This tea was given to me by a well meaning person a long, long time ago. We have all seen these tins on the shelves of just about every Chinese market. I always appreciate the gift of tea, no matter how humble it may be. I had actually forgotten about this tin of oolong, it's been in the cabinet for a year or more. Today while digging through all the bags, tins, boxes of teas I found this and thought I,d give it a go. I,m probably not any different than most people reading this in that Ive got more tea samples and bits of this and that laying around than I,ll ever get around to trying. I,m making a concerted effort to try to whittle these teas down a bit before buying anything else.
I had to run some errands today and stopped by the Asian market and sure enough, there it was on the shelf. At $5.99 a tin I shouldn't expect much. I see that "Puerh Shop" has this same exact tea on sale for $13.77 Just go's to show that you should be very careful where you spend your money. Not all of Puerh Shop's teas are this over priced, some of his teas are very good and sold at a fair price.
Opening the tins outer and inner lids unleashes a very strong roasted aroma with some very pungent citrus aspects wafting into the room. The teas dry leaf is pretty darned strong smelling. Could be a good sign, could be a sign of overly roasted bland and lifeless tea. So......lets get some leaf into the pot, give it a good rinse and see what we have here.
First things first, the first infusion smells very strongly of the roast and a floral smell that Ive always thought of as "grapefruit flower" a very clean and tart citrus with just a touch of spice is in the mix as well. The aroma is impressive, it smells good. The tea brews up fairly clear with a deep amber color. The flavor isn't bad, actually, it's a lot better than I thought it would be considering it's price. It's body is a little thin and not much in the way of sweetness, but all in all, it's really not a bad tea. Perfectly acceptable as a matter of fact. Of course you can't compare this tea to others selling for a lot more money but it has some of the same flavors and aromas as those higher priced oolongs.
It was a nice gift after all. Now I,m not saying I'd run out and buy a few tins of this stuff but what I have I,ll drink and enjoy it. We all know that you get what you pay for but every once in a while I,m surprised at some of these mass produced teas. Most of them are not very good, or even drinkable for that matter. I don't always have to have some really expensive tea in my cup to be happy, and most days I,m too busy and don't have enough time to really appreciate my tea. So, I save my "good" teas for a time when I can give them the attention they deserve. But having said that, sooner or latter after drinking these kinds of teas for a while I will get to the point where I,m wanting something sublime. And no matter how hard you look you are never going to find sublime for $5.99 or $13.77 depending on where you shop. Nope, your going to have to fork out the dough.