Here is another sample from Easy Tea Hard Choice, so you know it’s going to be good. This sample is an Organic Roasted Oolong from Mingjiang, Taiwan.
Sadly, I do not have much information available on this specific tea. However, simply reading the name has me excited. Two words is all that it takes, “Roasted” and “Oolong” and that is all the information I need!
The sample packet has been opened, and a smell of toasted seeds and brown sugar are hitting me. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves of this Organic Roasted Oolong range in color from light and dark green to dark grown. The leaves are in a hand rolled semi-ball shape. The leaves appear fully intact and most are still attached to the stem. There are some crumbs from the roasting process, but not many. The aroma is very attractive, with scents of roasted grains or seeds, brown sugar, and honey. This is an aroma that stays in your memory. It is simply amazing.
The standard preparation method was used for this sample. Purified water was heated to a boil. Fifteen grams of dry leaves were placed in a 34 ounce (1L) glass teapot. The leaves were infused for one minute, then the liquor strained into a separate decanter.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a lively bright pale yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma had scents of roasted grains, honey, and brown sugar, very similar to the aroma of the dry leaves. The body is medium, with a velvety, almost creamy feel. The taste had notes of honey, roasted seeds, and a very light fruity character. The aftertaste was very floral, with a lingering taste of honeysuckle.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a darker, yet still lively bright yellow color. The aroma maintains the honey, brown sugar, and roasted seed scents. The body remains medium. The feel is not quite as creamy. The taste has lightened on the honey notes, and the fruity flavor is gone. Notes of earthiness and a more vegetal character have set in, with the strong floral aftertaste remaining. The difference between the taste of this infusion and the first infusion is interesting. Other than the floral aftertaste, this infusion had a much different character.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a similar color as the second infusion, a lively bright yellow, perhaps a shade lighter. Medium body. The aroma still maintains a pleasant scent of honey, brown sugar, and roasted seeds. The taste has changed once again, with floral notes having become more prevalent throughout the taste, instead of just dominating the aftertaste. Honey notes are still present, as well as some very light vegetal and earthiness. This is a very nicely balanced and layered taste. I like this infusion better than the second. I would be interested to try a fourth, but I do not have the time, unfortunately, today to drink another pot.
The infused leaves display some variation in the color, ranging from darker green to purple-brown. As is common with the Taiwanese oolongs that I have experienced, the pluck is quite coarse, with some stems have up to four leaves still attached. Most of the leaves have reddish-brown edges. Some leaves appear to have insect bite marks, which helps describe the honey notes in the aroma and taste. Almost all of the leaves are fully intact, with very few fragments. Most of the leaves have not fully expanded, suggesting that another infusion or two is possible. The aroma maintains a lightly roasted seed character, but mainly is a sweet wet leaf smell.
Two aspects of this tea most impressed me. First, the aroma of the dry leaves. I cannot remember smelling such a perfectly layered, sweet and roasty scent in my life. It was incredible. I hope I never forget that smell, and I hope to refresh my memory in the future. Second, the difference in tastes from infusion to infusion. I feel like I had three different types of oolong in all three pots. The second pot was a bit earthy and vegetal, perhaps I should have cut down the infusion time by fifteen or twenty seconds. As it cooled, the taste was more pleasant, however. Overall, I really enjoyed the smell and taste of this tea. The roasted pumpkin seed and brown sugar smell perfectly counteracted the conditions in Pittsburgh today. I shared some of this tea with others in my office who usually think that oolong tea tastes like vegetable water, and even they enjoyed it, either for the smell or the taste. Another great tea, as usual, from Easy Tea Hard Choice.