Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Shanti Tea
A rare, visually stunning hand-twisted biodynamic oolong tea from the celebrated Idulgashinna Tea Estate, consisting of 1-2 inch “spears” of green, cinnamon-colored and white leaves. The infusion is curly and very colorful, the liquor light and attractive with a medium body.
This has to be one of the most unique Oolong teas I’ve ever encountered. It looks different, it tastes different … and it affects me differently as I sip it.
The dry leaf looks so cool. The individual leaves are thin and twisted into a spear or long “arrow” shape. They unfurl very slowly, yielding many wonderful infusions of delicious tea.
The liquor color is a transparent, pale amber. It possesses a very smooth flavor. It is a somewhat delicate flavor, but then, that may have something to do with the fact that I steeped this in my gaiwan using short steeps. A longer steep time may have produced a more intense flavor, but, I don’t know that I would have liked it as well. As it is, the flavor is really very enjoyable.
There is a roasted nut flavor to this tea, with a hint of a flavor that I can only describe as “spice-like” in the background. It has a somewhat smoky taste there too, although it is extraordinarily subtle. This is not a tea I would categorize as a smoky tea.
The tea has a sweetness to it, but it is a rather unique sweetness. Generally, I label sweet flavors as “burnt-sugar” or caramel-y, honey-esque or fruit-like … something along those lines. But this sweetness doesn’t really fall in line with any of those… but if I had to choose one, I would say it’s more like a fruity sweetness than a caramel or honey note. Yes, I think that a “dried fruit sweetness” might be an appropriate comparison.
There is a sour note that hits about mid-sip, and it reminds me a bit of a “brandy” – although, I am not very well-versed on alcoholic beverages, so I wouldn’t be very good in describing that, other than to say that it tastes almost fermented. It’s quite pleasant though.
I found this tea to be very enjoyable. I could feel it relax me as I sipped it (another quality to which I found this similar to an alcoholic beverage, it felt warm and gently intoxicating as I sipped this). This one may just be my favorite yet from Shanti Tea!