Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Fong Mong Tea: Four Taiwanese Spring Oolongs, A Tea Review

I am having such a hard time getting back to reality after my trip last week. Not really sure why, as it was not a long trip, and as I have been back for two days I really should be back to normal. I think I shall blame the lack of tea, see I was a complete fool, thinking that I know places in KC to get decent tea and I had very little room in my luggage, so clearly I will be able to manage for all days except the trip out with my full travel steeper. This was a mistake, I spent the entire weekend drinking really nasty tea bags, even at the dedicated cafe I went to I ended up with overly hot water brewed green tea, bah! I am never making that mistake again, I will find room for tea in my luggage! The best tea I had all weekend was at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum (my favorite place) they had bags, but at least they were those fluffy full leaf style bags, the English Breakfast was decent.

Tea cravings while hours away from your treasured stash aside, today I am looking at four teas from Fong Mong Tea, specifically four green Oolongs from the spring harvest of 2018, two of which are Gaoshan and two are lower elevation. So, onward to the teas!

Spring 2018 Tsui Yu Taiwan Floral Jade Oolong

Ah Tsui Yu, one of my favorite of the green oolongs, one that I love to drink when I want that distinct oolong thickness, but also want something more green than sweet, it is the epitome of refreshing. The aroma of these lovely jade green leaves is a pleasant combination of sweet and green, with notes of apricots, honeysuckle, tulips flowers, fresh vegetation, and raw spinach leaves. Brewing it up brings in notes of pine needles and a much more green quality, like summer when the air just smells like growing things. The taste is exactly what I want in a Tsui Yu, it is smooth and mellow with notes of spicy sweet flowers, fresh green vegetation, and a lingering fruit aftertaste. Later steeps bring in more of a stronger green note, much like buttery cooked bok choy and lettuce, but still retain that sweet apricot aftertaste.

Spring 2018 Sijichun Taiwan Four Seasons Spring Oolong

Good old reliable SiJiChun, forever spring, no matter what harvest you get you know it is going to be delicious. I really like it as a daily drinker style oolong, also for bowl steeping, I mean I will be honest you can do anything to this style tea and it will still taste good. The aroma of these leaves is a bit green, a bit nutty, and a bit floral. There are notes of lemon flowers, sesame seeds, sage, and thyme, it is well rounded and smells quite crisp. Once steeped the herbal notes take the center stage with a strong note of lemon leaves at the finish. So, this is where it gets fun, this tea tastes like lemon cheesecake, with undertones of lemon leaves and sage, it is as delicious as it is unusual! Later steeps I swear I can taste pie crust definitely bringing the cheesecake taste full circle!

Spring 2018 Gaoshanchi Taiwan Fushoushan High Mt. Oolong

Ah, I love Fushoushan goodness, but it is one of those teas that I rarely have, so I am always glad when some makes its way across my tea desk. The first thing that really struck me was how dark green the leaves are, they are a beautiful deep forest green and they are immensely aromatic. Strong notes of hyacinth, honeysuckles, petunia, and an undertone of fresh lettuce great me as I stuff my nose into the dark leaves. Steeping somehow manages to make the leaves smell even more of flower nectar, it is so intense it feels as though I am in a conservatory. The taste is, not too surprisingly, very sweet, like someone somehow made marshmallows out of unconventional flower waters, like petunia and hyacinth along with undertones of honeysuckles and mangoes. I love when tea tastes of mango, as it is my favorite fruit. This tea lasts for sooooo long, it was definitely a tea I could sit with all day and drink until late in the night.

Spring 2018 Organic Taiwan Gaoshan Jin Zhu Oolong

Jin Zhu, now this one is new to me, it is not everyday that I run into a new Oolong, so I was excited! The aroma of the bright green leaves is very sweet and floral, strong notes of apricot (almost like apricot preserves) mangoes, lily blossoms, and honeysuckles, definitely one of those sweet intensely aromatic teas that I love so much. Brewing it makes it smell creamy and even more like mangoes, putting me in mind of my much beloved mango burfi desserts that I will inhale if left alone with for any amount of time. The taste is...well...kinda hard to put into words, it is definitely very delicious with a very thick mouthfeel. I will say it tastes intensely of mangoes, and then my brain just kinda fizzled out, overwhelmed by the wave of sweetness and thick mouthfeel that washed over my tongue. I definitely want more of this tea!!

Teas sent for review

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