Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Fong Mong Tea: A Tale of Gaoshan Oolongs, A Tea Review

Oh man, my geek is showing hard this month. As many of you are aware (and many more are about to become aware) it is Inktober, a month devoted to taking a new prompt each day and doing an ink drawing of it, it is a time to practice skills and show off (seriously, the actual artists out there blow my mind) I am just a doodler who wants to get better so for me it is all about practice. But, I can never just follow along with the game at hand, I have to make it my own, so all the prompts will be interpreted into some sort of Dungeons and Dragons theme, so far I have a Myconid and a Flumph, because monsters are my jam. Also my jam: Gaoshan Oolongs, so today I am looking at four different ones from Fong Mong Tea.

Spring 2018 Taiwan Alishan Jinxuan Oolong Tea

One of my favorite cultivars on one of my favorite mountains, yes please! I do so adore real 'milk oolong' with its sweet vanilla and cream notes that combine with lilies and honeysuckles. This particular one is very sweet and creamy, with an added bonus of freshly cooked rice, it is very aromatic. Once steeped the tea takes on stronger notes of lilies and honeysuckles with a distinct and very sweet note of spongecake (and this is going to be a trend with Fong Mong's Oolongs, they frequently taste or smell like a dessert of some type!) Blissfully that spongecake and sweet cream note transfers into the taste for an immensely thick and sweet tea, the finish brings in a delicate spicebush note that combines with an aftertaste of starchy rice. It manages to be both very sweet and thick while also being refreshing and light, I drank this sample on a rather hot day and was so thankful for its refreshing quality. Plus it had the distinction of being one of my favorite Jin Xuan Oolongs in a while!

Spring 2018 Gaoshan Qingxiang Taiwan Lishan High Mt. Oolong

Drinking this one had me thinking, why do I not constantly have a stash of Lishan Oolong on hand? Back when I first got into Taiwanese green Oolongs, Lishan was my favorite, and still is, even if I tend to bury my face in Alishan or Shan Lin Xi more often. The aroma of these leaves is very sweet and floral, with strong notes of  hyacinth, wildflowers, honeysuckle, and daffodils, the real kicker though is the building aroma of fresh juicy pears. This wonderful pear note definitely sticks around in the taste, making for an intensely juicy sweet tea, combined with the floral notes and an aftertaste of sweet pie crust I would swear I was eating a pear pie. One thing that really struck me with this tea is the incredibly long lasting mouthfeel, I could feel its thickness and that sweet pear aftertaste for what felt like hours after I finished this tea.

Spring 2018 Shanlinxi Taiwan Sun-Link-Sea High Mt. Oolong Tea

I am not going to waste time describing my love of SLX, it is well known, I am going to dive straight into the immensely heady aroma of this tea. It does have the (at least to me)iconic aroma of fresh alpine air and pine trees, but also a full bouquet of spring flowers, it brings the honeysuckle, hyacinth, lilies, daffodils, and tulips. It smells so much like a pile of flowers that it is a bit mind boggling. Tasting this tea brings the flower nectar, I feel like a hummingbird drinking this stuff, it is very thick and sweet with a lingering aftertaste of tulip tree flower nectar. Later steeps bring in more of the alpine notes and green, and also finish out with a great taste of Thai basil which is not something I really associate with sweet floral teas but I am totally ok with that note being there.

Winter 2017 Zhu Lu Taiwan Alishan High Mt. Oolong
Hello Alishan! Probably the Oolong I have reviewed the most on the blog, I drink a lot of it and always enjoy getting to try more offerings. The aroma of this Alishan is very sweet, like sweet Hawaiian bread with an undertone of thyme and basil, the finish is a combination of sweet cream and honeysuckles. When steeped there arises a note of dandelion flowers, which compliments both the sweet and green aspects of this tea nicely. So this tea was fun and a bit unusual, usually Alishan starts sweet, goes to green, and then goes back to sweet as it is finishing of, this one started green and herbaceous and transitioned into flowery sweetness. I really enjoyed how refreshing and green this one started off as, with notes of thyme and basil and a finish of fresh vegetation, the transition into sweet spring flowers and yeasty bread was awesome, like dessert after a meal!

Teas sent for review

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