Smoked Maple Oolong Tea from Shanti Tea

smoked-mapleTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Shanti Tea

Tea Description:

A lightly smoky blend of dark oolong and maple, a best-selling breakfast Oolong.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oolong is not a tea that I would ordinarily think of as a “breakfast tea” but this tea changes things up a bit for me and is making me think a little outside of the box.  While it isn’t quite as hefty as, say, an Assam or a Yunnan tea, the Oolong base of this blend is a robust, full-bodied tea that would make a really nice alternative to the typical breakfast tea.

And did I mention the delightful maple-y note to this?  Mm-mm!

Even though this is a flavored Oolong, I decided to brew it the way I would typically brew an Oolong:  in my gaiwan.  I combined the first two infusions to create my first cup, and it’s a cupful of gently smoked, maple-y joy!  The dark Oolong base is smooth and lightly smoked.  It has a rich, buttery undertone with nutty mid-notes.  There is some dry astringency to the cup that arrives toward the finish.

The rich, flavorful Oolong melds really nicely with the sweet, maple notes.  It has a really delightful flavor that’s smoky and sweet and tastes just like breakfast in a teacup!  It’s really good.

With my second cup (infusions 3 and 4), I started to notice less of the maple notes while other flavors began to emerge.  I noticed the nutty flavors of the first cup were a little stronger this time, and I started to notice a hint of peach to the background.  The smoky tones were still present but not quite as powerful this time.

The third cup (infusions 5 and 6) was a very smooth tasting cup.  It tasted lighter though, reminiscent of a Oriental Beauty now, but with hints of smoke.  The maple notes are quite distant now, and almost indistinct.  The smoke notes are not nearly as strong as they were in the first and second cup, but there are still “wisps” of smoke to this.  I still taste notes of fruit and nut, but, these are also quite a bit softer than they were in the previous cup.

Overall, a really flavorful cup.  The first two infusions would make a really nice alternative to the standard breakfast tea, with the subsequent infusions tasting lighter and making a nice way to transition from the stronger cup of tea in the morning to the lighter taste in the afternoon.

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