I normally review black teas, and I normally review them in the morning because there’s something about a good earl grey slapping one awake and dragging ones half-awake body feet first down the stairs into the kitchen that gets my writing going, also concussions.
So I’m a little out of my comfort zone reviewing a dark oolong like this, partially because I don’t believe my pallet is refined enough, and partially because the last oolong I tried was so Smokey It tasted like there was a brush fire in my mouth, in any case here goes…
The dry leaf is pretty in that lovely simple Chinese way leaves rolled tight and simply lovely scented, like tall grass and old earth.
On the wonderful steeping advice of Tabby (steepster.com/tabby) I did this one a little stronger than normal 1.5 tsps per 6 oz, 180 at 2:30 (And I used one tsps of sugar for the whole pot to not dilute the flavor), it brewed into a quite beautiful pale amber gold, only faintly aromatic to match the dry leaf.
The taste was both stronger and weaker than other oolongs I’ve tried, my past experience has seemed to fly to the extremes of the flavor spectrum for this type of tea and it was surprising and quite nice to find something balanced, as a “dark” oolong I read this is stronger or heavier than others, but with my penchant for the blackest of teas this seemed quite delicate to my palate, surprisingly calm and not grassy or Smokey at all, as it rolls down the throat your left with this just faintly smoky after taste that’s more than pleasant, a very balanced unobtrusive and delicious tea, something to be sipped and enjoyed while reading after work, or people watching in a café, it doesn’t dominate the moment or your attention but simply accents it, I think I’ll be checking out a lot of the other offerings from Samovar now.
Note for later: try this with a longer steep, see if it’ll bring out the flavors more.