Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Tao of Tea
From the famous oolong producing area of Anxi in Fujian, China. Sometimes the anxi oolongs are also refered to as “se zhong,” meaning a blend of several oolongs. The processing of this tea is quite similar to the more popular Tieguanyin oolong tea. Oolong teas range in their flavor and color spectrum from light green to dark. Tea merchants will refer this color spectrum to the level of oxidization in the tea leaves. Low (5% to 25%) oxidized teas are more green. Black Dragon is a 40 percent oxidized oolong. The leaves are tightly rolled into small pellets. When infused, the leaves unfold into their original state and provide many infusions.
Learn more about this tea here.
It’s Oolong time again. Of the different tea types … Oolong is right up there with my favorite. (Yellow tea is my #1 fave, but, Oolong comes in at a close second) But I do limit myself to one Oolong a day, usually, because I brew it in a gaiwan, and as much as I do enjoy my tea time and the act of brewing an Oolong, I just can’t devote that much time to the brewing process for more than one tea per day. I’ve got too much to do! That’s why I do love my Breville One-Touch, it takes much of the time that I’d need to spend babysitting my tea … it allows me to enjoy more tea and still do the things that I need to do.
But I digress, because I don’t brew an Oolong in my Tea Maker; Oolong teas definitely benefit from brewing in a gaiwan.
And this Black Dragon Oolong Tea from The Tao of Tea is absolutely lovely! It is sweet with a char-roasty kind of taste to it … it is somewhat mineral-y, with notes of wood. It is one of the more masculine Oolong teas that I’ve encountered. Earthy, with notes of sweet fruit (peach!) and while there are the faintest hints of flower in this first cup (which holds a combination of the first and second infusions), what I taste mostly are peach … and the charred notes give it kind of a roasted peach kind of flavor (Imagine grilling a peach over charcoal!)
The second cup (infusions 3 and 4) is quite different from the first! Now, I’m tasting less peach, and more floral notes. The peach notes are still present, but, not nearly as strong as in the first cup. This cup still has some of those mineral-y notes and the charred notes. It still has a warm, roasty-toasty kind of taste.
The third cup (infusions 5 and 6) is softer … not quite as focused as the first, nor as sharp as the second, here, the flavors have sort of come together in a united way to produce a really lovely, seamless flavor that is both fruit and flower, with a deep, earthy undertone.
A truly lovely Oolong – one that is definitely worth taking the time to put it through its paces! You should absolutely take the time to infuse this tea multiple times and get all the flavor you can from it.