Friday, July 27, 2007

Honey Orchid Dan Cong Oolong from Teacuppa

Scent in package: light honey, roasted
Brewed in: tea for one/metal infuser
Steeped: 4 min.@ 180, 2 min.@ 200
Cup: Café mug

My Oncidium orchid is blooming, and so this afternoon I reached for a new oolong to try from Teacuppa. I was a little disappointed when the tea didn’t have even a hint of orchid scent in the package, but went ahead and brewed it up anyways. Needless to say, I should have read the directions for brewing on the web site first, which suggested hotter water/shorter brewing for the first couple of infusions.

So my first cup was a bit more astringent than your average oolong, and I wasn’t terribly impressed with the taste, but it was still drinkable. The scent was strongly “cooked”, a result of my steeping it for too long. It was also far too dark golden brown for good scent or taste. I chalked it up to my poor brewing choices, and tried again with a second infusion.

The second infusion was much better – the scent is more on par with what I’d expect from an oolong, honeyed and with a hint of floral in the background. It was much softer in the mouth, though strangely, still drying on the tongue and the back of the throat. There is a honey taste up front, but I didn’t really taste much of the fruit that was promised at the beginning (though I did taste it somewhat in the first infusion). The floral aftertaste is noticeable, but light, and again, nothing like my “real orchid” (I do have an oolong that tastes as the orchid smells…one of my favorite oolongs).

All in all, while this certainly isn’t a bad tea, it kind of bored me. It seems like an everyday, run-of-the-mill oolong that you could pick up anywhere, rather than being the exquisitely special tea that it’s billed as. Frankly, I’ve been spoiled lately with many of the oolongs I’ve had, and while this one would have probably suited me fine last year, it’s just not doing anything for my palate after all the better oolongs I’ve had recently.

So an “okay” tea, but there’s better out there, in my opinion.
And for your viewing pleasure, a picture of my orchid blooms.

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