Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Driftwood Tea
Gui Fei Honey Tea is created through a remarkable combination of plant and nature. Farmers allow the edges of these leaves to be nibbled by leaf hoppers which causes the leaf to producing an enzyme that results in a finished tea that has developed a naturally sweet, beautiful rich, almost honey like quality.
A beautifully rich, multi-faceted tea which is definitely deserved of the time spent to enjoy it over multiple infusions.
Learn more about this Oolong tea here.
As I was steeping this Organic Gui Fei Oolong (Honey Tea) from Driftwood Tea in my gaiwan, I noticed the charcoal-y notes immediately. My mouth watered at the thought of that unique, smoky char taste! I didn’t really realize that this was a characteristic I’d ever really look forward to in an Oolong tea (or any other tea for that matter), but, there it is … I guess my palate has come to accept and even enjoy the notes of a charcoal-esque tea … and even light smoky notes! This from the woman who at one time threw away a full canister of Lapsang Souchong because I couldn’t handle that smoky aroma any longer!
Note: this was long before I discovered Steepster and found people who would have gladly taken that Lapsang Souchong off my hands … and also long before I’ve come to terms with Lapsang Souchong and actually enjoy the stuff now!
This Gui Fei is absolutely lovely! The flavor is far less “charcoal-y” than the aroma while brewing would lead me to believe … and it has only the slightest, faintest hint of a smoky quality to the cup. What I taste is a lovely honey-esque note that reminds me of a rich, raw honey. I taste a floral quality to the honey that is difficult to place … orchid, perhaps?
The tasting notes on the Driftwood Tea website suggest a chocolate-y tone which I do taste … and it’s coming as a big surprise to me because … I don’t recall ever really experiencing cacao tones from a pure Oolong like this. I taste the nutty quality as well which is sweet and I find that this nutty flavor is accentuated when I inhale the aroma of the tea deeply before I take a sip. The nutty flavors really come to life!
This is a tea that is definitely worth the effort to resteep several times too. I find that the honey-esque notes enhance in later steepings … In my second cup (the combination of infusions three and four), I noticed that the texture was a little thicker, reminding me of a thinned honey … and this really enhanced the experience as well. The roasted notes from the aforementioned charcoal-ish tones really bring out the sweet nutty taste in this cup.
A really excellent Oolong – definitely one to add to your Must Try list! If you’re a fan of Oolong like I am … you’ve got to try this one!