Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Temple Road
Inspired from the power, strength, and courage of the Tiger Warrior Monk in the great and millennial tradition of Chinese martial arts, the distinct woody and smoky aromas of this triple roast, medium fermentation, high mountain oolong tea combine with exquisite balance to create this strong, rugged yet smooth taste.
Learn more about this tea here.
Toast! That’s the first word that came to my mind when I took my first sip of this Tiger Monk Roasted Oolong Tea from Temple Road. The triple roasting of this Oolong resulted in a really delightful, roasty-toasty flavor that reminds me of toast … but not just any toast that would pop out of the standard kitchen toaster. This toast reminds me of something that you might have while out camping. The kind of toast that you would brown over a campfire.
I used a slightly smaller gaiwan when I brewed this tea today, so, I was able to fit three infusions in my cup. The combination of the first three infusions (following a 15 second rinse) created my first cup of this tea. I noticed a sweet woodsy tone that contrasted with the slight char/mineral notes that the roasting imparted. The flavor is very smooth, and there is not a lot of astringency to this cup.
There is a creaminess to this tea as well and I like the way the cream plays with the roasty-toasty nutty flavors. It reminds me of flavors you’d taste at breakfast. Very rustic but also sweet.
The second cup (infusions 4, 5 and 6) offered more of those delicious roasty-toasty-nutty notes, and I discovered some fruit notes that began to emerge … peach? Yes, I think it is a little peach-like, but that doesn’t quite nail it. The wood notes meld with these peach-y flavors and create a new “sweet” kind of flavor that I don’t recall encountering in an Oolong tea before. It’s really unique and captivating.
The aforementioned “char” notes (like charcoal) are still there too, as are the mineral-ish type notes. Still rustic, still sweet … but this cup is definitely different from the first. I don’t think I could pick a favorite though, because both are lovely.
I decided to see what kind of flavors a third cup would produce, so I went ahead and infused this tea three more times! This cup was considerably smoother and more mellow. It has become sort of “expected” with my third cup of Oolong that the flavors become melded and seamless, and that has happened here. I still get some of those smoked notes, and some of the charcoal-y/mineral-y notes that were in the previous two cups. The peach notes are clearer here.
This is a really excellent Oolong! If you like roasted Oolong teas – this tea should be at the top of your Must Try list!