Review: Butiki Teas Nilgiri Frost Oolong

Butiki Teas, Nilgiri Tea, Oolong Tea, Single Estate Tea Add comments
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Thumbs up!"Bra-frickin'-vo, Butiki!"
Geoff’s Teaview: 9.7/10
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butikinilgirifrostSo far, I've only tried one other oolong from the Nilgiri region of India - one from the Dunsdale estate. It tasted no different from the orange pekoes put out by the territory. In other words, like a generic black tea. There was nothing oolongy about it. So, I went into this with hopes...but reserved ones.

Butiki Teas didn't mention what estate this was from on their website, only that the leaves were exposed to frost in the winter. I don't know whether to interpret that as to mean this was a "winter flush" tea or not, but no matter. If I had a guess, it was probably an autumn flush by appearance.

The leaves themselves looked like Da Hong Pao in presentation - charcoal brown-to-black, relatively long and twisty. Only smaller. I can't say they imparted much of an aroma, however. A part of me (my nose) thought it picked up hints of wood and something fresh, but that could've just been my imagination.

This was the first oolong I'd had in awhile, and it'd been six months since I'd made use of a gaiwan. However, Butiki Teas recommended a Western-ish approach - 170F water and a steep of four minutes. I adhered to that...but did it in a gaiwan anyway. 1 tbsn in a 6oz lidded cup.

The liquor brewed up a shiny brass color with a subtly citrus aroma, which I didn't expect at all. I anticipated something a bit more harsh; this was a pleasant surprise. When I put lips to cup and sipped, I was greeted with something tart, sweet, citrusy and slightly nutty on the back. Holy heck, this was almost taster-note-for-taster-note like a Dan Cong. There was a bit more astringency, but for the most part...Dan Cong-ish to the core. Bra-frickin'-vo, Butiki!

— To purchase Butiki Teas Nilgiri Frost Oolong, 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.

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