This is the last post of the year! I realize that a combination of the 'just married' giddiness, general holiday craziness (Ben's side of the family is very big into LOTS of events for holidays) and the sad crushing realization that I am coming down with some sort of sniffling/coughing/everything tastes and smells weird bug means my focus is just not in my writing. I really do try to limit the amount of my derp you all have to put up with! Also I promise this has nothing to do with the Minecraft update that dropped today (that I have been waiting anxiously for) though I probably will play it (a lot) during my little vacation. I shall return after the new year, either blogging Monday-Friday or Wednesday-Saturday to match Ben's schedule...still trying to decide that one. Happy (insert your holiday of choice) everyone!!
Ok, enough announcement stuff, tea! You know what I haven't done in a while? Had a What-Cha Wednesday, so let's look at Thailand 'Red Tiger' Oolong. This particular tea is a Jin Xuan varietal made in what appears to be a Hong Shui style, meaning it is heavily oxidized but only lightly roasted. Oh man, I knew from the first sniff that I made a serious mistake not getting this, as it was included as a sample in my recent order. I waffled between it and the Royal Pearl, I should have just gotten both! The aroma is very similar to a Gui Fei, very fruity and nutty, like a stone fruit compote with a touch of tropical fruit. Notes of cherries, papaya, apricot, and peaches, it is very sweet and the underlying note of walnuts is very welcomed. This is truly an immensely sweet and fruity tea when dry, and is about to become stronger.
I decided, since the aroma is so similar to a bug-bitten Oolong that brewing it in my smaller bug-bitten Oolong pot would not be a terrible mistake, though it does remind me I need to get a Hong Shui style Oolong pot soon. The aroma of the now soggy leaves is pretty impressively sweet, strong notes of plums, apricots, papayas, peaches, cherries, and an undertone of plumeria and walnuts. The aroma of the first steep is like someone took those fruits, stewed them in brown sugar and orange blossoms, and sprinkled a bit of walnuts on the top...and this is a dessert I really need to make now. It is very sweet, bordering on decadent
The first steep is surprisingly thick, it coats all the mouth and is dense, very buttery and smooth. You know me, I love my Oolongs thick and juicy! Like the aroma, the taste is immensely sweet and fruity, starting with brown sugar stewed plums and peaches, moving to papaya and cherries, and finishing the fruity cocktail with a bit of apricot. There are also notes of flowers amid all the fruit, gardenia and orange blossom being the main notes with a touch of plumeria in the aftertaste. And that aftertaste, oh how the apricot and plumeria nectar lingers.
Ugh, this tea is so good!! Sadly (if you consider this a sad, I do not) there is not really any variation between the steeps note wise, the variation comes from intensity of the notes. Considering it tasted so good in the first place I am ok with that. I am also really glad I took the tasting note for this tea before my taste/smell went all wonky. I really want to get more and try this tea grandpa style, I love drinking darker unroasted oolongs in that way, especially when I feel ick or I am gaming and just want to chug something tasty. I went seven steeps with this tea, and it was awesome.
This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.