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Insect-Bitten Imperial Concubine

A spectacular tea with an unusual name to match - 蜒咬贵妃茶 Insect-Bitten Imperial Concubine! This highly oxidised, dark roasted, Taiwanese oolong has a heady aroma of honey orchid, tree resin & dark blackberries. We recommend fast infusions as it produces a dark amber liquor with thick mouthfeel very quickly. This tea has surprising endurance, it keeps giving rewarding, dense volumes of honey, citrus oil, old wood, and charcoal flavors - tease them out by playing with steep times. Push it hard and you get bitter tannic dancong-like flavors, with dried prune and sour grapefruit aftertaste. The aroma from the gaiwan lid shifts to baked apple pie, moist cake, toasted raisin bread with melted butter. What a stunner - a clear favourite from our 2016 Taiwan sourcing trip.
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Steeping Instructions:
This tea can be infused up to 10 times. We recommend letting the boiling water cool to 90 degrees celsius before steeping.

Insect-Bitten Imperial Concubine

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Customer Reviews

One of my (new) favorites

Review by Al
The first time I brewed this tea I used the "intuitive" method to measure the amount that went into my clay koi fish teapot. When the tea had finished expanding, I couldn't fully close the lid! However, the excess was worth it. The wet tea remains one of, if not the, sweetest smelling teas I've ever brewed. The first session resulted in a strong smokey charcoaly taste and smell, as well as hay and incredible sweetness. I'm not waiting to buy more! The second session, I used a much more sane amount of tea, but that fantastic sweetness was still there. Now bear in mind, this is coming from a huge fan of oriental beauty, and that's a pretty sweet tea! This is a must try for fans of interesting, complex insect bitten oolong tea. (Posted on 9/16/17)

Lots of fruit tempered with a bit of hay

Review by Luciditea (from Steepster)
Dry leaves smell faintly smokey, wet leaves smell so strongly of smoke that they smell a bit like burnt fruit. Lost my notes on the first 4 steeps due to a restart. Will try to reconstruct as best I can.

Steep/Time: Notes
1/15s: Very little of the smokiness that made me shorten the first steep time shows up in the cup. Instead I get hay with a bit of melon.
2/20s: Same as previous, with perhaps a bit of smoke
3/30s: Pushing here just a little bit. Getting very noticable astringency, but it’s not unpleasant. Lends a crisp finish to the cup. Hay as moved to a bit more of a background note and the melon tastes are front and center.
4/35s: Actually getting some bitter notes and more of the smokiness I’d smelled in the leaves. Hay is back to the forefront with the melon sort of fading.
5/35s: Hay, smoke and melon. Still picking up a bit of bitterness.
6/30s: Hay melon and detecting a note of apple. (red delicious sort, not tart)
7/30s: Melon, apple… hay in the background on this one. Some pleasant astringency, no bitterness.
8/40s: Flavor is consistent, but any time I push past 30 – 35 seconds, that bitter note shows up. I’m not used to brewing with such a small pot nor with this particular tea so this is very experimental. Melon is prominent. Can still detect apple and hay.
9/30s: Same/similar to steeps 6 & 7
10/35s: Same/similar to steeps 6 & 7
11/40s: Big melon with hay and apple. Nice astringency is still there. Bitter note detectable, but not as biting as previous steepings.
12/50s: Interesting cup. No bitterness, but the smokiness is now showing up as more of a cacao note with hay, apple and melon, though the latter two are now more background notes just present enough make clear that you are indeed still drinking the same tea as previous.
13/60s: Ok this is turning into something both lovely and surprising. More fruit and cacao than anything with a bit of hay. More of the flavor profile I’d expect with an oolong. More rounded taste here with the only astringency present as a crispness in the finish.
14/65s: Same as previous. Lovely. May need to put this pot to more use…. or heaven forbid, buy more 80 – 100mL teapots. _
15/75s: Falling in love with this oolongs now. Wonderful steeps here. Curious if it’s just the tea or a matter of brewing a smaller pot.
16/90s: That stepped up the cacao a bit. Very nice. Still lots of fruit tempered with a bit of hay. Bit of irony that I’m enjoying such a remarkable tea on what may prove a most negatively momentous day. LOL, guess it all a matter of perspective and perception.

Flavors: Apple, Cacao, Hay, Melon, Smoke (Posted on 1/14/17)

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