Yes, today is an Oolong day! Specifically Da Yu Ling Oolong by Yezi Tea. This tea is the highest grade of Taiwanese Oolongs (ooh fancy!) and grows 7,500 ft above sea level where they are frequently blanketed by fog. Apparently the fog and temperature gradient turns this tea into a veritable warrior of flavor, fighting the other Oolongs to gracefully bow to you and claim it is your champion. Why yes, I have been reading High Fantasy again, why do you ask?
The aroma of the dry leaves is so good I actually moaned, I have no shame, but I am glad I was home alone while enjoying this tea. Very sweet and yeasty, like freshly baking bread. There is also the intoxicating scent of honey and orchids with a small afterthought of allspice. Here is where it gets weird, the aroma reminds me of the smell of Amanita bisporigera aka Destroying Angel, the world's most toxic mushroom, and that is awesome. How is that awesome, you are probably asking, because those mushrooms smell great! Sweet like baking bread and flowers, pretty odd for such a deadly thing. I really swear this is a compliment from an avid amateur Mycologist.
Time for steeping! Oh no, I did it again, I inhaled the aroma and moaned in joy, how embarrassing. The steeping leaves take on a wonderfully rich roasted chestnut aroma that blends tantalizingly with the aroma of honey drenched orchids. I am not exaggerating when I say the aroma of the steeping leaves is mouthwatering. The liquid once the leaves have been removed smells much milder, like a whisper of the original aroma from the steeping leaves.
Why is this tea so good? I took a sip and just spaced out staring at the backyard while the flavor transports me to a trance state. The taste is very mild and subtle but the flavors that are there are so good, it is like tasting tea in a dream where the flavors are very clear but muted at the same time because this is a dream. Those dream like flavors are heady orchids and sweet honey.
If you guessed that I was going to try a second steeping then you are completely correct! The liquid takes on even more of an intense roasted chestnut aroma and becomes even headier. I think I am getting dizzy. The flavor is still very mild and similar to the first steep but now the chestnut taste starts to stand out. I also notice a mineral aftertaste that I always appreciate in an Oolong.
The taste becomes more mellow but with the floral notes take center stage as the chestnut ones fade out. The longer you sip the more intense the floral taste becomes. I could get lost in this tea.