Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Eco-Cha: A Roasted Taiwanese Oolong Tea Review

In my part of the world, it is starting to get chilly! We had a nice inch of snow the other day and today a balmy high temperature of 27F and a low of 13F, and the last of the leaves are starting to fall away from the trees. Yes my friends, we have settled nicely into my favorite time of year which means time for roasty toasty Oolongs! I decided to look at a pair of teas from Eco-Cha today, a Dong Ding Oolong with medium oxidation and medium-heavy roast and a Tieguanyin which is a blend of half TGY and half Jin Xuan made in TGY style, which is pretty cool.

Dong Ding

I have reviewed so many Eco-Cha Dong Dings on my blog, and each harvest is a unique and delicious thing, it is always fun to see how they differ year to year. The aroma of these sizable rolled leaves is rich and immensely aromatic, strong notes of roasted walnuts and chestnuts, hickory wood, toasted grains, and a lingering molasses and dark honey sweetness that haunts my nose like a sugary ghost. The brewed leaves bring in a tanginess along with a surprising floral note reminiscent of honey locust flowers. Oooh, this might be one of the best harvests in a while! It is so sweet and thick, with notes of toasted coconut, walnut candies, sesame butter, and a lingering toasted wheat grain taste. I expected the later steeps to bring in that tangy roast taste, but no, it is sweet thickness all the way down with hints of strong roasted walnut shells. I am not sure my sample is going to make it to the end of the month!

Tieguanyin

Well hello you nutty tea! It is a dark oolong (in both oxidation and roast giving it a very dark color) and it smells dark, with notes of black walnuts, molasses cookies, brown sugar, roasted wheat, and a slight hint of cooked plums. Once steeped the notes remain but bring in a very surprising note of melon which made me do a nose double take.  This tea has a real oomph to it, it has the expected sweetness (with the Jin Xuan and all) like brown sugar baked plums, but it also has a really strong heavy grain toasted bread. You know, one of those breads that boasts having like 20 grains (do 7 different kinds of wheat really count as different grains?) but having been toasted and then given a nice slather of butter. The tea is mostly thick and smooth, but the roasting gives it a little bit of a mouth puckering tangy quality that livens things up, as roasted oolongs can seriously relax me into a fugue state and I need something to keep me lively. Later steeps bring in a touch of a fruity tobacco and even stronger roast somehow giving more oomph to an already strong tea. Both of these teas are great and show how varied roasty teas can be!

Teas sent for review




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