Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Imperial Tea Garden
The best Chinese oolong teas come from the Wuyi Mountains in the Fujian Province. This area is regarded as the “birthplace” of oolong tea. The oolong process begins similar to black tea, but the leaves are given a much shorter
withering period. The leaves are given a light roll, and allowed to oxidize only until the edges start to brown. The tea is then fired which arrests the oxidization process and captures the interesting character associated with oolong tea. Se Chung Oolong tea has a shorter fermentation time and therefore is categorized as a “green style” oolong tea. Se Chung has a green and herbaceous flavor with
Oolong teas are a favorite of mine. I think what I love so much about them is that there are so many different types of Oolong tea – and I’m not just talking about flavorings. I’m talking about the way the Oolong tea is processed. A light oxidation period will result in a very green Oolong, while a longer oxidation period will result in a dark Oolong. A green Oolong tastes so much different from a dark Oolong and I find the differences to be intriguing.
The complexity of an Oolong as well as the mouthfeel that an Oolong imparts are also part of what makes Oolong teas so special for me. This Se Chung Oolong from Imperial Tea Garden is so wonderfully complex!
The sip begins with a roasty toasty taste that has a hint of smokiness to it as well. The roasted flavor is somewhat nutty and sweet – with an almost honey-like undertone to it. As the sip begins to develop on the palate, I can taste a slight vegetative quality that tastes a bit like roasted vegetables. It is not at all grassy, but rather, a more developed kind of vegetal note with a lingering sweetness.
At the tail-end of the sip, I can taste a very distant floral note that mingles with a fruit-like quality. “Peach-like” is a flavor that is often used to describe the fruit flavor of an Oolong, and that suits this Oolong as well, although I would describe that peach flavor to be more like a cooked/caramelized peach.
There is very little astringency to this cup. The mouthfeel is light and silky, and because of the small amount of astringency, the mouthfeel manages to linger well after the sweet, nutty aftertaste.
A wonderful tea from Imperial Tea Garden!