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safa himalaya jade oolong

March 28, 2010

Safa Himalaya is a company based in Vancouver, BC and is owned by Mark Jackson and Susan Bergin. They have a passion for sourcing high quality tea from “the top of the world”, the Himalayas. This area of the world is a relatively small producer of tea, so these teas are rare and unique. I am excited to try the Jade Oolong from their fine collection.

The dry leaf is sweet smelling and fresh. With a hint of floral character and a touch of spice, this tea’s fragrance is warm and inviting.

The infusion is a light yellow and quite aromatic, yet delicately so. There is a bit of lilac, ripe fruit and crisp mountain air. The flavor, while not strong, is complex and echoing. There are characteristics of orchids and juicy grapes, and a lingering sweetness in the finish that is topped off by a little, pleasant bite of astringency. Surprisingly, I find a strong presence of stone fruit aromas and flavors in this tea, like fresh peach and apricot, and even a tropical fruit note in the background.

This really reminds me of a kind of white tea/Oolong hybrid, in its flavor profile and in the appearance of the dry leaf. It has been processed in the Oolong style, and classified as such, but call me crazy, I am tasting Pai Mu Tan, Silver Needle and lightly oxidized Oolong, along with this tea’s own unique flavor.  I was expecting certain flavors that I didn’t get from this tea, and I found flavors I never expected to be there.

I love it when a tea surprises me.

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