Qing Xin Oolong Black Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club
What's in the name?
This month's batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Small Leaf Black Tea made from the summer crop of heirloom Qing Xin Oolong tea leaves. The Qing Xin strain is commonly referred to as simply "Oolong" in the local tea industry here in Taiwan. We, on the other hand, use the term "Oolong" to refer to the processing method of being partially oxidized. So we decided to include the cultivar name for the sake of clarity.
Small Leaf Black Tea is tea made from strains of tea that are cultivated mostly for Oolong Tea making, or partially oxidized teas. These include Qing Xin, Jin Xuan, Tsui Yu, Four Seasons Spring, and more. Small Leaf Type is a general category to be distinguished from Large Leaf Type, which includes Assam, Red Jade #18, Fo Shou, and the Wild Tea strain that is naturally occurring in Taiwan.
In addition to the name of the tea strain, this batch of tea was made by an artisan of Dong Ding Oolong Tea with his family plot of heirloom tea trees. He incorporated Oolong Tea methods in the very first step of solar withering, and the very last step of tightly rolling the tea leaves. So the raw material of the summer crop of heirloom Qing Xin Oolong tea leaves, processed by an Oolong Tea maker by trade offers us this superior quality Black Tea.
What's in the flavor?
This batch of tea offers a complex fruity character in the brewed tea. The aroma is sweet, like stewed pears in syrup and prunes. The flavor is rich and yet delicate in its relatively light-bodied consistency. It has a concentrated quality, but is not at all murky or muddled. This aspect makes it reminiscent of a well oxidized Oolong Tea.
You can see that there is still some green remaining in the coloration of the brewed leaves, even though the leaves have been heavily rolled in the oxidation process. This is the norm in Small Leaf Black Tea making in Taiwan, and, along with the type of raw material, is what sets the flavor profile apart from Large Leaf Black Teas. There is a balanced sweet and dry finish with an especially long lingering aftertaste. The overall character is reminiscent of fruit compote, with just enough tartness to give it a clean mouthfeel.
LET US KNOW!
Got questions? Want to know about anything more in particular about this tea? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you found this post useful and would like to hear more about the specialty tea industry here in Taiwan, follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram and please subscribe to our newsletter. Subscribe now and get $5 off your first order!
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Also in News
Eco-Cha Tea Club's batch #48 is Alishan High Mountain Black Tea. It has a very balanced, integrated flavor profile, and offers subtle notes of a Qing Xin Oolong. The brewed leaves still have a greenish hue, even though the stems are quite reddish, indicating nearly full oxidation. It is an interesting hybrid of tea types, but definitely acts more like a Black Tea made from the small leaf type Qing Xin strain.
This very small fall harvest of naturally cultivated Oolong leaves was painstakingly processed by a father and son team who are top representatives of their local tea industry. The most inspiring fact is that the son is wholeheartedly inheriting his family's tradition, and this small batch of tea is testimony to that.
The name "Hong Shui (Red Water) Oolong" has been a buzzword in Oolong circles in recent years. But the tea makers who have inherited their local tradition say that this is simply a new name for tea processed like their grandfathers taught them. It used to just be called "Oolong Tea"!