Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tea From Taiwan, Zhong Shu Hu Oolong Tea

Tea From Taiwan Description:
Zhong Shu Hu oolong tea comes from the Zhong Shu Hu area of Ali Mountain (Alishan) – one of the most famous tea producing regions of Taiwan. The climate here is cool and moist with cloud cover and mists every day. These conditions are ideal for tea because the plants grow very slowly and produce tender, flavorful tea leaves and buds.

Zhong Shu Hu oolong tea has a sweet taste and refined aroma. Each brewing brings out new flavours and taste sensations. This tea has a complexity that provides continuous nuances with every cup.

Zhong Shu Hu oolong tea can be re-brewed up to six times while maintaining an excellent flavour. We recommend the Gong Fu method of preparation to bring out the best of this excellent tea.

Sample provided by Tea From Taiwan

Price: $43/150g or $0.86/3g serving

My Review:
This is my third brightly colored sample pack from Tea From Taiwan. I cut off top and sniffed. There is not much scent in the package, just a light oolong with maybe a hint of mint like notes. The leaf is rolled in typical fashion and is a darker than the other samples I’ve tasted from Tea From Taiwan. No instructions are printed on the label so I used half the packet or about 3g in my press with 12oz of heavily steaming water. My steep time was two minutes. The resulting liquor is bright yellow and quite clear. The aroma of the wet leaf is lightly buttered vegetables. The brew is an aromatic floral. I can catch the scent while the cup is sitting on the desk.

I begin the sip with out additives. While hot, like yesterday’s oolong, the flavor starts very light. Then, I think butter, no wait; it’s more complex than that. As a child I would do stupid things, like put my tongue on the aluminum window frame. I know, I know. Anyway, the sensation I get when tasting this is like the aluminum frame but with butter. Actually this is way better than it sounds. As it cools, the aluminum disappears and is replaced by a more traditional green oolong floral flavor. The aftertaste is lightly floral and not as noticeable as the previous samples from Tea From Taiwan. A nice cup.

Now I add my Splenda. Oh, wow! Definitely add sweetener to this if you don’t object to the practice. This has come alive. It’s alive! It’s alive! Now the flavor is much fuller. It is lightly nutty and floral, but the main difference is a very prominent spiciness. On one sip I think this reminds me of apple crisp. On the next, I believe it is nutmeg. Whatever, it is just good. The aftertaste is also stronger and more joyous, though not nearly as long lasting as many oolongs. This is now a really good cup. At this point, I grabbed a brownie from the break room. The flavors blended like they were meant to be together. Awesome.

Cup two also steeped for two minutes takes off right where cup one ended. I took one taste without additives and tore open the packet with even pretending I was going to drink it unsweetened. So good.

Cup three I pretty much shipwrecked. I appear to have been distracted and must have added two packets of sweetener. Wowza is this sweet. Still nice and spicy with a good solid aftertaste but wowza is this sweet.

Cup four starts slightly mushroom tasting but once it cools it picks right back in with the spicy floral green oolong flavor.

Oolong fascinates me for a lot of reasons, the main being the small amount of leaf you think you are starting with, and the massive amount that you find in the press on the second or third steeping.

This may be my favorite of the samples I received from Tea From Taiwan. The Hua Gang had the single most amazing first cup but this one stays delicious through many steeps.

Visit Tea From Taiwan Website.

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