Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Driftwood Tea
The Ambassador’s Choice is a driftwood’s exclusive small farm oolong from China’s Fujian Province. A subtle combination of the best characteristics of both China and Taiwan’s famous teas, Ambassador’s Choice is James’s personal preference to serve alongside afternoon tea.
Learn more about this Oolong here.
This Oolong is quite surprising … deliciously so!
It has been my experience that typically greener Oolong teas such as this one tend to have a strong floral overture and very few, if any, fruit notes to them. They tend to focus more on the creamy notes and floral tones. But this tea is much different!
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good floral tasting, green Oolong but, sometimes, it’s really nice to discover an Oolong that challenges me and what I’ve come to know about certain teas the way this tea does. I like that.
Instead of the strong floral front note, this tea starts off with a creamy introduction and then immediately begins to reveal some intriguing fruit notes – tasting sweet like the intense sweetness one would experience from dried fruit. I notice some more exotic fruit notes in there as well, like a combination between mango and papaya, with a slight acidic citrus note that perks up the flavors toward the end. These flavors seem to intensify as I continue to sip. The finish is sweet and a little bit tangy, too.
I steeped this tea the way I’d typically steep an Oolong: using my gaiwan, I first rinsed the tea for about 10 seconds, and then a series of short infusions. The first two infusions combined make up my first cup, while my second and third cup are the combinations of my third and fourth infusions, and my fifth and sixth infusions, respectively.
The subsequent infusions delivered some different flavors. My second cup was a little less creamy than the first, and began to reveal more of the floral tones that I hinted at with the first cup. The fruit flavors remain but are less distinct now, providing more of a fruit medley taste rather than distinguished flavors. However, the citrus note toward the finish has become a little more obvious, imparting a lovely sweet-yet-tart note for the aftertaste. Still pleasantly sweet, but this one tends to be a little less creamy-sweet and more of a fruit-and-floral sweet.
My third cup (the fifth and sixth infusions) was an equally lovely cup, although, again, I found this one to be different from either of the two previous cups. It possessed more of a unified flavor, with the creaminess melding into the fruit notes, and the fruit and flower notes becoming more seamless as well. It was the most relaxed of the three cups, more of a harmony of flavors that I found very enjoyable.
A truly unique Oolong, one that might challenge you to change how you think about green Oolong teas! I like this one a lot!