|"This is a a decent light-bodied, roasted oolong, but not the floral concoction described by Teayama’s writeup. "|
Teayama describe this tea as having a fresh and vegetal orchid flavour, along with a creamy aftertaste. Looking at my sample, this is not the most beautiful rolled oolong I’ve come across. It’s a bit chaotic-looking, with some of the leaves being rolled and others simply folded. There are also lots of twigs and broken bits in the lot. Its aroma is somewhat redeeming, mixing hints of pipe tobacco and juicy berries.
Since Teayama doesn’t provide steeping directions for its teas, I have to rely on my own brewing parameters. I infuse a heaping teaspoonful of leaves in 250ml of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. The results are a tangerine-coloured cup, with an intriguing smoky, berry scent. Taking a sip, the results are again smoky, with roasted barley and oak notes rounding out the sip. In terms of sweetness, there is a just tangy hint of plum to the finish. While the flavours are at the more “masculine” end of the spectrum, the tea is rather light bodied and delicate in feel.
I steep the leaves again for 4 minutes. The flavours are now heavier and more insistent, with more prominent oak and barley notes. The slip of fruit of the previous cup has given way to a slightly bitter cinnamon taste. It’s interesting but it doesn’t rock my world.
I try a final third steep, following a 5 and a half minute-long brew. The cup is now smoother in taste and feel. There are still some astringent roasted barley notes present but they are toned down by an elusive marshmallow taste to the finish. A fourth steep could possibly be had, given enough time.
This is not the floral concoction I was expecting based on Teayama’s description. In fact, I’m wondering if this leaf was mislabeled as a green, unroasted oolong, when it seems it has been roasted. Being more partial to the former, I wouldn’t purchase this particular leaf myself but I can recommend it as a decent light-bodied, roasted oolong.
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