Today I am looking at the last of the samples I received from Totem Tea, though certainly not the last since there are more of their teas I want to try, presenting Gui Fei Oolong! A classic staple on the blog, as my obsession with bug-bitten teas is well known and I will try any I can get my greedy mitts on. There is something very charming to me about the need for little nibbly bugs, that their presence causes an amino response in the plant that creates a signature taste, the result of a happy accident, as many awesome things are. The aroma of the tea is a three way balance of stewed fruit, roasted nuts, and baking bread. Sweet plums and cherries mix with walnut and pecans with a gentle honey drizzled freshly baked whole grain bread. Definitely can pick out notes of sweet buckwheat, which I always love.
Yowza, that aroma is potent once it has been steeped, strong notes of stewed plums and cherries mix with honey sweet lychees and a touch of dates. Alongside this fruity goodness is walnuts and toasted buckwheat which make sure that the fruity notes are intense without ever being cloying. The liquid is like nectar, plum and lychee with buttery cashew and raw honey, it is very sweet and mouthwatering.
This tea starts light but is nectar sweetness, a gentle mouthfeel and taste, with notes of lychee and cashews. It then moves to cooked plums and grapes with a distant note of spring flowers. With a finish of gentle toasted grains, this tea is much like a fruit pie, sweet and just the right amount of toasty.
I wasted no time chugging that first cup and moving on to the next, and I consider a good sign of Gui Fei when by steep two my tasting notes start to list to the side. The aroma is fruity sweet and toasted grains, a good blend of sweet and roast. The flavor notes of the first steep were still present, but intensified, and with a thick nectar like mouthfeel this tea has gone from wonderful to intense. One of the best aspects of this steep is the aftertaste of peaches that lingers for quite a while, eventually ending off in a bit of a starchy grain note.
For the last steep this blog covers somehow manages to be sweeter in aroma, but it still manages to not be cloying, one of the things I love about Gui Fei. Thick and sweet, that is what is really to be taken away from this tea, it is like a fruit cobbler in liquid form, complete with nuts and a bit of crust. Of course three steeps is only the beginning, there is a lot more life in these leaves that keep giving sweet nectar for quite a while.
This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.