Tasting Notes: Jolly Rancher, Roses, Rock Sugar, Cream, Waffle Cone
This year's Gardenia Fragrance has that rare Dancong Oolong virtues of smelling surprisingly like Jolly Rancher when the dry leaves are placed into a warm Gaiwan. Rich fruity aromas are mixed with a sugary floral sweetness hitting hard on the nose. Once brewed, this sugary sweetness thickens into something much more savory and meaty, while still carrying the namesake gardenia's sugary floral notes.
The brew is a light gold, and the roast is on the edges of light and medium. The emphasis here is on the flavor and aroma of the leaves which is a clean expression of gardenia fragrances. As the infusions go on, the fruity and floral fragrances recede slightly to be replaced by baked sugar notes redolent of crumbled waffle cone. The tea is sweet on the tongue and is certainly mouth-watering in our own experience. This mouthwatering sensation is something we associate with old-growth Dancong oolongs. The minerality is also clearly expressed, though lays low in the taste profile, allowing for the floral flavors of the tea to shine through.
Someone mentioned that gardenia smells like a sugary rose, and that analogy is hard to dispense with when drinking this fantastic tea.