Absolute Tea

Monday, March 20

Oolong Mystery Tea

Here it is, the mystery tea revealed at last.

Taiwan High Mountain Tea

(aka Formosa high mountain)

First of all, I must admit that I don't know too much about oolong teas. I believe I've had it one other time and I can't remember what it was or what it tasted like. This time around I won't forget.

When I first opened the plastic baggy and smelled the oolong I was reminded immediately of green tea and white tea. The fragrance had that familiar grassy smell, which is indistinguishable among all three teas. I must admit, the vegetative smell doesn't excite me much.

Moving on to the taste, I would say that High Mountain Oolong...
  • is very similar to the taste of white tea
  • registers a smooth, subtle, almost nonexistent aftertaste
  • has a tangy sweetness
  • contains the slightest bit of tartness
  • leaves your tongue feeling extremely wet
  • quenches your thirst
  • makes your breath fresher (at least to yourself)
These observations are based off some instructions I followed from the website Ten Tea. I'd like to extend a special thank you to Alicia for providing this site to me, otherwise I would have no idea where to start.

I followed the instructions exactly and as a result got a weaker tasting tea. I think I might have let the water cool down too much. Anyway, the cool thing with oolong tea is that you can rebrew it over again just like green and white tea, which is exactly what I did. This next time around the tea was definitely more potent and I could taste its fullness after it cooled down a little bit.

The way I did it the second time was to bring the water to a boil and immediately pour it over the leaves instead of letting it cool down to the suggested temperature. I also left the leaves to steep for 5 minutes, which is about the maximum you should allow.

This is the color it turned out as.

Something else that was interesting about making this tea was how much the leaves unfurled when I steeped them. It was almost as if they exploded out of the strainer and I had trouble getting the leaves out to clean it. This is truly a sign of a high quality tea. Let me show you what I mean.

Here are the loose leaves before they are steeped.

A close up

And now after steeping them twice to a full unfurl they look like this.

The close up.

As you can see, the size after steeping is almost quadruple the original.

Absolute Rating ( * ) ( * ) ( ) ( ) ( )

This tea receives such a low rating because of how disappointed I was at my hyped up experience. I expected oolong to taste more so on the black tea side rather than the green tea. Perhaps it is just this fine, and really expensive tea that tastes like green tea. The Chinese love it and consider it the best, but I tend to have a palette developed more so to India teas and the flavors that the British like.

From the texture of the drink I could tell that this was a delicate leaf made with great care and pride. There is no doubt that Taiwan makes excellent Oolong High Mountain tea, but alas, it is not for me. I think this flavor might serve my tongue better during the summer as an iced tea.

Suggested Brewing Method

Directions are located at Ten Tea.

This one has me stumped a bit, as my first attempt didn't turn out so well. The only advice I have is to follow this sites instructions and play with the formula a bit. As always, use filtered water and a proper teaspoon devoted soley to tea. Some advice I would change from the sites instruction is to use boiling water and don't worry about the temperature - just make sure it is hot.

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