Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Oolong Inc: Taiwan Black Bean Oolong Tea, A Tea Review

Danger Floof powers activated! Thanks to the assistance of my dear Tea Barbarian my deathhawk (the official term for my style of mohawk) has been trimmed and re-dyed, it took three bottles of dye which is ridiculous! But it was the first time in a while that I bleached the roots and redid all the hair, and even though I have a mohawk I still have a ton of hair. Which brings me to the big problem, no amount of hair spray and backcombing will keep the 'hawk up! I just have too much and too thick of hair, it looks more like a turquoise horse mane than a mohawk....oh god, I'm a My Little Pony.

Today's tea comes from Oolong Inc and is their Taiwan Black Bean Oolong, a roasted Oolong blended with kuromame, or black soy beans that have been fried. It is a common health drink in various parts of Asia, and like other roasted grain/seed teas I love it . This is the first time I have had it blended with anything, and I have to admit, if I were to blend it with any type of tea a roasted oolong seems perfect. See these fried beans smell exactly like burnt beans, because they kinda are burnt beans, reminds me a bit of pot liquor from many iterations of pinto beans as a kid (one of my favorite parts of that meal) blending those notes with strong woody, toasted grain, and bamboo coal notes of the roasted oolong works rather well. That is if you like toasted grain and roasted teas, if not you might want to back away slowly.

I decided to gongfu this tea, because of course I did, and even though the leaves were fairly broken up and had a decent amount of stems it performed well in the gaiwan. The aroma of the wet leaves is very strong burnt beans and roasted grains, wet wood, and char, with a slight underlying sweetness of honey on toast. The liquid is sweet with notes of honey and grains with burnt beans, wet wood, char, and a bit of a bready undertone.

So, I will say this about this tea, its very tasty and has a decent amount of longevity lasting four steeps before giving up the ghost. It does not really change at all through the steeping, the taste stays the same, conveniently I like the taste so it is not all bad. It is thick and a bit sweet and a bit burnt, like someone took soy beans and fried them, which is pretty much what happened. Combining that taste with woodiness and char and a touch of lingering toast, this is definitely a good tea to drink on a chilly day.

The company asked me a few questions to address in my review, namely if the tea were found at Teavana or Republic of Tea how much would I pay for it...well, I wouldn't. Not because of this tea, but because I have not bought anything from Republic of Tea in over five years and I have never shopped at Teavanna because I have never liked the teas of theirs I sampled. Next was how much would I pay for it if I found it in a supermarket and again I am not really sure, I never buy tea at a grocery store, I just don't even look because they have not carried the kind of tea I liked...if I found it at a grocery store I would be dumbfounded I think. Their online price of $4.49 for 2oz is pretty fantastic so if I found it for those prices I would not hesitate. The next question is 'Would a connoisseur like yourself steep a cup of our tea alone, after lunch in the office?' I had to quote it because thanks for calling me a connoisseur! Yes I would drink this tea after lunch by myself, a lot of my tea-ing is solo, but if Ben were around I would give it to him to try because I like to share. The last question was how does it compare to teabags and K-cups, well for one no creating an astronomical amount of waste (I LOATHE K-cups) and teabags frequently are made from dust and fannings and taste not so good, and you rarely get more than one steep out of it.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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