Time to drag myself away from the heavy South Asian blacks of the past few weeks into something more fun and fruity. Mandarin Silk is a pouchong, a light and summery oolong from Fujian that almost crosses the line into green tea. It's been flavoured with lemon myrtle, vanilla, and marigold.
The leaves are large, full, and loosely twisted, shot through with golden marigold threads. Sticking my snout into the tin brings up a strong vanilla aroma with a minty zip of myrtle burbling underneath.
The liquor is golden with just a tinge of green, the aroma of vanilla has turned buttery and smooth, with the citrus stirring quietly under the surface. On the tongue, grassy green oolong and minty citrus give way to a rich, buttery vanilla ice cream aftertaste. The oolong develops itself more after a few sips, bringing out a brightness that meshes well with the myrtle.
I was skeptical at first about how successfully vanilla and citrus would mesh, but they've been mixed skillfully and contrast without clashing. This tea is bright and rich at the same time - it's probably one of the most complex flavoured oolongs I've tried.
Mandarin Silk at The Persimmon Tree