Roasted Leafhopper High Mountain Oolong
Basic info about this special tea:
Xueba High Mountain Oolong Varietal
2017 Summer Tea
Harvest Date: June 2017.
From Guanwushan, near the Xueba National Park, in Taiwan
Hand picked, medium batch
1550 m above sea level.
Temperature ( 92-95 degrees celsius)
Brewing Vessel (100 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)
Steeping Time ( less than 15 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 2 to 5 seconds)
Number of Total Steepings: Over 10 strong infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves: Roasted nutmeg, and very strong bug bitten smell. The typical sweet, nutty, honey like aroma.
Aroma of Wet Leaves: Very distinctive plant/woodsy like smell, almost medicinal. Interesting Eucalyptus aroma can be found too, maybe some passion fruit.
Taste Profile: See Below
Texture Profile: No sharp corners, gentle but with a little bit of astringency at the really end. However, its pleasant.
Feeling/Aftertaste: Very floral with a asparagus sort of feeling towards the end. The aftertaste definitely stands out for this one.
Price: 29 dollars/75grams
Rating 9 out of 10.
I have to say that the packaging for all the Eco Cha teas are very nice, coming in a airtight common oolong packing with a detailed instruction booklet and box, what more is it to ask for? The box is detailed with the month of picking, level of picking, meaning like hand-picked, or machine-picked, etc; and tasting notes with the brewing guide. Amazing work, and thank you for preserving the artistry of Taiwanese Tea. The tiny card illustrates the situation of the garden, introduces the farmer, the area the tea grows in, the bugs associated with the fermentation of this tea, and so forth. Even from the packaging, there are very clear signs that this tea definitely does have a star quality to it. Plus, I love the story behind every box. It really tells us how interconnected everything really is, and how much effort needs to go in in order to just make a cup of good tea.
Starts off like a Shan Li Xi, with but with more of a roasted Dong Ding finish. Very crisp and huigan is slowly coming out. The roast added to this tea is especially present during the first infusion, with a very caramelly like aroma with a floral base. Very complex initial taste, with a genmaicha sort of approach. The finish is clean yet persistent, with various aromatics. Maybe Mango will start to come out eventually. Very clean brews. Thick mouthfeel as well.
I don’t know too much on how to describe this tea except for being very interesting and delicious. My grandparents from Japan very much enjoyed it and it is super smooth. No bitterness. The astringency is perfect inside your mouth, as it salivates and creates more gan, or the sweetness. The pitcher smells like candied marshmallows. Light but sweet.
The hasle or nuttyness started to show more obviously from the third infusion, then moving on to a very butter squash sort of plant taste. The taste is very interesting as it shows a very floral side with a buttery, almost caramelized vegitable flavor. Its very hard to describe, and a rare oolong to serve this many complex tastes and characters. For the price, it is an excellent daily drinker and would recommend anyone to try it.
I also think this tea would be great if cold brewed as well as enjoyed hot. Brewing Gongfu was so good, but have yet tried brewing it western style. I think that every infusion you can get something different, and I very much like it thick and a little bitter. You can really feel the oolong. The huigan comes fast and the astringency makes your mouth tingle. The sourness of a Muzha Tieguanyin is also found in some infusions. After the roast has started to mellow, the taste feels extremely thick and the soup is sour, but the mouth will have a intense feeling.
In conclusion, I think this tea is very good, and the majority of the people that like tea will be intrigued by this, as it is very sweet and the tea aroma is kept authenticity. I feel it going down my body like my roots are coming alive and fresh from dry. The scent is sweet and floral, while keeping the original tea characteristics in front. I am very pleased with this one, so I will give a 9 out of 10. Super, but if the tea would’ve maintained it’s roast a little longer, it deserves a full 10.