Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tea Horse, Dong Ding Oolong

Tea Horse Description:
A hand-made artisan oolong from Lugu village on DongDing Mountain, Taiwan. Floral and fruit aromas give a buttery tea with honey, peach and lightly nutty flavours.

Sample provided by Tea Horse

My Review:
This is my third sample from Tea Horse. They operate out of the UK. From what I've seen so far, they know their stuff. Let's see if the streak continues.

The sample is well packaged in a resealable pouch. The label is simple but covers all the basics you need to know. Opening the sample, the first impression my nose gets is grain with green, woodsy, and roasted notes. The rolled leaf makes for rather large pellets. It looks like the picture.

I used two tsp or one of my scoops and fresh boiling water heated in my new Hamilton Beach programmable kettle. I will review it someday - but for now I just hope it doesn't get in the way of tasting this tea. The steep was 2 minutes per instructions.

The leaf is relaxed but not completely unfurled. The liquor is yellow I think. I kind of wasn't paying attention to the room lighting and it made it difficult to determine. At this point I caught the aroma of the wet leaf. It interested me and made me nervous at the same time. Please keep reading. The scent takes me back to when I was 14 or 15 and I would go to the stock car races on Saturday night. The wet leaf reminds me of the Marlboro scented grandstands. Not like an ash tray, but like the sweet smell from a distance.

Now the taste is nothing like what I just described. There is no tobacco or smoke flavor. It is mildly roasted. At first it tastes amazingly like Hojicha - roasted but mellow and kind of green. As the cup cools it changes into a creamy sweet woodsy flavor. Tea Horse calls it honey and buttery. It didn't hit me quite like that but it is very pleasant. Between sips as I write, I can taste the floral elements. They are subtle but lingering. Nice. As the cup cools even more I am now picking up fruity notes. Not necessarily peach to me, but then I seldom get peach unless it is PEACH. This is far too subtle for my brain to interpret in that way but I really like what I am tasting. I do think it is becoming quite nutty as well.

I'll continue to sip on more steeps to investigate what else might come out of this leaf. I can tell you already that I love a tea that changes as you sip it. This one is definitely impressing me.

Visit the Tea Horse website.

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