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It’s a Thai Oolong…but not really

November 15, 2010

Today’s Tea: Ruan Zhi Oolong from Upton Teas

Sipped by: caclob

Most oolongs in the world are from Fujian or Taiwan.  This tea from Upton is actually from Thailand.  Why would I be drinking a Thai Oolong?  Since the Formosa (Taiwanese) tea style  is very popular, the demand is so high that teas have to come from other areas as well.  This Thai grown tea is made and grown in a traditional Formosa style, so despite its unique location, it has a well established pedigree.

This oolong is pressed in the less common of the two oolong shapes.  It’s rolled into a ball, rather than the curly dragon-like shape often seen.  When steeped at 190˚F for 3 minutes, the leaves unfurl to show a lovely whole tea leaf,  green and gorgeous.  The tea has a very vegetal taste, which I find unusual for oolongs.  Oolongs tend to have a more roasted flavor generally, but this one tastes very much like a strong green tea.  But before someone claims that it is just a weird green tea, it does have the strong, slightly better taste that oolongs require.  It’s just grassier than normal.

The tea is a dark greeny-brown color and steeps quickly.  The tea leaves can also be resteeped at least once more, which I always like for economical reasons.  It doesn’t need milk or sugar, and honestly, it might taste a bit weird with milk and sugar.

Overall, I like this tea quite a bit.  The grassy flavor is refreshing, but not too delicate either.  Great tea for drinking during the work day.

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