I love this tea, it tastes as lovely as it sounds! When I first brewed up this tea hot, I was a little disappointed at first. The smell of the wet leaves was amazingness, like honey, peachy, molasses cookies but when I drank it, it wasn’t as nearly as over powering as the smell. Yet, I soon realized that this tea shines after it has been swallowed. The after taste and mouth feel this tea leaves in your mouth is amazing. It leaves an energizing tingling on the tongue, and a fruity and sweet taste on the entire mouth that lasts a long, long time after you have drank it. It has a great after glow that radiates peachy flowers and honey cookies. Being an oolong, you can get many strong infusions before it begins to die down, I can about 5-6 great infusions from this one. Since I liked it so much, I decided to try making a cold brew using my usual method -about a table spoon in a little bit over a cup and a half of water left in fridge for 12 hours.
In the morning when I strained out my first infusion I was a little worried because the brew was pretty light in color despite it being infused for 12 hours. I was afraid that I had wasted some leaves and started planning how I’d try to still save them by brewing them up hot. Yet I was incredibly surprised! WOW it was just SO HONEY! It straight up tastes like I’m drinking diluted honey in water. The taste is much more immediate than with the hot brew, with the hot brew it all came in the after taste but in a cold brew, it starts right away when the liquid touches your lips. It still has a very nice and lasting after taste with a mild fruity peachiness but I think the peachiness was a little stronger with the hot infusion. The after taste of this tea cold has more floral than fruity. This cold brew really brings out the honey, the smell is not as powerful as the hot but it is still pretty strong.
The one thing that’s most different in a Honey Orchid cold brew is the mouth feel. The hot brew definitely left a much stronger and longer lasting tingliness on the entire mouth. I only get a slight hint of the tingliness on my tongue with the cold brew. If you enjoy the mouth feel of tea more so than the taste, then it may be best to stick to the hot infusions. I loved it both ways! Up until now I thought that Genmaicha was my favorite cold brew but this one really makes some good competition! I was able to get about 2 decent cold infusions brewed in the fridge. After that I filled it up 2/3rds of the way for 2 more infusions and left it out at room temperature (I wanted to be sure to get the most out of my precious leaves!). During these last two infusions, the leaves became a little more bitter but it was a “dark chocolate” kind of bitter which I particularly enjoy anyway.
It’s worth experimenting a little with how you brew your favorite teas, it’s a risk, but you never know when you’ll be pleasantly surprised!