Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wuyi Oolong

Tea: Wuyi Oolong
Vendor: Mighty Leaf
Price: $12.95 / 4 oz
Vendor Description: Wuyi Oolong tea made in China's Northern Fujian Wuyi mountains is well known for its smooth and rich body and taste. Long, beautiful twisted leaves impart a roasty aroma and produce a sweet, nuanced cup. L:ike other oolongs our Wuyi oolong can be infused multiple times.

Leaf: This tea is rather small and broken for a Wuyi Oolong. There are more small pieces and powder than I have seen in most Wuyi Oolongs. This could have been from shipping, but the leaf did appear more broken than normal. The leaf itself is characteristic dark brown almost black leaf.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5 oz, 208F, 5s rinse, 45s

1st Infusion: The tea has a dark caramel chocolate color. It is lightly murky which is surprising for a Wuyi, in my experience most are clear, but rich in color. The aroma is thick and sweet. The flavor is very sweet and quite strong. It is both rich and bold with a light tanginess. The tanginess feels like it's due to the strength of the tea itself. The flavor is smooth and leaves with a light sense of astringency.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 1 min, 208F

2nd Infusion: This infusion has the same rich color. The aroma is not quite as sweet as the first, but shows through more like a the traditional aroma I'm used to. The fflavor is again, rich and bold. It feels more like a traditional Wuyi oolong now. There is a medium sense of astringency following this one, and a hint of something that reminds me of the roasting of a hojicha. Not really directly, but it brings the thought to mind.

3rd Infusion Parameters: 1:30, 208F

3rd Infusion: There is not much aroma left at this point. It still has the same brown hue to it. The flavor is smooth and still flavorful, but there are definite signs of the flavor waning in this cup. The thickness and strength that were present in the first two infusions are lightening up and shows signs of wateriness now. There is also a medium sense of astringency following this tea.

Rating: 8/10

Conclusion: For an introduction into Wuyi Oolongs this tea is probably a good way to start. At $12.95 / 4 oz, it is not a terribly expensive Wuyi. In general Wuyi oolongs deliver great value. Normally one of the more attractive points in brewing a Wuyi oolong is seeing the large full leaf shape once you are done, but in this case, due to damage in shipping or at some point along the way, the leaf was much smaller and broken up. It is a bit disappointing, but it may just be how the sample packets were mailed to me. This tea had some amazing color to it, a richer brown than I am used to seeing in most teas.

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