Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Arum Tea
Full sweet taste with floral fragrance with the hint of honey.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve tasted several different Indonesian teas over the years, but most of the teas from Indonesia that I’ve tried have been either green or black teas, I can’t recall having tried an Oolong from Indonesia! So when my package from Arum Tea arrived today, this was the first tea that I tried.
The tea is packaged in tins with simple yet handsome labeling. I like that the tin has a tight fitting lid and inside the tea was in a vacuum sealed pouch, ensuring a fresh product.
The dry leaf looks a lot like a Tie Guan Yin (perhaps a lightly roasted Tie Guan Yin). The individual leaves have been tightly wound into pellets. I measured out one bamboo scoop of the leaves into my gaiwan and using 180°F water, I performed a 15 second rinse before I infused the leaves for 45 seconds. I strained the tea and then infused the leaves a second time for 1 minute. Both of these infusions were combined into one teacup.
The leaves seem to open similarly to a Tie Guan Yin as well – that is to say, they open very slowly! These leaves are waiting for more infusions!
But first, I need to sit back and enjoy this first cup.
The aroma wafting from my cup is floral, reminiscent of orchid. The flavor is sweet – like honey! The honey is a top note, and just below that sweet honey taste I taste notes of roasted nuts and hints of flower. The sweetness remains on the palate from start to finish and lingers into the aftertaste.
It’s a very satisfying taste. The floral notes are not sharp and they are more like a note in the distance … like the air that filters through a far off meadow and then is delivered to you through a gentle breeze. You can experience those flowers but that essence mingles with a fresh airiness.
Those floral notes emerged in the second cup (the combination of infusions 3 and 4). The tea is still sweet but a bit more crisp and slightly astringent. This cup is not so much honey-esque, the sweetness comes from the flower and the sweet nutty tones that are still very much a part of the flavor of this tea. As the cup cools slightly, the honey notes begin to come forward.
Interestingly enough, I found the honey notes to be at their sweetest for the third cup (infusions 5 and 6). With this cup, the floral notes begin to meld with the nutty flavors and this creates a rather sweet taste as well. The flavors are not sharp. The astringency is mild. This cup is smooth and sweet, sweet, sweet!
Given how much I enjoyed the third cup, I decided to try for one more cup to see how it goes. The fourth cup (infusions 7 and 8) was quite similar to the second cup. The honey notes seemed somewhat muted until the cup cooled a bit, but that gave me a chance to explore the floral notes and the nutty flavors that are now much more a unified flavor. Sweet with both floral and nutty tones and the honey notes coming out to play as the temperature dropped a little. This cup was still so flavorful and refreshing!
This tea is absolutely lovely and I’m really glad that I had this amazing opportunity to try it. I would recommend this to any Oolong lover (especially those of you who love Tie Guan Yin) because it’s a little different … a change of pace. It is familiar enough to a Tie Guan Yin but also deliciously different to keep things exciting for the palate.