Leaf Type: Green
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Four Seasons of Spring is named because it produces four flushes (or harvests) each year that have a flavor and quality of that of a spring flush. This varietal was cultivated in Taiwan from a strain of TieGuanYin (Iron Goddess of Mercy), in the 1980s. This delightful oolong varietal has been cultivated for its sweet, floral flavors and expertly processed by hand. It is light yet buttery with lingering flowery finish of morning gardenias and warm milk.
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This Four Seasons Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf is absolutely delightful!
The appearance of the dry leaf is quite what you’d expect from a Four Seasons Oolong – beautiful, forest-y green leaves that have been rolled into small pellets. The aroma is a strong, flowery essence.
To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan and I measured out 1 bamboo scoop of tea into the bowl of the vessel. Then I heated freshly filtered water to 180°F and poured water into the vessel and let the tea “rinse” for 15 seconds. Then I strained of the liquid and discarded it. I poured more hot water into the gaiwan and allowed this first infusion to steep for 45 seconds. For each subsequent infusion, I added another 15 seconds onto the steep time. I combined two infusions into one cup, so my first cup was composed of infusions 1 and 2, while my second cup was composed of infusions 3 and 4 … and so on.
Yeah, yeah, those of you who are familiar with my posts are probably also very familiar with how I steep my Oolong teas. To those of you who are, I apologize for sounding somewhat redundant! The brewing steps above are written for those who might not be as familiar with my brewing style.
Anyway … I find that the fragrance of the brewed tea is still very floral but the scent is somewhat subdued compared to that of the dry tea leaves. This aroma translates to the flavor, because I’m tasting flower! The description above suggests gardenias and yeah, that’s what I’m tasting. I’m also getting a sweet, creamy flavor and texture. The texture is soft and smooth and creamy! Quite lovely!
I love the way the floral notes mingle with the creamy notes, because I find that these somewhat vanilla-like tones soften the sharp notes of the flower. I like that the creaminess here is not a heavy taste. It doesn’t seem to coat my taste buds the way some creamy Oolong teas can. Oh sure, I do love those sumptuous, creamy Oolongs but it’s nice to have a lighter approach now and then!
The first cup was finished before I knew it (hey, it’s good stuff!), and I found that my second cup was even nicer than the first. The floral notes are stronger but the creaminess is still there to soften the sharp notes. It is smooth and luxurious to sip from start to finish. And I found myself picking up on some hints of apple and melon around mid-sip. This cup seemed fresher and more round, with better developed flavors.
My third cup surprised me! I didn’t expect it to be creamy. By third cup with many Oolong teas, the creamy notes have waned, but I’m still getting a fairly strong cream flavor. Oh, sure, it has softened somewhat, it isn’t quite as strong as the first two cups, but I’m still getting a pleasing note of vanilla-esque cream. The floral notes are still there, and in the distance, I started to pick up the faintest hint of vegetation. The aforementioned fruit notes were beginning to emerge a little more, but these were still somewhat distant as well.
Overall, one of the nicest Four Seasons Oolong teas that I’ve tried. Another big win from this month’s box from Simple Loose Leaf! Have you subscribed yet?