Friday, May 29, 2015

Oollo Tea, Red Jade Black Tea

Oollo Description:
A perfect marriage between Burma Ashamu and Taiwanese wild tea. The long twisted whole leaves give distinct smooth raisin, date and cinnamon infusions with traces of peppermint.

Sample provided by Oollo Tea

My Review:
As you may have noticed tea reviews have been nonexistent throughout the month of May. With only 3 days left, I hope to stay feeling well enough to brew some good cups.

Oollo contacted me a while back to see if I would like to try their tea. I received some beautiful high mountain oolongs that I will be reviewing soon, as well as a couple black teas from Taiwan. Every black tea from Taiwan I have tried have had amazing flavor. I decided to have dessert first by brewing this one up now.

The sample packaging is simply but attractively labeled including basic brewing directions. The website contains additional detailed information, including gongfu and cold brewing directions. The aluminum sample bag is not resealable.

Opening the bag I catch malt, and grape? No wait. It's raisin and plum. Very fruity and aromatic. There is also a bread note present.

I removed half the leaf for examination. It is very dark. Nearly black. I notice some cinnamon coloration in the mix of these long twisted leaves. Smells good. Must brew....

I used the press that has been thoroughly cleaned after sitting all alone this last month. The water was heated to 195 F and steeped for 2 1/2 minutes.

I chose to hit the middle of the recommended steep time of 1-4 minutes. The result is a dark ale colored tea. It looks manly. The website pic is far more orange. Maybe it's the dark gloomy day or the lighting but, yeah, dark ale. I'm happy with that, besides it smells so good. Oops, I'm repeating myself. Must drink...

I read Oollo's description. That is not particularly what I am getting with the first few sips. Maybe if I had used the whole sample? But then I wouldn't have any left for another session.

What I am getting is pretty amazing anyway. First, I grasp the malt, then the fruity goodness of raisin and plum. There is a touch of spice that pops in late in sip. It does not make me think cinnamon. I don't notice a menthol or cooling, oh, but wait, there is a momentary flash late in the sip that is the lightest bit of cinnamon and peppermint flavor combined. So I guess I can confirm Oollo's description. If it had not been mentioned I might have missed it. Subliminal? Maybe. Good? Yep. I do still catch a baked bread flavor.

This is really an easy to drink cup. There is no trace of bitterness. The spice note that hits as just a small amount of bite, might be astringency but it is certainly not troubling.  The leaves are said to be able to steep two more times. I am still recovering and not going to push myself to try it at the moment... even though my cup is empty and I want more.

You can find Oollo Tea Red Jade here

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