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tea desire orange blossom oolong

January 6, 2010

Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea. Not exactly a green tea, but there is less oxidation allowed than for a black tea. So it is classified as semi-oxidized. The blend that I am steeping today is a mix of semi-fermented oolong tea and orange blossoms.

The dry tea has a strong perfume of fermented orange rind, I am detecting that scent very clearly. I smell a deep green, but not overwhelmingly vegetal fragrance, and it has an almost smoky characteristic to it.

Steeped is another story, the liquor is a beautifully translucent honey-orange color. The aroma is intoxicating, citrusy and floral, no smokiness as I detected in the nose of the dried form. Lovely. First sip: very orange-y, but warmly so, and not overpowering. There is definitely a strong floral aspect to this tea, which I am surprised to find that I enjoy, after tasting some god-awful display teas. As long as the  flavors are well balanced I think florals can be great flavor enhancers. This is a smooth drinking cup of tea.

Second steep: There is definitely a somewhat buttery aroma on this second steep, I could be wrong, but I think I’m picking that up. This cup is considerably more balanced, not as much of the orange and floral and more of the oolong. Considering what I have read about oolongs, I’m surprised I am not getting even a little smokiness, though I am getting a bit of pepper in the aroma and on the palate. Also, a little woodiness, and dare I say, vanilla? I’m not sure where that’s coming from, must be from the fermentation process of the tea.

I like this one. A lot.  This tasting has gotten me very excited to try some more oolongs. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.

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