Review of Makaibari Estate Oolong Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
10 of 105 of 55 of 5100 of 100
OutstandingExcellentOutstanding

This is one weird but I love it!

This is my favorite Darjeeling oolong yet...but it really smells and tastes more like first flush (black tea) to me, but has a buttery mouthfeel like a good Taiwanese jade oolong.

Dry leaf is mostly broken, into pieces of different sizes, and has a strong aroma, suggestive of wintergreen and sweet rice. Unlike any other Darjeeling oolongs I've sampled, but much more similar to the greener Darjeeling first flushes, including ones from Makaibari estate.

I tried brewing this more like I would a Darjeeling oolong (longer steepings, lower water temperature) and I didn't like the results. I found it worked better with boiling water. It worked best with very brief steepings, as it infuses quickly, but it did okay with longer steepings the way I typically steep black tea.

Aroma is mostly of wintergreen and sweet rice, with a strong muscat grape quality, and some herbaceous and skunky tones as well. Aroma is not subtle--there's a lot going on and it kind of hits me in the face. There isn't much about the aroma that I'd describe as oolong-like, but the sensations on the palate do remind me a bit of some jade oolong...the aroma is more like a typical Darjeeling first flush, but the cup has a much more buttery mouthfeel...like a good Dong Ding, and unlike any black tea.

I thought this tea was top notch. As in, the best tea I sampled from Arbor Teas, and also bargain priced for a tea of this quality. Yeah! This tea is amazing. I think I am giving this tea a perfect score. I also noted that relatively little leaf is needed to produce a very flavorful cup.

Just don't be fooled and please use boiling water! If I had only brewed this tea with lower-temperature water I would have never realized how amazing it is!

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