Thursday, June 11, 2015

Oollo Tea, Alishan

Oollo Description:
From the world renowned Alisan Mountain comes the unpretentious high mountain oolong. The Alisan family farms tea trees that were bought from our family in 1990. They practice zero pesticide natural farming.

Varietal: Qingxin Oolong
Curator: Grandpa Lo
Location: Alisan, Jiayi County, Taiwan
Elevation: 1200-1800m
Date: 2014 Winter

Sample provided by Oollo Tea

My Review:
I do not want another month slipping by without reviews. So let's get started.

Dry Leaf
It is a scorcher here today with highs hitting the low 90's F. I want something that sounds light and refreshing while having solid flavor. This Alishan spoke to me saying it would fit my desire.

As you can see in the sample picture above, the packaging is a sealed aluminum bag. The label is simple and clean, showing basic brewing parameters. The one thing I notice, the label shows 5g in the brewing section, however Oollo's website calls for 3g for 12oz. The website more closely matches how I like my tea.

Opening the bag, I don't find much in the way of aroma to suggest what is to come. There is a light dried field scent and a touch of corn aroma. The leaf is quite dark green. I actually lightened the dry leaf picture some so the leaf would be easier to see. It is tightly rolled pellets with a partial exposed stem.

Wet Leaf
I used my glass press as the brewing vessel of the day. The water was heated to 195 F. With the lid in place, I steeped for 2 minutes.

The liquor is golden yellow with just the lightest tint of green. It is as clear as our extreme hard water will allow.

The wet leaf expanded nicely to reveal two or three whole leaves on each stem. It always amazes me how the artists process all that leaf into that tiny pellet by hand.

The wet leaf has a roasted aroma. I was expecting it to be more floral. Let's see where the sip takes us.

The first taste starts with a spiciness that is sort of a combination of mint and cinnamon. Not really the taste, rather the feel. It is icy and hot at the same time. This passes into the floral notes I was expecting. This one, however, is a little different, as it doesn't knock you over with floral. To me, that fits perfectly on this hot day. I am also tasting some creamy corn notes.

My wife popped in during my tasting asking me to help her plan some things unrelated to tea. While I am helping, I noticed how long the aftertaste was lingering. Nice.

I like Oollo's description of unpretentious, as that fits perfectly. It is not a wallflower, but it is not trying to be the center of the universe either. It does not knock you over with floral and does not have that strong latex aftertaste some green oolongs possess. What you get here is a solid cup of alishan with sufficient depth to keep you interested. For me personally, the cooler it got, the more I liked it. This leads me to believe it might work chilled.

Like most oolongs this should resteep well.

You can find Oollo Tea, Alishan high mountain oolong here.

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