The dry leaves…
were of medium length, flat and slightly twisted. Their color was a blend of muted shades of green, brown and grey. They smelled a lot like the crispy edges of brownies, when you’ve baked them just a little too long with strong notes of dark chocolate, burnt sugar, roasted walnuts and a dark roasted coffee with hints of cream.
Oolongs are traditionally ‘rinsed’ before being steeped. This is done with a quick application of hot water that is poured over the tea, using whatever tea ware you may choose such as a gaiwan or teapot. Those first leaves are then immediately discarded, and the rinse water is not drunk – its purpose is to help the leaves begin to open during steeping. I used a gaiwan with 4 grams of the tea and with water at 195 degrees Fahrenheit. The first steeping was for 1 minute.
In my cup…
The liquor had an array of flavors including chocolate, charcoal, wood, minerals, metal like steel, and coffee with hints of something fruity. Those floral notes integrated with the chocolate and mineral flavors are what you would expect from a rock tea. Despite the flavors and some bitterness and astringency, the mouthfeel was rather clean and juicy, and the liquor left behind a light oily glaze. There was also a soothing and light aroma of caramel, cocoa and coffee. This all continued for several more steeps with the roast and char disappearing and the bitterness fading. The tea moved into a sweet, light juicy, fruity taste, mingled with milk chocolate, and with the fruit notes becoming more prominent. The mouthfeel was wonderfully smooth and clean throughout the whole experience.
The taste of Tie Luo Han Oolong fills your whole mouth and then uniquely lingers. Definitely a very special tea -it is complex, rich, and intriguing. It had a bold full-bodied taste, with a rich and smooth aftertaste. For me it was an average 3.
ll teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase
Next… William Ukers