|"This oolong has some potential but the more pleasant floral elements of the cup are overshadowed by bitter and rough vegetal flavours."|
This organic oolong is grown at 800m above sea level, in the Halimun Mountains of Indonesia. Oxidized at 35%, the leaves are said to produce a light, creamy flavour. The large, vibrantly hued, yellowish green leaf nuggets smell delicious! Their aroma mixes notes of cream, honey and springtime blooms.
I follow the instructions provided on my sample’s package, infusing a heaping teaspoonful of leaf in 250ml of boiling water for 5 minutes. The tea again has an enticing sweet and creamy aroma. The pale gold cup is rather milky and mineral at first, sort of like a Jin Xuan. As it cools however, it becomes bitter and vegetal, channeling strong celery, arugula and fennel flavours. These are more abrasive than I would like but it’s not a terrible cup overall.
After a 6 minute long steep, my second cup feels a little smoother. As it cools it develops a vague floral sweetness, overtop of the vegetal tones. These are still too sharp to my taste, detracting from my overall enjoyment. It’s a drinkable cup, but not one that I would particularly seek out again.
I try a final steep, following an 8 minute long brew. It’s pretty mild but there are still some interesting flower tones present, especially lilac and lilies. There is also a hint of milk and almonds. All the roughness of the previous cup is gone. This is possibly my favourite infusion of the lot.
This oolong has some potential but the more pleasant floral elements of the cup are overshadowed by bitter and rough vegetal flavours. Using different brewing parameters like cooler water temperature and shorter steep times should help bring out sweeter, smoother tones. That said, it’s very affordable, especially for an organic tea. At this price, it’s worth experimenting, especially if purchasing some of Tea at Sea’s excellent Yunnan Organic Black.
— To purchase Tea At Sea Mountain Organic Indonesian Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.
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