My tasting notes: Old Grove Honey Orchid
Sometimes I get asked what my favorite tea is. This is a tricky question, perhaps the most difficult to answer. So, I always make sure I reciprocate the question. My non-committal reply is that I don't have a favorite tea in absolute terms. Naturally, I find myself reaching for some teas more than others, but if I had to pick one and drink that for the rest of my life, I'd rather have plain water, thank you. The beauty and fascination of the tea world lies in its incredible variety. The teas I prefer change regularly with the seasons, my mood and as I further explore the world of tea. There are people who won't take no for an answer and, in this case, my go-to answer is always oolong. Which is like saying nothing at all, given the huge variety within the oolong spectrum. But there they have it, my answer!
Today we are tasting a Dan Cong oolong. I've tasted a similar one before here on the blog. I've even dedicated my pretty yixing clay tea pot to be used exclusively for Dan Cong oolongs.
Tea Name: Old Grove Honey Orchid, Song Tea and Ceramics, San Francisco
Origin: Guangdong, China
Ingredients: oolong tea
Harvest: April 2015
Water Temperature: 205 F / 96 C
Steep Time: 1 minute and 30 seconds
Preparation Method: yixing tea pot
Leaves/Water Ratio: 5 gr / 6 oz
dry leaves: dark grey/brown with slight rusty hues, leaves are rolled lengthwise, up to 1.5 inch / 4 cm long
wet leaves: moss green with light brown hues
liquor: orange with coppery hues
dry leaves: slightly medicinal, sweet, slightly fruity
wet leaves: very fragrant, fruity, floral, slightly nutty
liquor: intensely floral, notes of orchid and osmanthus blossoms, slightly toasty
liquor: floral, slightly mineral, pleasantly astringent, mild notes of charcoal, especially in the first steep, a floral, fruity (peach and mango) and mineral aftertaste lingers in the mouth. Sweetness develops in the aftertaste and lingers. I detected some persistent artichoke notes in the finish.
MOUTHFEEL: round and viscous
FOOD PAIRING: roasted artichokes with potatoes. The persistent artichoke notes in the finish inspired this food pairing combination. Artichokes are spring "vegetables" or, more precisely, blossoms, so they make even more sense with an intensely floral tea :-)
OVERALL IMPRESSION: smooth, sweet and complex. Older trees have deep roots that allow the plant to absorb a complex set of nutrients! Yum!
Disclaimer: I received a free 5-gram sample of this tea with purchase. I was not asked nor paid to review it. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with Song Tea and Ceramics.