Thank you to Gabriele and nannuoshan for this sample!
I left it to my husband to pick our tea for the night and this was the one he enjoyed the most when he opened each to smell. He’s been wanting to try this type of tea for a while now, ever since he had a conversation with a friend at work about monkey-picked oolong. I didn’t know at the time that monkey-picked oolong is another name for Tie Guan Yin, not until I started asking around here on Steepster. I was happy that nannuoshan had this tea to sample and even happier still that my husband picked this one from the batch without even realizing what it was. I really hope he likes it.
The leaves are brown and came tumbling out of the bag in clusters to hit the inside of my gaiwan with a bright, tinkling sound. Each is a different shape – no two seem alike. Some look like tiny parcels, others like flower bulb shoots. A few have opened more fully, as if they’re stretching upward toward the blue. The color is dark – black and tan and a bit of green.
After rinsing the leaves, this incredible aroma floats out of the cup. I could be wrong about this, but it seems like the perfect cup to wake up to in the morning. The fragrance is roasted and almost sweet. For some reason, I think of oolong as a darker tea (like a step down from black tea), but I must be wrong because this is very light in color. The flavor is outstanding – it tastes just as it smells. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is. It may be bread. It may be brown sugar. My husband even said he tasted something like roses.
We steeped this four times and finally decided it was time for bed. Not wanting to waste any remaining flavor, I put the leaves in the fridge with two cups of water for a cold brew and left it for almost a full 24 hours. The color is very pale, almost golden. I expected it to be lighter since I’ve already steeped it a few times, but it’s even paler than I thought. The leaves have unrolled, but instead of being silky like I expected they look as crunchy as a piece of fresh kale. Lightly sweetened, this is very enjoyable and certainly isn’t lacking in flavor.
I’m enjoying each of my samples from nannuoshan better than the last – this one is my favorite so far!
4 ounces water + 212 degrees + 60 sec each
16 ounces water + iced + approx. 24 hours
Flavors: Bread, Brown Sugar, Roasted, Sweet