Thursday, October 30, 2014

What-Cha, Nepal First Flush 2014 Silver Oolong Tea

What-Cha Description:
An exclusive tea only offered by one other seller, a great tasting lightly oxidised oolong with a fruity body and a citrus finish.

Sample provided by What-Cha Tea Redefined

My Review:
I really intended to make it through all the samples from What-Cha this month. Nope. I didn't quite make it. I am definitely in no hurry. Their teas have taken me new places and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey. While I am in no hurry to complete the trip, the uncertainty of my future ability to post without a trip to town for public WiFi access, has caused me to tread a little faster.

Today, I picked an oolong for review. It is my first silver oolong. The large resealable mylar bag is as always simply and clearly labelled. I really appreciate the label. It tells me all I need to know. The website adds a little additional information as to the source for those who want to know.

Removing the leaf, I get a faint hint of fruit. This contains a lot of silvery furry leaf. It looks like a white tea. There is also a lot green in the mix as well. The leaf looks only withered with very little twisting or curling being done during processing. Very interesting. This is unlike any oolong I have seen, so I guess the journey continues.

I followed the suggested directions of 176F water (charcoal filtered) and steeped for 3 minutes. I used one third of the 10g sample in my press.

The leaf hung in the water, making for more of a beautiful display than a dance. The leaf is a pale spring shade of green and much more delicate than I think the photograph makes it appear.

Its appearance reminds me of a Chinese green I have had in  the past - possibly it was Xin Yang Mao Jian, but I'm not certain. That comparison is kind of pointless as the aroma off the wet leaf is unlike anything I have previously experienced.

What I experienced was a very definite citrus nose. At first, I was certain it was lemon. As I breathed it in again, I began to think orange. There is nothing but tea here so whatever the scent it is natural. It is also very pleasant.

The liquor is bright and clear. It has a sunshine yellow tint. The wait for my cup to cool, enough to sip, is only minutes but seems to take forever. Finally, I get to take my first sip, while thinking can the taste compete with the nose, or am I about to be let down?

Actually, the taste surpasses the aroma. Seriously good. I get a buttery corn at the front of the sip that turns spring water in the middle and moves right into a lovely citrus finish. Again I say, seriously good.

There is no bitterness. Sometimes I want a little to give the cup character. Here it just doesn't need it. I get no astringency. There is nothing even vaguely off in the taste.

Choosing a favorite from What-Cha would be very difficult. This one is certainly a contender for that title. Unique and lovely, this is a wonderfully refreshing cup.

You can find Nepal First Flush 2014 Silver Oolong Tea here.

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