Eco-Cha Tea Club: Honey Oolong Tea Tasting Notes
Batch #33 being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club is well oxidized, and lightly roasted. The leaves were processed to be made into a traditional style Dong Ding Oolong Tea. But upon being roasted once, they revealed their bug-bitten character by offering distinct honey notes in the flavor profile.
Given that the leaves were only roasted once, there is little or no roasted flavor. But the transformation of chemical compounds that occurred in the leaves as a result of roasting is quite evident. In other words, this batch is very different from the original unroasted version. The results of a single roasting are mostly noticeable due to the effect of the Green Leafhopper as the leaves grew. And the nature of this effect is impossible to determine until the leaves are processed and then roasted afterwards.
The extensive oxidation and minimal roasting offer a flavor profile that has the rich, density of Small Leaf Black Tea while still maintaining enough freshness to give it complexity and vibrancy. Sweet, ripe fruity notes balanced by mildly astringent nutty/woody tones. Add to this an unmistakeable honey essence in both the aroma and on the palate. It's a proper Oolong in its complexity, and a signature bug-bitten batch of tea.
We look forward to hearing about your experience of this unique batch of tea that is being shared exclusively with the Eco-Cha Tea Club. Please post your comments, photos, and tasting videos here in the comments below for all of us to see!
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The medium oxidized leaves have undergone extensive, repeated roastings that have resulted in a very balanced, integrated character. The initial steepings offer a freshly cut wood aroma with a toasted nutty flavor. This proceeds to open up into a sweeter, more complex profile that is strikingly reminiscent of roasted winter vegetables, including parsnip, caramelized onion and butternut squash.
Mr. Zhang's father cultivated tea on their homesteaded land in Xiaobantian, on the southside of Lugu Township, where he grew up in the midst of traditional tea making. At 20 something, he decided to embody his local tradition by clearing land to cultivate his own plot of tea. For the last 20 years, he has managed his own humble, privately owned plot of tea. Throughout this period, he also acquired seasonal work in tea factories in Lugu, Shanlinxi, Alishan, Fanzaitian, and Lishan. In a word, he learned the ropes of tea making in a comprehensive way, like most tea farmers of his generation. Lugu hosts the highest concentration of tea makers in Taiwan, and is a hub of specialty tea making culture.