Saturday, May 29, 2010

Oolong: Premium Alishan High Mountain

This is from plantations at 1300 feet, handpicked, premium tea.
Smell: Sweet, high thick notes, pleasant

Color: Mid-yellow

Taste: Full, even, great finish

Body: Full, thick, even oily tannins

Liquor: Complete coating

Stay: Tip to mid throat, consistent, even long lasting without diminishing

Leaf: Mid-large, dark, even consistent color, no bruising, handpicked

Conclusion: Very full and long satisfying taste, high finish consistent, perfect tea for the discerning palate

Friday, May 28, 2010

Oolong: Monkey Pick

Color: Light, pale green to yellow

Smell: Green, fresh

Taste: Smooth, buttery, fluidly viscous

Body: Light but strong and steady, viscous - slightly thick, buttery

Liquor: Coats the mouth gently

Stay: Lingering but steady

Leaf: Pressed whole leaves, green

Conclusion: A very lovely light tea.
Soothing to the senses and palate.
Caffeine content is mild with extremely light lift enough to clear the head of the day's toll.
A tea to have when you need a cup of tea to soothe the nerves.
Handpicked, two leaves and two leaves and a bud.
Roasting is extremely light, retaining the greenness of the leaf flavor.
Leaves are pressed whole.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Qualities of oolong

Varieties of oolongs are based on kinds of trees from where the tea leaves are harvested, their method of processing and overall quality of the harvest.

1. Overall leaves must not be damaged and must look reasonably whole, with minimal to no tea dust particles or breakages.

2. There are some oolongs like the Da Hong Pao – Rock oolong; their leaves are a bit fragile due to its multiple stages of roasting therefore is expected to be a little less whole and slightly brittle.

3. The unbrewed leaves will reveal even sizes, tightly rolled or folded and have a very fine luster.

4. The aroma and scent of the tea when unbrewed will reveal the freshness, natural scent of the tea as well as its purity.

5. There must not be unusual contaminants in scent or flavor of the tea.

6. Brewed leaves should reveal it to be tender, pliable and fresh looking.

7. Brewed leaves must not be chewy, old or thick. This usually means that the tea was picked late in the season.

8. Oolong teas must not be overly bitter even with longer brewing time. However, some Dan Cong is slightly characteristically bitter.

9. Their characteristic in flavor will usually be smooth and sweeter, richer flavors with multiple infusions.

10. After taste in all oolongs must be long and lingering.

11. Color of the brewed tea must have a translucent shine, be bright and rich.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Qing Cha – Oolong tea

Semi-oxidized tea in Chinese are called collectively Qingcha literally meaning ‘clear tea.’
This is also known as Oolong meaning black dragon.
The processing of this tea is achieved by a combination of techniques used for green and black tea.
The way it is oxidized the resulting tea is most refined.
The oxidation will usually range from 10% to 70%.
The leaves are either oven roasted – bake cultivation, dry roasting or lightly over a low charcoal fire.
Roasting tea leaves is mean to remove unwanted and foreign odors, reduce astringency or sour tastes as well as making it more digestible and less harsh on the stomach enzymes.
The varieties of this tea is based on the kinds of trees that the leaves are harvested from and each varietals will call for its own unique particular way of processing methods and quality.

The leaves are processed in two different ways – rolled into long curly leaves like the Dan Cong, Baozhong or Da Hong Pao; or pressed and rolled into tea pearls like the Dong Ding, Gunpowder, and Tit Kuan Yin.
The latter method of processing is more recent and the former an older method.
This is usually done before roasting.
Rolling and bruising the leaves helps to stimulate enzymatic activity and to break open the cell walls.

The flavors of oolong teas are closer to green teas rather than black teas.
Aromas of oolong teas are usually classified as floral , fruity, melony or honey-like; the flavors or tastes and aftertaste as sweet, bitter, mellow, rich, refined or moistening.
Most oolong teas are consumed after production however some benefit through the aging process with regular revivals through light roasting.

Oolongs are usually brewed strong, with a higher bitter aftertaste, although, all brewing strengths are dependant on the individual taste.

Honey Orchid Phoenix Dan Cong

Fujian Oolong

Taiwan BaoZhong

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