The moment I unzipped the bag - before I could even look at it - I was bombarded with a dueling lime and spice aroma. I could also see what the RTR bio was talking about regarding a honeysuckle presence. There was a floral - almost creamy and jasmine-like - quality to the trail-off scent. And all around, a feeling of spice on the nostrils - very Darjeeling. As for appearance, the leaves ranged from brown to green with downy fuzz - similar to another second flush Darjeeling oolong I tried this year.
Brewing instructions on the RTR site recommended 3 tsps. per cup of 190F water, steeped for four minutes. Um...that didn't seem quite right. 3 teaspoons is a LOT of tea. (And I didn't have that much in the sample I was given.) I went with 1 tbsn. in a 12oz. cup of 199F water, steeped for four instead. Seemed about right.
Dear God, this was delicous. It brewed to an even gold color with a very citrus-sweet nose to it. The same was also the case for taste. There was an initially dry, pekoe-ish introduction, but that was followed up by something I could only compare to tangerine zest. Okay, I'm not quite sure what that tastes like on its own, but I've had beers with that flavor profile. This was kinda like that, only - y'know - hotter. A bit of token muscatel also came through on the finish. Absolutely wonderful.
— To purchase Rare Tea Republic Phoobsering Special Oolong Organic, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.
» Read more about this reviewer on Geoff's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Geoff.