I’m starting to fall behind on my tasting notes yet again. Over the course of the past couple of days, I have been working on polishing off a lot of the samples I have received over the past 2-3 months. This oolong was one of them.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 5 seconds. I followed this infusion up with 10 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 14 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of char and earth coupled with mild fruity and floral qualities. After the rinse, I detected aromas of char and earth, as well as more pronounced scents of orchid, blackberry, plums, huckleberry, dark chocolate, and roasted grain. The first proper infusion produced a similar, though slightly grainier, more chocolaty aroma. In the mouth, I picked up notes of char, earth, wood, blackberry, plums, huckleberry, dark chocolate, minerals, and roasted grain underscored by a slight floral quality. Subsequent infusions saw the floral aromas and flavors emerge in a big way. I began to detect more pronounced aromas and flavors of hibiscus and orchid, though the previously noted aromas and flavors were still very noticeable. Later infusions were very mineral and char heavy with traces of roasted grain, dark chocolate, plums, huckleberry, and oddly enough, roasted vegetables detectable in the background.
To be perfectly honest, this was both a difficult tea to rate and a difficult tea about which to write. For me, it was the sort of tea that makes in-depth analysis impossible. It more or less lets you know what to expect from the start and does not change all that much from there. All I can comfortably say here is that if you are a fan of traditional Wuyi oolongs, then you may like this on some level, but if you are not, I would urge you to look elsewhere.
Flavors: Blackberry, Char, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Hibiscus, Huckleberry, Mineral, Orchid, Plum, Roasted Barley, Vegetables, Wood