Tea grown in the mainland of the U.S.A. was a bit of a quest item for my tea journey. Most American teas tend to be herbal or traditional takes on green teas and English Breakfasts, so it was awesome to find an oolong that was not in those fashions, and not from Hawaii as they can be very expensive. This was grown in Mississipi, and I will say that I’ve had very few teas that taste quite like this one.
This was on the darker end of the oolong spectrum, but the apricot and honey notes and lighter body denoted oolong. Himalayan or Indian oolongs might be the best varietal to compare this to despite the difference in elevation, but there were some aspects that reminded me of an Oriental Beauty or Darjeeling black. The smell is very sweet and honeyed with a little bit of a savory end, and some dryness like an autumn leaf pile. THe same could be said brewing it up.
This tea was incredibly flexible, responding well to short and longer steeps. I’ve done it western at four minutes, and not a single brush of bitterness or astringency sprang up. Honeysuckle began the sip, smoothing out into apricot, butter, and a sweet honey finish. I swear there were some cocoa hints, but those could just be in my imagination. I’ll have to write about this tea again to see if I do find any. Shorter steeps at 45 seconds emphasized honeysuckle more, and a slightly lighter sweetness. The rest of the brews both short and long were much the same in terms of notes.
I was surprised by how savory this one could get, making me think of squash and butter on occasion. The mouthfeel was just as thick and enjoyable. ’m also impressed with the longevity-I got 5 rebrews western and 7 in my shorter steep version. It does lighten up, but it was giving a lot.I do not have too much to add about this tea right now, but I’m very impressed with how smooth it is. I am very glad I at least have an ounce to savor.