I grew up in Taiwan drinking oolong tea everyday. I got used to drinking coffee since living abroad. Somehow, the calling of tea is so strong that I have switched back to drinking tea of late. I like the fresh light aroma the tea leaves in the mouth. I was fortunate to come across Eco-Cha, that sources organic tea farms in the Taiwan's high mountain area. The heavy roast oolong tea I ordered makes me smile in the morning.
I love roasted oolongs, but a lot of them disappoint because they are too lightly roasted despite the label of "heavy roast" or "medium roast". When I think "heavy/dark" roast I think of Wuyi oolongs roasted and aged Hong Kong style, and this one hits close enough to the mark to deserve an account signup and a review. At the price of a daily drinker, it has the rich oh-so-subtle "sour" of a quality roasted-and-aged oolong along with the smooth mineral taste I'd expect from a Da Hong Pao. The characteristic Taiwanese "smoothness" of their best oolongs is present here, rounding out a flavor in a way only the best Wuyis do (in comparison). I'm gonna tuck away one of the vacuum sealed pouches to age for a few years, since the tightly-bound oolong pellets tend to age far better than loose, twisted-leaf tea.
Thanks so much for your detailed review! This is very similar to what we feel about this tea. Did you happen to read in the product page how it is made? It’s quite an extensive process! This grower has been researching processing more than anyone we know in terms of varying the standard procedures and tweaking things to achieve interesting results in many ways. We feel proud to represent this tea. It truly is unique. We’ve never heard of anybody doing what he does in order to reach the results he does with this tea type. Thanks again, and feel free to contact us directly with any questions you may have!
There is just something about this oolong!!! Received it one month for tea club and immediately went online to cop a bigger bag. Brews a super strong and smooth cup with a distinct roasted aroma and flavor. SUPER stimulating, puts me in an energized and creative mood. Love this tea and haven't had an oolong like it!
I love the fact this is eco-farmed and I'm all in favor of organic tea, but I'm not sure if it is because it is lower elevation or that the person roasting it didn't know what they were doing but this was a very harsh roasted oolong with bitter edges and also an unpleasant astringency. I did not enjoy this. I would go for something like the charcoal roasted high mountain oolong tea instead.
Steven, thanks for your reviews! All feedback is useful for us to know how each tea is experienced.
Elevation definitely can make a difference, although it's the processing that will determine whether the elevation is notable or not. In the case of this tea compared to the High Mountain Charcoal Roasted Oolong you tried, elevation is a notable factor in comparing these two. The growing conditions and the harvest method (hand picked vs. machine clipped) are significant factors determining the overall quality.
This tea may need a bit more attention and experimentation in brewing methods to get good results in comparison to the higher elevation tea. We suggest using less leaves and shorter brewing intervals to start. This should alleviate the astringency and make the roast factor less intense.
The Eco-Farmed Heavy Roast Oolong is a unique and elaborate processing method that really puts it in a class of its own however. It is both repeatedly roasted, and aged between roastings for up to 3 years before it's done! The producer is aiming to create a character that is similar to a Tie Guan Yin Oolong in that the roasted character is prominent, but there is also a complimenting tangy flavor note, as well as an aged character. He is a skilled tea maker with decades of experience, but this tea is not for everyone, in that it has a strong character and rather intense flavor profile!
Thanks again for your reviews and we hope you keep drinking our teas!
This tea is really really good. The smell is intoxicating, with notes of toasty bread, dark woods. The taste mildly sweet, with a fruity finish. The roasted taste is more muted than the smell. Overall, every for everyday drinking.