Alright, I’m excited to try this since this tea seems to be exclusive to Tea Ave… that is I haven’t seen any other companies in America who have tea scented with ginger lilies.
Sticking my nose into the pouch, the dry leaves smell like EGGNOG. Oh man, how I love eggnog. I’m excited. The dry leaves in the warm gaiwan smell like honey and toasted sesame. Yum. The wet leaves after the first infusion have the classic high mountain oolong aroma with a hint of gingerbread in the background. It’s faint.
The first infusion is a pale green-yellow. I’m using Taiwanese aroma cups to drink this. The aroma cup isn’t holding much scent on this infusion, and the aroma coming off the tea is very faint as well. The tea definitely has a soft hint of ginger taste. I’ve been so curious about this tea, wondering, will it just taste like ginger? Will it taste like some kind of flowery ginger? I’d say it tastes like a subtle, creamy ginger, and I do mean subtle. Though, I will say the ginger is the dominant flavor over the oolong leaves. So far the whole thing is subtle. It reminds me of banana bread a little bit, or ginger cookies.
Second infusion, the leaves still smell like high mountain oolong, mostly, with a subtle ginger hint. Again, the aroma is so subtle I’m hardly getting anything from the aroma cup. Just the faintest hint of ginger. This tea seems to be more of a flavor tea than an aromatic one, so I think from here on I’ll do slower pours, aerate it less and try to get a thicker liquor and longer aftertaste.
The second infusion tastes again rather light, but the ginger flavor emerges more, there’s an earthy quality as well, substantially less creamy taste than the other scented oolongs Tea Ave has used this Alishan Jin Xuan cultivar for, making me wonder if a lot of the creamy taste of those were coming from their respective flowers. There’s a subtle warmth to this tea like the warmth of eating ginger, but really diminished.
Alright, third infusion, still not aromatic, and still quite a subdued, delicate taste. I like it, but boy is this tea ever light. I could have probably used a larger amount of tea leaves than I usually do with this one. To be fair though, a subtle tea is not a bad thing. This tea is relaxing and has a very unique character. It’s a comfort tea, for sure.
Compared to tea that has fresh ginger added, the flavor of this is much more mellow and calm. It’s nice in that way, with a warming touch, rather than a spicy and invigorating one.
I won’t shout from the rooftops about this one. It’s good, but not particularly complex, not very dynamic from one infusion to the next. It feels a bit lacking for a high mountain oolong. On the other hand, it has an earthy, herby, very root-like flavor that isn’t terribly common in tea. I can even sense a little similarity between this taste and radish.
Good stuff. I probably won’t buy more from what I have purchased in this order, but I do enjoy it.