Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea
In the Nilgiri District of Central India, the Blue Mountains are the home of the Burnside Estate Tea Farm. Every January, after the first frost of the year coats the young buds, this estate harvests the pekoe leaves and creates several varieties of tea from them, including this outstanding extra long wirey oolong. By combining mountain elevations, which encourages the trees to draw nutrients from the soil, an early harvest, which encourages lightness and clarity in the brew, and then by twisting the oolong tea leaves into stretched out “wires,” Burnside has created a loose leaf tea that can boast incredible body and intensity, while keeping astringency to a minimum. Sweeter than any other oolong, this Burnside Estate leaf will provide you with some of the strongest expressions of pure tea flavor that you will ever find!
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve been reviewing so many flavored Matcha from Red Leaf Tea in the last few months that you might have forgotten that they also sell tea other than Matcha, too!
This Oolong is different from other Oolong teas that I’ve tried. The dry leaves are just as the name implies: long and wiry. They are dark in color, indicating to me that this is a darker Oolong, and generally with darker Oolong teas I tend to expect more of a fruitier taste than a flowery one, and that is true here. This does have a fruity character, but, where it’s different is the way the fruit notes present themselves.
Ordinarily, when I say fruit, I refer to a sweet tasting flavor that tastes similar to some sort of fruit. (I know, duh! right?) But, here, I taste sort of a sweet-and-sour taste that reminds me a bit of a slightly under-ripe plum, with hints of a peachy-apricot-y flavor in the background. There is a vivid contrast between the sweet and sour.
I taste faint notes of floral tones to this as well, and while these floral notes seem to intensify as I continue to sip, they never seem to become a strong flavor of this tea. There are woodsy notes to this as well as a faint earthiness. These flavors also seem to come out a little more in subsequent infusions, but never really become a strong flavor of this tea.
I like the complexity of this. In one sip, I’ll notice a hint of honey-like flavor, in the next, my palate seems to linger over the sour notes. It’s really quite beautiful: light, crisp and tasty!