Moving down the Zealong lineup, I am confronted with our next contender:
This tea is a lightly roasted, Taiwanese style oolong.
Let us begin...
The dry leaf fills my nose with hints of bananas, sweet butternut squash and a mild roast.
I am assuming this is a 2010 tea, and having such a long resting period, I think, benefited the leaves, at least for my palate.
The aroma of the infusion and the resulting liquor were quite similar, almost indistinguishable.
Roasted plantain with a hint of sage and agave nectar.
The same butternut squash layer I found in the dry leaf was again evident in the infused leaf and the brew itself.
The aspect that most interests me is the banana/plantain resemblance. I have only found that in one other tea that I can remember: Taiwan WuYi.
Having a memory bank of tastes and attributing them to certain teas is a concept that interests me. I have heard that memory itself is most heavily linked to the olfactory system. Or put differently; smells trigger the memory (and recurrence of past events) faster than any other sense of the human body.
The taste is clean and light.
It possesses a cucumber taste that I normally find in Dong Ding oolongs (again my memory bank is flooding with past Dong Ding and Tung Ting tastings).
There is a subtle roasted flavor that cleanses the palate and makes way for a wonderfully delicate vegetal finish.
The roast in this tea does not detract from the overall flavor profile, but does well in adding another dimension to the tea; another layer of interest to take hold of.
This tea is well balanced and well produced, as can be seen by the infused leaf.
I did enjoy this tea better than the Pure, but that is most likely due to the fact that a roasted tea can take age with ease.
Despite my previous post, I would like to say that Zealong teas are by no means bad. I may have just been expecting more than they delivered. I feel as though the 2011 teas will be quite fantastic!
Interview: Joseph Uhl of Joseph Wesley Tea
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