Thursday, June 10, 2010

Upton - Se Chung

Alex inspired my interest in this tea. There are a few reasons I wanted to try it.
First, it is (probably) an Anxi oolong, which I do love.
Second, it is cheap.
Third, he talked it up very nicely.

I trust his opinion.

The tea's aroma hit me right as I opened the bag. It is a powerful scent.
Roses are complimented by a nice mixture of cream and a soft woody note.
I do not know if it is just me, but there is a light musty smell to it. It was not bad, but it was there.

The first infusion;
it smells of lemon and peach.
The taste is quite sweet and smooth. Not surprisingly, peaches and lemon grass are found on the palate.
It finishes with a robust roasted taste.

The second infusion;
floral, buttery and roasted tastes come through.
There is not too much depth in this brew.

the floral notes are almost overpowering. A taste of wheat is shown on the finish.
The infusion is very delicate though, despite the strong rose taste.

the flavors are starting to flatten out.
The texture keeps me interested. It is velvety with a light astringency.
It is a "typical" oolong flavor.

it reminds me of cucumber. The taste is somewhat like a tung ting mid roast.
The floral attribute is still there, but not overbearing.

a straight roast flavor.
This tea, for me, is finished.

This was a very enjoyable tea, but the roast was a bit much for me. I do not think it was bad by any means, just a bit much for a lighter oxidized tea.
I think this tea's endurance could have been a bit better, but for the price, it is excellent.
It is a nice blend of mid quality oolongs.
Some of the leaves are pretty rough and there are some stems but I think they add a level of complexity to a somewhat simple tea.
It is a wonderful everyday oolong and a great introduction into the vast flavors of oolong teas.
I see why you enjoy it, Alex.



  1. I'm flattered that you trust my opinions, and I hope this tea lived up to your expectations.

    I think your description of this tea really fits with how I experience it too. I do notice the slight musty quality. I named a skunky quality in the aroma as well. I think this is part of what I like about this is rather coarse. What I like about this tea most though, is its richness and strength. I am often unsatisfied with a lot of mid-priced greener oolongs as they tend to be thin-bodied...all aroma and little depth. I have yet to try any greener oolong that is simultaneously lighter (without the heavier roast like you describe) and full-bodied, even though I've tried some truly high-end teas that live up to both.

    What steeping times did you use for this? Do you use the same times for most oolongs?

  2. Alex,

    Most green oolongs are centered around bringing out aroma. Baozhong is a good example. That tea is sometimes primarily drunk for the aromatic experience. I like a good mix of both in my teas. This tea is VERY good quality for the price. It is an easy drinker.
    Usually for my oolongs, I make the gong fu style. For this one, I filled the small pot about 1/4 full of leaves.
    1st infusion - about 15 seconds
    2nd infusion - about 13 seconds
    3rd infusion - about 20 seconds
    4th infusion - about 30 seconds
    Increase by ten seconds for every infusion after that.
    And the time really depends on the type of oolong that is being prepared.
    Thank you for your comments and the wonderful suggestion on this tea!