Review: Lu Lin Teas Black Oolong

Lu Lin Tea, Oolong Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!" I particularly enjoyed the shift from roasted grain and wood flavours to a wide range of sweeter notes. I highly recommend this oolong, especially to those who enjoy hearty, smokey teas."
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.1/10
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lulinblackoolongThis oolong has been fermented longer than most, almost like a black tea, giving the leaves a “slightly smoky taste with a full bodied, sweet long lasting finish with a cinnamon aftertaste”. The raisin-like, rolled leaves have a charred looked to them. Their aroma is a mix of pipe tobacco and toasted barley notes.

I followed the suggested directions on Lu Lin's website. After a quick rinse, I infused 3 grams of leaf in 8 ounces of water heated to 85 degrees Celsius for 1 minute. The tan-coloured cup has a similar but more intense aroma compared to the dry leaf. Taking a sip, the top notes are smooth, tasting of mostly toasted barley, oak and tobacco. Somewhere in the middle the flavours get much sweeter, vanilla and raisin notes taking the lead. The finish is surprising, with lingering tart fruit flavours – plums and apricots come to mind in particular.

I steeped the leaves again for 2 minutes. The results are a much darker cup, in both colour and flavour. The top notes are a bit rougher with more pronounced charred tobacco and grain flavours. These mellow out to taste more like cantaloupe and marshmallows. The end of each sip offers a dryer, almost wine-like finish. This quite a flavourful and complex cup. Who knew that red wine and marshmallow notes could taste so good together!

My third cup was similar to previous but smoother and more even throughout the sip. An interesting cinnamon gum flavour appears in the finish. While it doesn't have all the flash of the first two brews, this steep is still very engaging.

I was able to get two more mild but decent cups from the leaves following a 4 minute and a 5 and a half minute long steep. The smokey toasted notes have pretty much disappeared by this point. The flavour profile is mostly sweet, in a grassy sort of way. The tart, fruity finish is still going strong though.

These leaves make for a refreshing and complex cup. I particularly enjoyed the shift from roasted grain and wood flavours to a wide range of sweeter notes. Being able to get 5 cups from the same leaves makes this tea great value for the money. I highly recommend it, especially to those who enjoy hearty, smokey teas.

— To purchase Lu Lin Teas Black 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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