Scent in package: roasted and somewhat musty
Brewed in: glass teapot
Steeped: 3 minutes @ just under boiling
Cup: stoneware teacup
The moment I opened this package again, I remembered why I hadn’t yet reviewed it. I had brewed a cup when I got it, and burnt it quite badly, so I put it back in the cupboard for another time when I could brew it properly for review. Amazing how scent works to jog even a simple memory such as that.
In any case, this is the second Shui Xian I’ve reviewed, and I think it will be the last (barring free tea, of course). Last night while I was sipping, I finally figured out what bothers me so much about this heavily roasted oolong.
It tastes like coffee.
Okay, not exactly “coffee”, but that deep-roasted scent that comes barreling out of the nearest coffee pot in my office is very similar to the taste of this tea. I can’t stand coffee, never have been able to (hence my tea-drinking ways), and I’ve decided that these particular teas just remind me too much of that “other beverage”.
This tea is light, and doesn’t have the honeyed texture that I had sort of expected. The color is dark, but the texture is smooth and thin, sliding down easily. There is that earthy, bark-like taste reminiscent of a cooked puerh, as well as a hint of smokiness and charcoal, but the roasted, almost burnt-nut flavor is dominant, and really wants to take over the whole taste profile. It is slightly drying, but not unpleasantly so. The leaves are quite beautiful when steeped:
If you’re a coffee-drinker, or were at one time, you might really enjoy this tea as a “bridge” between the two drinks. If you like a heavily roasted flavor, this tea is for you. As for me, I think I’ll pass…it just wasn’t my “cup of tea”, more like a “coffee-imposter”.