|"It possessed a foretasted similar to a Formosa oolong, a middle that'd make any sheng pu-erh shy, and a finish that was Yunnan Gold sweet."|
De Vos Tea - through their grower, the Handunugoda Tea Estate in Sri Lanka - incorporated the flowers in a green tea blend. This marked only the second time I've sampled a Ceylon green tea. Having approved of more than my fair share of Ceylon blacks and whites, I was quite looking forward to it. The green tea leaves themselves were extremely dark for their type and curled almost in the same way as a Mao Feng. The dried sepalika blossoms were in abundance - brown, flake-like petals with an aroma quite similar to regular jasmine or lotus. Combined, the entire blend smelled like a high-altitude oolong, partially-roasted. This promised to at least be a very fragrant tea.
The De Vos website did provide brewing instructions but also mentioned that drinkers could change them to individual preference. My usual for a green tea was 1 tsp. in 8oz of 170F water, steeped for three minutes. I wasn't in the mood to deviate from that, even with the added botanicals.
This colored like no green tea I'd ever seen. Instead of the usual pale green liquor - or foggy, radioactive elixir of Japanese greens - this infused to an even gold palette. That's right, it looked like an oolong. Given a sight test, and made to identify this without tasting it, I would fail. Miserably. The steam aroma was quite mild, only imparting a faint floral presence - no grassy green tea tilt whatsoever. The flavor added an even stranger dimension. It possessed a foretaste similar to a Formosa oolong, a middle that'd make any sheng pu-erh shy, and a finish that was Yunnan Gold sweet. What kind of green tea was this?!
Put simply, I loved this stuff. There was no vegetal kick-back, no thankless grassy profile to speak of, and it lasted two infusions. While the dry petals smelled a bit like jasmine on first impression, none of that translated to cup. This was the most even-tasting green tea blend I've come across.
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