Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea Mania
This Oolong originates from Doi Mae Salong and is also known as GABA Tea. This because of its high GABA. Oolong Black Pearls is a hand-picked and rolled Oolong # 12 which was oxidized 100%. Therefore, it’s a black tea too. But, the flavor isn’t bitter like some black tea. It’s more floral and honey-like. Quite comparable with a Darjeeling. The preparation is classic Oolong style: Rinse, first a short infusion, second infusion a bit longer, third infusion even longer, etc. Can also be infused cold as ice tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’m always excited to try teas from new-to-me companies, like this Oolong Black Pearls tea from Tea Mania. And what a delightful tea this is!
The tightly wound leaves look like a green Oolong (and like the picture above) but, they are much darker in color. I think that perhaps the website has the wrong photo linked for the tea … these leaves are much darker, reminiscent of a rich chocolate color. They are quite fragrant with lovely floral tones.
It is very flavorful … and I agree with the above description. The flavor is quite similar to a Darjeeling, but the body and texture is a bit thicker, more like an Oolong. There is no bitterness whatsoever, it is sweet … sweet like honey!
There are lovely floral notes to the flavor, but they are not as prolific as in a greener Oolong. This has more of a fruity note to it, reminiscent of a ripe, juicy apricot. For those who tend to shy away from the greener Oolong teas because of their strong floral essence, I think that you’ll find this Oolong to be more to your liking … it’s much more like fruit than it is like flower. There are still floral notes there, and I find them to be more pronounced if you slurp the cup to aerate the tea over the palate. I find these floral tones complement the fruit tones and they enhance the sweet honey notes as well.
There are subtle hints of earth to the flavor as well as slight woody notes. It’s really quite complex, with so many delicious layers of flavor to discover. A really wonderful Oolong – I’m so glad I got to try it – and it’s one I’m happy to recommend to all the Oolong enthusiasts out there!