Some of you will have seen these tasting notes already on Teamail, but I figured that cross-posting them here is okay. I'll be posting a couple of older tasting notes, but new reviews are coming soon. :)
12-year aged Oolong, Hou De Fine Tea
Rinsed, then brewed for 1 minute. Water temp apprx. 195
Color: a deep red tone, almost mahogany
Taste: darker, deeper, not smoky but quite toasty a more roasted flavor than I had expected (but then, I really had no idea what to expect). There is another sweeter flavor that comes through behind the roasted tones, but I cant quite place it. I suppose its more floral than fruity, but in a subtle way. It reminds me of the hint of clover and blackberry flower tones in the honey I buy at a local farmers market (not the honey flavor itself, but that taste behind it).
Second brewing, 2 minutes: Im finding that I actually like this more as the water cools a bit. The second brewing was just as toasty in taste and aroma, but the floral taste mellowed.
Third brewing, 3 minutes: Still holding up the color is still a light red-brown, and the toasty flavor is quite prominent. With the third rebrewing, I really started to ponder the musty notes to the tea. This is not a bad thing, but an intriguing one. It reminds me of lovely hours spent in second-hand bookstores and university archives (yup, I love old books). Now, the tea does NOT taste like old books, but there is a definite musty-aged sensation that is quite pleasant.
Out of curiosity, I left the used leaves in water overnight. The leaves are quite durable, almost elastic or rubbery in texture. I
wanted to see if they would unfurl and soften after soaking for a while nope, not at all. They hold up to water in an amazing way. Oh, and the water was reddish-brown, still with the roasted aroma. Very interesting!