Monday, January 7, 2008

Organic Qi Lan Oolong from Teas, Etc

Scent in package: Not much
Brewed in: tea for one pot, metal infuser
Steeped: 5 min. @ below boiling
Cup: Café mug

My nose still isn’t working all that well (and by extension my taste buds), so hopefully I can do justice to this tea today. I wasn’t able to discern much scent from the dried leaves, which are dark, long and twisted (very lovely, and everything you’d expect from a dark oolong). This was a free sample sent with one of my orders before Christmas.

The brewed tea is nicely fragrant, with a warm, roasted scent coming up from the liquor. It’s fairly light in color, golden and very clear. Quite beautiful to look at.

I’m sure the taste would be stronger if my own taste buds were working correctly. As it is, I’m quite enjoying it. It’s a sweet, roasted flavor, with just a hint of astringency at the finish. I almost want to call it smoky, though it’s really not – the roasted, almost nutty aspect of it combines to create the illusion of a light smoky undertone. As with most oolongs, it is very smooth in the mouth and pleasantly thick.

In the interest of being thorough, I brewed another cup this afternoon from the leaves. This one was lighter of course, and surprisingly, more astringent. There was less of the sweetness, and more of the strong, roasted flavor coming through. I have to say, I didn’t appreciate it as much as the first infusion. I really missed the sweet smoothness of the first cup.

It’s definitely worth a try though, if you’re an oolong drinker. Perhaps later infusions, or using a gong fu method would come out differently, but it’s worth drinking simply for the first cup in any case, in my opinion.

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