Monday, April 21, 2008

Okayti Darjeeling Autumn Flush Oolong

Gongfuing tea is wonderful.
What one normally expects from a Darjeeling is a single-steep black tea. Not with this Darjeeling. Mighty Leaf's Okayti Darjeeling Autumn Flush Oolong, when gongfued (lots of leaf, many short infusions), lasted me about 8 infusions. Not incredible for an oolong, but not bad either.

The taste, at first, is buttery-smooth Darjeeling goodness. The aroma and taste is sweet, late-spring honeysuckle blooms, and light wood. Dominant in the taste is a melody of fruit: apple, pear, and raisin. Unlike pu-erh, throughout the steeps this tea's flavor doesn't change much.

Comparing the oolong to it's back tea brother (same estate), one might say the oolong lacks in flavor. This is understandable, as black tea packs all its punch into its first and only steep. I adore the flavor that the Okayti black gives, however, I am much more passionate about the oolong. The oolong may not pack the same punch, but it can be enjoyed over many steeps, and over a longer period of time. I also prefer the oolong because it has a lighter character that allows me to enjoy it any time of day. On the other hand, black teas are at their best in the morning.

An awesome aspect of Darjeeling leaves are their varying colors. From light green to dark brown, it seems the complexity of the color scheme gets carried into the cup. From these pictures, and this review, this tea might seem like a lighter oolong. I would classify it otherwise, as a more darkly oxidized oolong. In reality, it's between the two: my favorite.

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