Tasting Sessions – Masters Tea – Rohini First Oolong

Wow it’s been a little bit since I last posted hasn’t it! I 100% didn’t plan on there being this much time between posts but I just haven’t been able to work on writing blog content recently because I’ve been coming off my current medication for my chronic migraines and the side effects of slowly reducing them have honesty been kicking my butt and made it so I’ve been unable to write. It’s been annoying because I’ve been feeling so creative but I’ve been unable to channel that into anything worth while because I’ve just not been feeling good enough. However I am now full off that medication so hopefully from here on out I won’t have to deal with those horrible side effect on top of everything else and I’ll be able to start creating the content I’ve been wanting to since the start of this year.

As you can probably tell from the title today tasting session post is all about documenting my first few sessions with Adagio’s Master Tea – Rohini First Oolong, A sample of which was sent for me to try out towards the end of last year, while I wasn’t asked to post about it here on my blog and ended up enjoying my sessions with this tea so much and found it to be quite a unique tea, so I thought it would great share my experiences with you all here on my blog.

”The Rohini Tea Estate at elevations of 5500 to 7000 ft has produced a very early Darjeeling First Flush this year, called Jethikupi Goddesses of Spring. This particular first flush is produced completely by hand as an oolong tea, with outdoor withering, gentle drum rotation and minimal oxidation. Such kind handling of the young leaves and buds, along with its February growing period, resulting in a soft, smooth, light-bodied cup, with no astringency. How is this early lot possible? Jethikupi Goddesses of Spring is grown from the B157 tea cultivar, which is known for its floral notes, but also as a very early producer. The mild temperatures that produce these first shoots after the winter dormancy last only a few weeks making this tea as precious as it is delicious” – Masters Tea

The dry leaves have quite a range of colours to them from light & dark green with hints of brown speckled throughout. some of the buds were fuzzy with wonderful trichomes and in shape, they are most slightly twisted strips with a subtle malty aroma that had an underpinning of Asian pears, dry autumn leaves and a subtle floral hint. After a quick rinse, the aroma of the wet leaves had a subtle maltiness to it along with notes of warm light wood, lily of the valley, early autumn forest and cooked sliced pears on puff pastry drizzled with honey.

Throughout the entire session, the liquor of this tea was a glowing light sunset yellow with hues of light brown and orange when light shines through it. It was of a medium viscosity and had quite a sweet aroma with those Asian pear notes becoming more prominent than they were in the aroma of the dry leaves.

When it comes down to the way that this tea tastes it is fruity giving notes of cooked pears on puff pastry drizzled with honey giving it a delightful natural sweetness at the same time, it has a minerality that appeared as the steeps went on, and it is much much less vegetal than other lightly oxidized oolong have tried, it reminded me a lot of a first flush Darjeeling. There’s an underpinning of green hay and ghe floral notes are a delightfully harmonious mixture of lily of the valley, magnolias and orchids.

It’s a tea that does a great job of bridging the gap between summer and autumn, Because it has floral notes and fruit making it light and refreshing on the palate, but it also has a subtle malty and woodsy autumn forest note to it as well. One of my favourite aspects of the overall flavour profile is the Cinder Toffee notes. It wasn’t present in the aroma at all so, I couldn’t believe it when I took my first sip of the third steep and was instantly able to taste the unstable flavour of Cinder Toffee. I was taken back to bonfire nights as a child wrapped up warm doing sparklers with my family, taking in the sounds and colours of the bonfire and the fireworks.

The overall mouthfeel of this tea is very smooth, light, refreshing and juicy. There was a subtle drones slightly that presented itself on the the sides of the tongue as the steeps went on, but I would normally expect that from Darjeeling so it did bother me too much and didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of this tea at all. It has a mid length finish overall and the floral notes linger for a good amount of time as well as slight honey sweetness at the back of the throat.

Empty cup – the empty cups smelt a lot like Asian pears and lychee but didn’t differ too much from the aromas I have already mentioned in this post. It may seem silly to have a section I each post I do like this talking about the aroma of the empty cups but I like to document every aspect of my session and sometimes the aroma in the empty cups can contain notes that are completely different from the aromas already encountered in the session so I always like to include them in my session documentation.

At the culmination of the session the leaves that were once wiry long strips had transformed into full leaves covering various sizes. Colour-wise, there was still numerous shades of green and brown some leaves with darker edges and some with brown spots and some even being a golden relish brown completely. Imagine an early autumn forest floor just after it’s rained that’s what these leaves look like in the gaiwan.

Even at the end of this session these leaves we’re still quite aromatic giving off scents of pear, light woods and a beautiful floral underpinning. I wish I could bottle all of the aromas from throughout my sessions with this tea and wear them as a perfume though I don’t think there is a tea session that goes by where I don’t say that because I am truly just trying to manifest a full range of perfume inspired by traditional teas it would be a dream come true.

Overall, I thought enjoyed this tea and the opportunity to try a tea that was unlike anything I’ve tried before. If Masters Teas were able to ship to the UK this is a tea I would purchase time and time again. Mostly because it’s unlike anything else I have in my tea collection and rather than pair with just one time of the year perfect this one bridge the gaps between them so I would end up reaching for it all the time. I’ve never once had a true tea with notes of cinder toffee and I think that’s why it stands out to me. As well as the fact that it is impeccably balanced and is just the gift that keeps on giving really.

Have you tried this tea? Be sure to let me know in the comments if you have as I would love to hear the tasting notes you got from your tasting sessions with it and see how different they are compared to mine. If you want to try this tea for yourself, you can still purchase it over on the Masters Tea website along with Rohini Gold Wire.

Until next time. Happy Steeping – Kimberley

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