Dark and twisted with a cereal aroma, what sort of tea do I have here? I'm not sure. I purchased 20 grams of this tea from my recent trip to Teasmith as a bit of a stab in the dark. I had no idea what it was but I thought it would be fun to buy it and try it.
I rinsed the tea quickly and found the aroma interesting. At first it was the same cereal tone I found from the dry leaves but it transitioned into an interesting black current. The transition of the aroma was quite noticeable and I hoped the taste would be similar.
I did a quick google to find out more background knowledge on this tea but I found nothing other than the usual barrage of weight loss sites associating themselves with WuYi.
Unfortunately I didn't really get much from this tea other than the same cereal like tone in the taste. I tried to over brew it to get something more but I didn't succeed. It definitely aroused my head but not in a way I like.
Post brewing I examined the leaves and found then to be long and very very durable. They had been folded lengthways several times which was interesting.
The tea was fascinating in the way the aroma developed and in the leaf itself. I didn't, however, have much from the taste though. Such a shame. Perhaps I will enquire at Teasmith on my next visit on how to approach this tea.
** Update **
Just hours after I made this post I was sent an email from John at Teasmith.
It's a Shui Xian (http://www.panix.com/~perin/babelcarp.cgi?phrase=shui+xian), or Water Sprite Oolong from Wuyi. As I'm sure you know, such teas are collectively called Rock teas, hence our name...
...As for the taste, it should be more complex than you experienced: initially almost sour, smoky, charcoal taste, being replaced with a toffee/caramel sweetness after you swallow the tea. A chef we know made a pistachio dish using this tea since he felt that the nutty character was dominant.
We brew the tea at around 90degC and the quantity of leaf you used should tolerate a wide range of infusion times from 15s or so up to minutes in later brews. Aside from the quality if the leaves, the biggest variable in the infusion taste is water character. This tea should be robust enough to cope with anything but you may want to try a light mountain spring bottled water to see if it makes a difference...
First note then, great job Teasmith for taking the time to inform me. I was being quite conscious of not saying it was a bad tea as I don't think Teasmith would sell one, I just didn't 'get it'. I will give it another go soon and change the water I used, which was an average bottled water. I should also try it with some more leaf I think.
Thank you John for educating me. ;-)