This is the lightly roasted High Mountain Concubine Oolong, the second tea in the Intro to Oolong collection from Eco-Cha in Taiwan!
The rolled leaves are a little denser than the unroasted Jin Xuan Oolong. They also have the smallest touch of brown and more noticeable stems.
The tasting notes indicate winter vegetables, fir forest tones, and almonds and honey flavor. I definitely smell vegetables and fir from the dry tea. As I keep smelling the dry tea, I'm noticing the soft almond and honey undertones more, which provide contrast.
The packaging even includes the season and year, like a wine!
The color of the first pour is lighter than I expected. The honey really comes out in the aroma!
I really like the taste of the first brew, but I can tell the leaves still have a lot of opening up to do. I could do a very quick rinse on this tea next time, only a few seconds. But still, it's already a very pleasant taste.
The second pour of the first brew comes in a bit darker, an effect I love from using a teapot. The taste is enhanced; I sense the tannins and fir, but again, the sweetness is emerging.
The cup has a delightful aroma, which makes me hope to try the Gong Fu steeping method with the smelling cup! Maybe in the future when I'm further along in my tea discovery journey.
The second steep, third pour: the color of the tea hasn't deepened (there is tea in this photo, it's just so light against the white teapot that it doesn't register). I adore how the flavors have settled and blended! It's a sweet vegetable taste now.
Beautiful unfurled tea.
I let the third steep sit for quite some time, maybe even as much as ten minutes. I love it! The second pour of this third steep is incredible, and a bit darker in color, but only marginally, and probably only because I let it steep so long.
As I go on to the fourth and fifth steeps, I'm just relaxing and enjoying the mellow, barely tannic taste. What a beautifully made tea!
This sample was provided by Eco-Cha.
Tomorrow's post will be on the final oolong in the 3-pack flight: the heavily roasted Dong Ding!