Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Life in Teacup
Production Year: 2011
Production Season: Spring
Production Region: Fujian Province, Yongchun County
Learn more about this tea here.
This is a very interesting tea for me, one that I was very excited to try. Oolong tea is one of my favorite tea types, and if you’ve read very many of my tea reviews or tasting notes, you’re probably also aware of my love for bergamot.
I brewed this as I usually would an Oolong – in my gaiwan using short steeps. I started with 45 seconds, and increased each subsequent infusion by 15 seconds. I then combine two infusions into one tea cup.
The first two infusions, I found myself searching earnestly for the bergamot flavor. I could taste the flavor of the Oolong, certainly, with a lovely vegetative flavor and hints of floral. It is a remarkably smooth Oolong with very little astringency. It is a delicious Oolong, and there are hints of a citrus tone in the distance, but, it is not a strong, palpable flavor.
By the third and fourth infusions, the bergamot was more apparent. Still not a strong presence, but certainly more evident than in the first two infusions. The flavor was tangy and citrus-y but also pleasantly floral. The Oolong had become even smoother than the first cup, with much of its vegetative taste melding with the other flavors of the tea to create a very harmonious, seamless taste.
With the fifth and sixth infusions, the bergamot was stronger than the second cup, but, this is still not an Earl Grey kind of bergamot where the flavor is very obvious. It is more like the essence of the bergamot fruit, and I appreciate that it offers a different perspective on the bergamot. This cup seems to focus more on the bergamot and less on the Oolong, with the soft mouthfeel being the most distinct characteristic from the Oolong.
A very lovely tea experience … from start to finish. I like that it surprised and challenged me as a tea taster, and that it gave me a different look at a fruit that I had become very familiar with … but, now I realize it was in a very limited way. This has opened my mind and eyes to the beauty of bergamot.