Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas
Our Nilgiri Frost Oolong originates from Nilgiri, in Southern India and is graded TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe). Since this tea is grown at a high elevation, the leaves are exposed to a light frost during some nights of the winter months. The long thin chocolate colored leaves are hand twisted and produce a weighty body. This smooth tea has notes of citrus, peach, pecan, and oak. There are many qualities similar to a Nilgiri black tea; however, the frost oolong is much gentler and sweeter. This tea is produced in very limited quantities due to the short harvest period and special conditions that must exist.
Learn more about this tea here.
In some ways this tea reminds me more of a black tea than an oolong, which isn’t a bad thing as it is nice to have a little of both worlds sometimes. Not floral like many oolong, this tea is deep and robust. It has levels of flavors ranging from light and fruity to deep and woodsy.
Like many black teas there is also an astringency that I often do not find in oolong tea. This astringency is not a bad thing either – not bitter but a slight sour note, not as in sour milk of course but more like in sweet fruity candies with sour sugar sprinkled on top.
The dry leaf is dark and mysterious with twists and curls through out. It looks perfect for this time of year where the leaves are changing colors and Halloween is around the corner. Sort of spooky in its visual effect. Wet, the leaf unfurls and colors of amber brown and deep green appear. The liquid color is reddish amber.
Notes of oak, peach, and nutty pecan peek through in the flavors.
Some mornings I am not sure if I want an oolong even as much as I adore oolong, I just need a black tea to get me started, yet this tea seems to lay somewhere in the middle for me. Its perfect when I crave an oolong but need the black tea mind and energy boost! Quite honestly, even with as many oolong as I drink and as much as I love my oolong tea, this would have been difficult for me to detect as an oolong had I not known before sipping. I could have easily been fooled, especially early in the morning to believe it was a black tea.
Truly this Oolong is different, and if you consider yourself an oolong connoisseur, you certainly should try it, simply for the experience of something so different. If you love your black teas but are curious about oolong this is the one to try. Or, if you are like me, and love both but are not quite sure on some mornings which to grab and steep – get this one and solve that problem right away!