Today, the focus of this review will be the Organic Light Oolong Tea from Harendong Organic Tea Estate. I provided more information on this estate in my previous review of their Rolled Organic Black Tea.
This oolong tea differs from the Organic Medium Oolong Tea from Harendong in that the level of oxidation is lighter, and this light oolong tea has also been given a lighter roast (if any, at all) than the medium oolong tea. The intent of this production method is to keep this light oolong tea on the greener side of the tea spectrum, allowing the more floral, herbal qualities to shine through.
Let’s get to the review…
The dry leaves vary in color from pale light forest green to pale dark forest green. The leaves appear to be unbroken, whole leaves, some attached to the stem, others detached. I do expect to find some large fragments in the mix. There does not appear to be any totally bare stems present. The leaves appear to be rolled into a semi-ball shape, similar to oolongs from Taiwan, but not as tightly packed. The plucking standard appears to be a two to three leaf pluck. The aroma has sweet scents of light brown sugar, caramel, toasted oats, vanilla, and a touch of light cinnamon.
Five grams of dry leaves were placed in an eight ounce (240 mL) bizen ware kyusu teapot, and infused with 190°F (88°C) water for 3:00 minutes.
The liquid has a light green-yellow color, turning more gold-yellow with the second and third infusions. The aroma has scents of light brown sugar, vanilla, oats, orange, and orchid. The body is medium, with a velvety, smooth texture. There is no astringency or bitterness. The taste has notes of light brown sugar, vanilla, orange, oats, orchid, and a light touch of sweet cream. The aftertaste is dominated by the orchid floral character, and has an impressively long hang time on the breath.
The infused leaves are mostly uniform dark forest green color, with some minor signs of red oxidized edges. The leaves are mostly whole, unbroken leaves, about half still attached to stems, and half detached. There are some large fragments, but the majority of leaves are unbroken. The stems show a two leaf pluck, and a few even have a tender bud attached. The leaves have a hearty, rich, leathery feel that reminds me of Tie Guan Yin leaves. Many of the leaves measure around 2 inches (50 mm) of length. The aroma has scents of wet orchid, light orange, vanilla, and a touch of wet oats.
The Organic Light Oolong Tea from Harendong Organic Tea Estate offers a classic green oolong character, and is a proud representation of the quality teas being produced at Harendong. With sweet, floral, and fruity character, and a lasting floral aftertaste that is most remarkable, this product is an excellent daily drinking quality oolong tea. Adding to the qualities of the tea itself is the healthy reputation of organic farming practices, which Harendong Organic Tea Estate has been adhering to for over a decade. Healthy, delicious, and coming from a part of the world that is newer to the specialty tea industry. All good reasons to give the Organic Light Oolong Tea a try.
Thanks again to the management team at Harendong Organic Tea Estate for providing this sample of Organic Light Oolong Tea! Happy Monday!