Review: Mark T. Wendell Evergreen Supreme Oolong

Mark T. Wendell, Oolong Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"My favourite part of this tea is its delicious vanilla and lilac fragrance. However since it lacks a certain depth of flavour to be really exciting to me I wouldn't purchase this for myself."
Sophie’s Teaview: 6.5/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 8.1/10, Katie gave it 7.2/10
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markwendellevergreensupremeThis high elevation Taiwanese offering is new to MTW's catalogue. It also goes by the name of “Four Season Oolong” because the leaves are picked 4 times a year. It's unclear from the information on the website what season's harvest I am sampling however. The vividly coloured leaves are somewhat erratically rolled. Their scent is an alluring and delicate mix of vanilla and lilac.

I steeped 3 grams of leaf for 3 minutes in 8 ounces of water heated to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. The greenish gold cup again has a beautiful vanilla, honey and lilac scent to it. Unfortunately it doesn't reflect the taste of the tea, which is mostly mineral and buttery, with just a touch of grass and flowers. It's pleasant enough but it doesn't really knock my socks off. I later steeped new leaves for 4 minutes. The results are grassier and more astringent in profile but not really more flavourful.

I tried brewing the leaves again for 4 minutes. The brew is more immediately sweet this time, with hints of peach and spring time blooms. It also has more relief in terms of texture, a touch of astringency following the smooth, almost oily texture of the top notes. Again it's good – I prefer it to the previous cup, but it's not great.

I managed to pull 3 more decent cups from the leaves. Following a 5 minute-long steep, the third was my favourite of the lot by far, with its brothy top notes and more substantial grass and flower finish. Unfortunately I'm not sure it's worth getting through the previous lacklustre steeps to get to it. Each brew afterwards got progressively smoother, losing what little astringency the leaves had previously mustered.

My favourite part of this tea is its delicious fragrance. If only it tasted as good as it smells! Its profile is flat and mineral, no matter how I brew the leaves. This offering is not outrageously expensive, considering the labour intensive process involved to make it, including many cycles of withering, oxidation and rolling. However since it lacks a certain depth of flavour to be really exciting to me I wouldn't purchase this for myself.

Visit Mark T. Wendell Teas for more information on this tea and many more from their extensive product catalogue.

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