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cha cha tea yuzu oolong

February 5, 2010

One of the things I love most about Oolong is its ability to remain delicately complex even in the presence of intense flavorings. While a great Oolong needs little else but water to blow you away, every now and again, it’s cool to shake it up a bit. This Oolong from Cha Cha Tea is scented with Yuzu, an Asian citrus fruit, similar to grapefruit. Cha Cha Tea is a great company owned by Maleah Moskoff and is based in Madison, Wisconsin. They have a fantastic online store with an amazing selection. From green, white and black tea to Matcha and Pu’erh. And some beautiful and very useful tea ware as well.

I’ve been waiting all day to try this particular Oolong.

The Yuzu Oolong is composed of very large rolled leaves, larger than most of the Oolongs I have encountered. Intriguing. The dry leaf smells of intense grapefruit, grenadine soaked lemon, hints of pineapple and candied ginger. This is uber-citrus.

The tea liquor is a light yellow and very fragrant. I sense the exotic floral bouquet of the Oolong right away, accented by the yuzu, which tames quite a bit by steeping. Wafts of orange blossom, orchid and citrus rind envelop my senses and energize me (even though it’s after midnight!). A subtle vegetal aroma balances it all. It’s a powerful combination. All the complexities of a good Oolong, with a bold citrus perfume.

The flavor is heavenly. A medium bodied brew with bright grapefruit notes and a strong, but not overpowering floral component.   Tropical flavors like ripe mango and lychee linger on the finish, which lasts and lasts. The fifth steep is as good as the first (maybe even better), the flavor and color holds up really well to multiple infusions. I think I could steep this six times or more quite easily. And it would make fantastic iced tea.

I am amazed by the appearance of the wet leaf too. Each of the large bundles unfurls into the classic “two leaves and a bud” formation. One tablespoon of the dry leaf expands many sizes, nearly filling my BREWT infuser.

I would recommend this tea to anyone who loves Oolongs AND to the tea snobs who snub flavored teas. You will love this one. The Yuzu Oolong from Cha Cha Tea is high quality leaf and has tremendous flavor and complexity.

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