Review of Golden Osmanthus Oolong (Huang Jin Gui) traditional style

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 104 of 55 of 583 of 100
ExcellentGoodOutstanding

Mostly floral fragrance. This is the first huang jin gui I've tried, and it really does resemble osmanthus flowers in aroma, but I find it has a very different overall character from osmanthus-scented tea. Also, unusual among light, aromatic, greener oolongs I've had. This tea has some interesting surprises.

I tried a single infusion of 3 minutes somewhere around 180-190 degrees, which produced a very clear cup that was mostly aroma and not much body...almost complete absence of bitterness and sweetness in the flavor, and only a faint sourness.

Interestingly, I then followed it by an 8 minute infusion, upping the temperature closer to boiling, and the results were completely different: now there was a bold, herbaceous quality, tones of celery and parsley, and a deep, skunky quality that I actually liked very much. This cup was full-bodied and rich. The aroma of this second infusion had a sort of depth that I have not encountered in any other tea...it reminded me of being out in a forested wetland...lots of dark, pungent qualities--but subtle enough that it was still a very pleasing tea.

I want to experiment more with changing the steeping length and temperature on this one because I am convinced I have not yet found the optimal way to brew it.

Like other Se Chung oolongs, this tea is full of mystery and complexity. And it's very reasonably priced for an oolong of such depth. Not necessarily standing out from the start, it nonetheless hides fascinating nuances. It poses a challenge: this is how I like my tea.

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