all good.
250ml teapot | 7g | 205F | Rinse/10s/20s/40s/60s/90s
I didn’t really notice much variation from steep to steep regarding flavor, so this is actually the kind of oolong that would probably do me very well as a Western or cold brew. I got a very smooth, roasted flavor, but not “charred” or “smoky” (there was perhaps a very subtle hint of a “burnt toast” note to the aftertaste, but it was mellow, more like an afterthought, and hit that spot of “pleasantness” that is hard for smoky flavors to hit for myself). It had a very toasty nutty flavor, like deeply roasted walnuts, with other notes of wood, oats, sweet honey, plantains/sweet potato, and subtle minerals. It was a smooth and pleasant cup throughout the five steeps I took the tea.
This is a type of oolong I can definitely see myself interested in exploring further.
Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Nutty, Oats, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Sweet Potatoes, Toast, Walnut, Wood