Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Life in Teacup
The origin of Fo Shou tea cultivar is a mystery. Many people say it was obtained by engrafting tea tree with Fo Shou (bergamot) tree. The engrafting theory of Fo Shou oolong has never been proved. But the characteristics of this tea do remind a drinker of fragrance of Fo Shou fruits.
This product was made with traditional oxidation method and traditional light charcoal roast. Charcoal roast can induce richer flavor of a oolong. Today with greener style dominating the market, charcoal roast workers have mostly aged and retired. Real charcoal roast Fo Shou is very hard to find.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was excited to try this Charcoal Roast Bergamot Oolong from Life in Teacup, as I had previously tried and quite enjoyed the Superior Grade bergamot Oolong and I wondered how it would differ. I have since learned that these teas are not actually scented with bergamot, but instead the tea leaves come from the Fo Shou trees and carry qualities that are reminiscent of bergamot.
That makes sense to me, especially having tasted the Superior Grade and now this Charcoal Roast. In both tastings, I notice that a significant bergamot flavor was lacking, more of a distant hint of bergamot essence rather than a more obvious flavor.
In the first few infusions, the charcoal flavor greets me at about mid sip, and it is quite pleasant. It isn’t a strong, overwhelming flavor but enough to bring a nutty character to the cup. Sweet with barely-there hints of smoke.
In later infusions, I found that the charcoal flavor emerged to become a more significant flavor. It brought a beautiful roasted flavor to the cup. Hints of wood-burning smoke in the distance. Nutty and sweet, with a delicious savory quality that arrives mid-cup. And yes, I can also taste those bergamot-like tones and they add just a touch of brightness to this cup.
A really lovely tea!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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