Friday, February 24, 2017

Origins Tea: Four Seasons Oolong, A Tea Review

It is quite cold today, after a period of warmth waking up (having left the windows open, of course) to a shocking blast of chilly air and snow flurries was a surprise. Thankfully my heated blanket is dry, so the cold is not a bother.

Today I am looking at Origins Tea's Four Season Oolong, a tea that I love but tend to ignore in favor of other Oolongs. Sadly this is because when I was first exploring Taiwanese Oolongs (trying to find the one that started the obsession as a teenager) I found a bag of it at a local Asian mall and it was nasty. Something about that experience seemed to knock that tea from my brain until it is right in front of me, then most the time I drink it and I am very happy I did. The aroma of this one is pleasantly sweet, notes of sweet bread, yeast, hyacinth, snap peas, and a delicate fruity apricot quality round out a delightful sniff. Though when I was sniffing it a leaf, damp from my breathing all over it, stuck to the tip of my nose and it made me laugh.

The wet and slow to unfurl (but very colorful as they do) leaves is green and starchy, snap peas with yeast, rice and a touch of hyacinth. It has a crispness to it that I find very refreshing in my nose, similar to what I describe as an 'alpine aroma' in some Shan Lin Xi Oolongs, being green, a touch cedar needles, and that wonderful smell of high mountain air on a chilly day. The liquid is crisp and green, notes of alpine air, hyacinth, snap peas, and broken vegetation (like the smell of falling in a flower bed and crushing the leaves...oops)

Tasting the tea gives a mellow beginning, in taste and mouthfeel. It is very smooth and not mouth coating, but I do find the smoothness very refreshing, like this is an Oolong I would want after a heavy meal. The taste is sweet, gentle hyacinth and snap peas blend with a finish of yeasty bread. The aftertaste is a gentle crushed vegetation.

Steep two brings in the thickness, and it also brings in a stronger flavor profile. Strong notes of crushed vegetation and hyacinth with a slight tulip taste as well. Towards the end the taste picks up a spicy lily taste along with a yeasty fresh bread note. It has a lingering aftertaste of sweetness and lilies.  This Oolong definitely falls in the delicate spectrum, even with an increase in strength it is still quite light.

Later steeps become sweeter while also taking on a greener tone, it is fascinating that it can be such a green Oolong while also being sweet, like sugar cane and flower nectar with a tiny hint of apricot. This is a very mellow Oolong, conveniently for me while I was drinking the tea it was exactly what I was in the mood for.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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