Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Oollo Tea, Limited Edition Alishan High Mountain Black Tea

Oollo Tea Description:
Alishan Mountain is known for its amazing mountain oolong teas however it also produces small limited batches of black teas. This particular 2014 harvest brews a prominent cacao chocolate flavour with wooden musky aroma.

Sample provided by Oollo Tea

My Review:
My water heater has been out of commission for two days now. I have a plumber on the way. This has served to once again remind me of how good most of us have it. We take things like hot water for granted.

I think we do the same thing with tea. It is always there and most of us have way too much of it. I encourage you to ponder how the leaf made its way to your teapot. Most of our "good stuff" was had picked and processed. So much work and art go into tea that I find it pretty amazing we can get it at all.

So today I am reviewing a black tea from the Alishan mountain in Taiwan. In the past I have found the black teas of this region to be some of my favorites and as distinctive, and different, as Chinese Yunnan black tea.

Upon opening the sample bag, the scent of malt and baked cocoa is released into the air.  Removing the leaf, shows this one to be very dark, almost like charcoal color, but with areas of cinnamon brown. This looks like something I need to drink, and soon, because it looks so good.

I used half the sample. It appears to be around 3 g. The water was heated to 200 F and I steeped for 3 1/2 minutes. I totally made up these parameters as they do not appear on the sample label or the website. I often use 195 F for my black. Since I do not expect any bitterness here, I bumped it up a little. I seldom  use full boiling water even though that is how most people would prepare it. Just my personal preferences at work here.

OK, so the liquor is orange and bright. It is one of those happy shades, like the outdoors with an icy glass of tea type colors - or is that just me? The wet leaf has a stronger baked cocoa aroma.

As I expected, there is no bitterness present. There is a light bite with little astringency. It tastes as good as it smells. I get some malt, followed by cocoa and honey. There is a woodsy flavor present in the mix as well. I am also noticing floral notes blooming in the aftertaste.

This is not a subtle tea. You do not have to go out of your way to taste it. Yet, this is not an assertive cup like your usual Assam or Ceylon. It reminds me of Fujian black tea but smoother. 

I enjoyed every sip of this one.

You can find Limited Edition Alishan High Mountain Black Tea here.

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