Review: Whittard Organic China Oolong

Oolong Tea, Organic Tea, Whittard Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A reasonable value for the money, this is a tea that fans of roasted oolongs should enjoy, featuring wood and tobacco notes offset by a honeyed fruit finish. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Samantha gave it 7.5/10
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whittardchinaoolongWinner of a Great Taste gold medal in 2012, this roasted oolong promises a robust honeyed taste. The large purplish brown leaves are lightly twisted and folded upon themselves. Their aroma is a rugged mix of wood, pipe tobacco and toast.

In the absence of brewing directions on Whittard's website, I followed my usual procedure for roasted oolongs, infusing a heaping teaspoonful in 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. The resulting cup displays a lovely burnt orange hue. It's again scented with a toasted bread aroma. Taking a sip, this tea immediately reminds me of a Da Hong Pao. It combines more rugged charred wood and tobacco notes with a sweet, fruity finish. The slightly oily body provides an element of decadence. The cup displays a good balance of flavours while hot but gets more bitter as it cools. The overall effect makes me think of roasted marshmallows, with their burnt sugar coating.

I steeped the leaves a second time for 4 minutes. The tea is now more savoury, with prominent salty bread notes. The finish comes across as milder but more complex, with plum, peach and clover coming into play. The smoky elements of the tea are also more toned down, the taste becoming more mineral as it cools.

Following a third, 5 minute-long steep, the tea is drinkable but much less enjoyable. The profile is still more mineral than the previous cup's. The hint of honey and cinnamon to the finish does pick things up a bit. Next time I would stop at 2 steeps though.

This tea features wood and tobacco notes offset by a honeyed fruit finish. Robust and generous, it's flavourful to be paired with strong tasting foods. Keep in mind that this tea's profile changes a lot with the temperature of the water. Personally I enjoyed it most while very hot. The cooler temperature seem to enhance the tea's smokey, roasted side. A reasonable value for the money, this is a tea that fans of roasted oolongs should enjoy.

— To purchase Whittard Organic China 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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