Thursday, September 10, 2015

Oollo Tea, Baozhong Oolong

Oollo Tea Description:
Grown in the serene mountainous terrain of Wenshan, Taiwan. The twisted leaves produce elegant lilac and vanilla fragrances while developing delicate sweet, floral notes. 

Varietal: Qingxin Oolong
Grower Name: Zhen Family
Location: Pinglin, New Taipei, Taiwan
Elevation: 500m
Harvest: 2014

Sample provided by Oollo Tea

My Review:
I feel like I have abandoned the blog lately. This is only the second review this month. No, I haven't been sick. No, I haven't moved on. Mostly it has been so blasted hot all month. 90 F + everyday does not equal a great desire for hot tea. Mostly, I have been chugging gallons of a bottled green tea. Don't judge me.

Today, the temperature broke and it will cap out around an awesome 80 F. So, that is reason to celebrate with tea and a review.

The sample I received has a clear and simple label. The sample is not resealable. It appears to contain about 10g of leaf.

My first clue as to what to expect came when I cut open the bag. I literally said, "Oh, Wow!" out loud. This is wonderfully fragrant of lilac. As I enjoy the scent the floral aspect lowers and I start catching sweet field hay. Truly nice.

The leaf is large, and twisted, with various deep shades of green. The leaves are attatched to the stems. I thought I knew Baozhong, but this is fresher, more alive, in appearance than I have experienced before.

Today I will once again employ the use of my favorite brewing instrument, a Bodum French Press. I love it and would with out question buy another if an unfortunate mishap should befall it.

I used a cup of filtered water heated to 185 F along with half the sample (about 5 grams of leaf).  I let this steep for 2 minutes. The label range is 1.5-4. I almost went the four minutes because I probably won't have time for the 3 cups this should make.

The leaf stayed pretty much on the surface of the water and only partially relaxed. No dancing for these shy leaves.

The resulting cup color is liquid gold. The picture definitely does not do it justice.

The cup aroma is sweet lilacs and after reading the company description, I can agree with vanilla notes.

The taste is softer than the scent suggests. At first I think a longer steep should have been used. As I adjust and the cup cools a little this opens up. The floral aspect is met with a delicate spice that almost has me rummaging through the wife's spice cabinet to figure out what it could be. Without doing that, because my wife would be upset with me, the best I can imagine it, is a custard and nutmeg combination done lightly and elegantly. The aftertaste lingers with a classic Taiwan oolong vegetal taste.

There is not an hint of bitterness and no astringency. No smoke. No roasted notes. Nothing even remotely off. It is sweet tasting and creamy feeling. This is really a pleasure to drink. Very nice.

You can find Oollo Tea Baozhong here.

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