Recently, a box of samples arrived that I have been very excited for. The box contained three samples of wulong teas from Taiwan. The samples included a high quality Jin Xuan, a Peach Oolong, and a Gui Fei wulong. I decided to review the Peach Oolong first. These samples were provided by the Rainbow Trading Company.
Despite the name, this Peach Oolong is not artificially flavored with peach juice, extract, etc. The freshly picked tea leaves are placed on a bamboo sheet during the wither stage, then fresh cut peaches are placed underneath the bamboo sheet. Due to tea’s hygroscopic property, the withering tea leaves are capable of absorbing the water droplets that evaporate from the nearby peaches. Thus, these tea leaves have a peach aroma and taste. The Rainbow Trading Company also specializes in growing orchids.
This high mountain wulong tea is produced at altitudes between 1,600 feet to 2,600 meters (5,250 to 8,530 feet) above sea level. At this point, I am awaiting details on the cultivar of the tea bushes from which the leaves are plucked. I will update this post once I have received that information.
The Rainbow Trading Company has only recently began exploring the U.S. market, so let’s see how their products compare to the other Taiwanese wulongs that I have reviewed. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a light to dark green color. The leaves are in the semi-ball shape. A few stems are obvious on many of the semi-balls, so I am expecting the three to four leaf on the stem pluck. The aroma has a nicely proportioned white peach scent, mixed with butter and brown sugar. The aroma is very enjoyable. Almost like a fresh white peach pie.
Five grams of dry leaves were placed in an 8.5 ounce (240 ml) kyusu teapot. Filtered tap water was heated to 195°F (90°C). The leaves were infused for one minute thirty seconds on the first infusion, then one minute on the second, and one minute ten seconds on the third.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a very light, pale green color, clear and transparent. The aroma is buttery, with scents of orchids and white peaches. The body is light-medium, with a delicate, velvety feel. The taste has notes of cream and white peach, with a floral (orchid) backdrop. Astringency is non-existent. The aftertaste is very persistent, and has a phenomenal peachy and floral essence. This is one of the best aftertastes that I have experienced from any tea.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a slightly stronger tone light, pale green color. The aroma is more peachy than the first infusion, with the scent of orchids also strengthening. The buttery scent has been retained, but is lighter. Overall, this scent is much sweeter and much stronger. The body remains light-medium. The white peach taste is more noticeable, with the orchid taste also strengthening, and the cream taste lightening. The aftertaste remains peachy and floral. This second infusion was better in terms of aroma and taste than the first infusion.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a nearly identical shade of light, pale green as the second infusion. The aroma is stronger on the orchid scent, lighter on the peach scent, and again lighter on the butter scent. The taste is floral (orchid) and fruity (white peaches). The cream taste is very light. Although not quite as good as the second infusion, this third infusion was very flavorful and aromatic. There is no doubt that multiple additional infusions are possible.
The infused leaves have a uniform forest green color. Although there are some larger stems, I will say that the number of stems is lower than many other Taiwan wulongs. Most of the leaves are unbroken, but have no stem attached. The leaves that are attached to a stem have the four leaf on the stem pluck. There are very few broken leaves. The leaves are longer, but not very broad, suggesting that the cultivar may be Chin Shin. The aroma of the wet leaves has scents of white peaches and cooked dark green leafy vegetable.
After taking my notes, I infused these leaves four more times before deciding to retire for the evening. Altogether, seven infusions produced good tasting teas. If it was not midnight, and I had more time, then I am confident that these leaves could have taken another one or two infusions.
I have nothing but high praises to say about this tea in every aspect. The aromas, the feel, the tastes, the number of infusions were all impressive. The appearance of the infused leaves and low number of stems suggests more attention is paid to the quality of the overall product. With the right pricing, this wulong tea will easily fit right in to the specialty tea market in the U.S. The peachy aroma and taste allow this product to offer another level of pleasure to the tea drinker.
Thank you very much, Rainbow Trading Company, for contacting me and allowing me to sample this proprietary product of yours. I am very excited to move on to the Guei Fei and the Jin Xuan samples. Cheers!