Friday, January 6, 2017

Origins Tea: Mei Shan Oolong, A Tea Review

Man, I feel like Gollum, this flu has me all 'we soon forgot the taste of bread, the sound of wind in the trees....' mostly the taste thing since I haven't been able to taste or smell anything for days. Well, I can kinda taste things today, no subtle nuances and delicate notes, but my hot cup of tea tastes like tea and not warm water, so progress! Usually when I am under the weather I drown my sorrows in gaming and tea, and I have been doing at least half of that, playing modded Minecraft on my new computer. Finally giving Agrarian Skies a go, I am rubbish at it since I am a creative builder who plays on console, it is an experience! I am using it as a learning experience before I switch over to playing the Hermitpack where I will probably get annoyed after a week and switch to creative so I can build massive creations in peace. I still need to adjust the mapping so I can play with my controller, since I will never get used to keyboard play.

Luckily I have a mountain of teas tasted in my notebook pile, like Origins Tea's Mei Shan Oolong. Named for the region of Taiwan this Oolong hails from, this is a green Oolong, unroasted and barely oxidized. The aroma is balanced between green with crisp notes of snap peas and lettuce, with sweet hyacinth blossoms, and a touch of nuttiness in the form of rice milk and almonds. It is crisp and buttery while not being overly sweet or floral, definitely falling more in the green category of green oolongs.

Into the gaiwan this stemmy Oolong goes for steeping, it was not too fond of doing much unfurling on its first steep. The aroma of the leaves once steeped is sweeter, the crisp green snap pea and zucchini notes are joined with buttery chestnut, rice milk, and distant lilies. The liquid is sweet and buttery, with notes of chestnut and lilies with a touch of green snap peas.

The first steep is an interesting blend of a thick and buttery mouthfeel with a crisp green taste, one of my favorite aspects of greener green Oolongs is how it can be super thick while tasting like biting into a gently sauteed zucchini. It starts green, with the snap peas and zucchini, but quickly moves into sweet sugar cane and lily nectar, with a gentle rice milk finish. The aftertaste is a lingering lily note that sticks around for a while.

Second steep time, the leaves have unfurled more and with that unfurling comes some extra green notes, bordering on savory. Zucchini and snap peas are joined by cooked celery and lettuce, making the crispness fade entirely into buttery savory qualities. The finish is all like, nahhh, enough of this savory, let us have some sweet sugar cane juice and lily nectar to linger into the aftertaste.

The third steep balances out the sweet with the savory a bit more, like the previous two steeps it starts out quite green and crisp, but this steep brings the sweet at the midtaste and it stays thickly sweet. Notes of sugar cane and chestnut with a touch of lily flowers, and it lingers well into the aftertaste. This tea goes for several steeps, it is a solid example of a green Oolong that leans more savory than crisp and flowery.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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