Tasting notes on top grade oolongs

Posted on January 31 2010


What follows are my notes on the latest samples of top grade oolong teas, accompanied by pricing per ounce. Although detailed info on what makes oolongs oolongs will come later, I wanted to mention that these particular teas are very, very limited production, exquisitely hand crafted teas and they ordinarily would never find their way out of Taiwan. We are lucky enough to obtain some of these teas because of Josh’s relationship with the tea gardens in Taiwan which he has been cultivating for over two decades. Thank you for sharing these teas and your expertise Josh.

Also keep in mind these teas are not here yet. Some will be gone by the time I call to order but please, let me know if some interest you and I’ll take this into account when ordering. Perhaps one of them will be “that” kind of tea for you.

Pouchong, top grade: Long, twisted green/grey leaves unfurl in water releasing an aroma that is both floral and fruity. Smooth, sweet, with a hint of soft grass. $8.50 per ounce

Li Shan Spring: Rolled, dark green leaf, buttery rich aroma even before brewing. Flavour is light, sweet and creamy and lingers on the pallet. Miro, who helped with the tasting announced he could drink 50 gallons of this. At $17 per ounce that would set you back about $283, the price of a fancy, single bottle of Champagne. By the cup it’s a modest 40 cents!

Li Shan Winter: More vegetal and not as creamy as the spring. Very pleasant and mild. $10 per ounce.

Jin Xuan, high mountain: This high elevation, spring harvest tea is so buttery and smooth it seems almost impossible that it’s “just” tea. Tightly rolled, bright green knots unfurl into tea tips in your cup. Wonderful, full mouth feel. $6.25 per ounce

Four Seasons Top Grade: Khaki coloured leaves, robust, roasted note. Dry, crisp with a hint of cinnamon. I think this would make a lovely morning tea.$7 per ounce

Nantou Green Oolong, Winter: Oh my! Berries and cream! Clean, light cup with a fleeting floral note up front followed by fruit and a clean, dry finish. Truly excellent! $10

Ming Jian Oolong: Sweet, distinctly floral, very mild. Hay notes and no astringency. $11.25 per ounce

Oriental Beauty, competition grade, honorable mention: Very perfumy, floral with strong notes of plum and summer hay.  Poetry in a cup $37 per ounce


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