Thursday, January 2, 2014

Eco-Cha Artisan Tea: Tsui Yu Jade Oolong, A Tea Review

Last night and most of today my internet was dead, turns out something was off with my wifi modem and it needed updating (or reinstalling...my much more tech-savvy sweetheart fixed it) before it was on speaking terms with the internet again. It was harrowing, I felt so cut off from the world, so I spent the time without the internet tasting new teas and playing Terraria, with intermittent mini Hama bead sorting (that is going to take forever!!!) it turned out to be a good day. To celebrate the return of the internet, here is a review of a Taiwanese tea.

Tsui Yu Jade Oolong by Eco-Cha Artisan Teas is an unroasted Oolong grown at 400m, which is fairly low allowing for machine harvesting, I suggest checking out the origin tab on their website for all the details on how this tea is harvested, it is fascinating! Tsui Yu Jade is also known as Kingfisher Jade, or Formosa Tea No.13. The aroma of this tea is sweet and herbaceous with a warm, yeasty undertone. The aroma reminds me of baking herb bread with a finishing hint of nuttiness that is very faint.

Once I steep the leaves however the tone becomes intensely vegetal with undertones of sage and a lingering sweetness that ends becomes heady as I pulled the steeped leaves away from my nose. It is one of those teas that when I take the lid off of my gaiwan to enjoy the aroma it wafts out and fills the room. The liquid after pouring it into my cup is herbaceous and sweet with faint floral tones.

The first steep is nutty and mild, the taste is green like fresh vegetation but fades into mellow sweetness. The mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth. This steep is mild and subtle, a good initiation to what promises to be a complex tea. The flavors and aromas reminds me of the first warm day of early spring.

The second steep is, as predicted, more complex. The aroma of the leaves is savory herbs, primarily sage with a hint of thyme fading into fresh vegetation. The aroma of the liquid is honey sweet with sage undertones. The taste is incredibly smooth and herbaceous, there are notes of fresh vegetation that fades into floral notes of hyacinth with an aftertaste of sweetness. I really like how this tea starts of savory and fades into floral sweet.

The third steep's leaves are almost primarily herbaceous with an after aroma of orchid. The liquid's aroma is heady and sweet. The taste is at first honey sweet with a buttery mouthfeel that fades into vegetal tones, primarily the note of green beans and a hint of spinach. The midtaste is sage and it fades into a floral aftertaste. This tea takes you on a journey of flavor starting herbal and vegetal and moving to floral and sweet, it is like an adventure in my mouth!

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