Charcoal Roasted Honey Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

December 11, 2019

Starting off year five of the Eco-Cha Tea Club with a true southern Nantou County local specialty! The flavor profile of this tea reflects its unique amalgamation of growing conditions and processing methods. In a word, it's got character! And if we may say so, in our perception it has a character that is reminiscent of a Dancong Oolong from mainland China. Something about the well cured and moderately aged factors bring it outside the normal spectrum of Taiwanese Oolongs.

This summer 2017 crop of naturally cultivated and well bug bitten and matured leaves were processed as a traditional Oolong, which mainly means that they were well oxidized. The work that went into oxidizing these leaves was considerable as well as skillful. The leaves needed to be worked, and they got worked well! The result is a full-bodied, substantial brew that offers a very satisfying balance that starts with a mild smokiness, leading into a fruity body with mineral notes, and finishing with something reminiscent of old school Charms lollipops. It really does have a distinct plum powder/confectioner's sugar finishing note that is cushioned by that smoky mineral base. It's a mouthful!

This is not a subtle or refined character of tea, but it certainly has a broad spectrum of aromatic and flavor notes that vary with different brewing methods, leaf to water ratios, as well as the temperature of the brewed tea. In other words, the flavor really transforms as the tea cools. So we encourage our Tea Club members to explore these parameters to see what different notes can be discovered with variations of brewing methods and temperature of the already brewed tea.

The brewed leaves reveal their ruddy character, and in the final analysis are testimony to the skill and painstaking, time consuming processing they have undergone. Not only did they need to be thoroughly manipulated to achieve the level of oxidation, but they were aged, charcoal roasted, and aged again (albeit for only two years, but those two years are quite significant!).

We look forward to hearing about your experience of batch #49 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. So please post your comments below, and/or on our tasting video. It's gonna be a good year for the Tea Club!

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