Apricot Oolong from Octavia Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Octavia Tea

Company Description:

A favorite among connoisseurs, oolong teas (often pronounced “Wu-Long”) are semi-oxidized and express characteristics in-between green and black teas. The leaves are usually brownish in color, large in appearance and produce a very aromatic, smooth and complex brew.

The cultivation and manufacture of classic oolong tea is restricted to Southeastern China and the island of Taiwan.  Often, different tea estates have their preferred ways of making oolong.  It is because of the intricacy of this process that oolong teas can have the widest array of flavors and aromas.  High quality oolongs are among the world’s most expensive teas.

During production, leaves are tossed in bamboo baskets to lightly bruise their edges, releasing enzymes that react with oxygen.  With oolong tea, the outer part of the leaf is allowed to oxidize, but the center is kept green.  Some oolongs are more oxidized and closer in character to black teas, with amber-colored infusions and notes of dark chocolate, fruit and roasted sugar.  Other oolongs are less oxidized and are closer to green tea, with a lighter body, floral aromatics and golden green infusions.

In terms of health benefits, oolong is said to reduce plaque in the arteries, lower cholesterol, boost metabolism and aid weight-loss.  Research conducted in Japan, China and Taiwan reports that regular consumption of oolong tea is linked to the reduction of cholesterol and the lowering of blood sugar.  Its reputation as a safe, daily slimming and dieter’s tea in Southeastern Asia has been widespread for hundreds of years.

Taster’s Review:

This is a new tea from Octavia Tea … so new, in fact, that at the time of the writing of this review, the tea had not yet been introduced on Octavia Tea’s website.

In a word, this tea is YUMMY!  But, I doubt you came here just to read one word… so, I will illuminate further on this tea.

The aroma is very strong.  It is fruity and flowery, and it is hard to say which is strongest.  It smells like an apricot tree in bloom!  The fragrance of the brewed tea is not quite as fruity or flowery, but there is a deep, earthy quality with hints of apricot and honeysuckle.

The flavor is smooth.  The peach-like quality of the Oolong tea, together with the apricot flavoring and the Osmanthus in the blend creates a rich apricot/peach flavor.

The Oolong tea is a darker Oolong, which means that it’s been oxidized longer than the “greener” Oolong teas.  The longer oxidation period deepens the flavor of the Oolong… it is not as buttery and vegetative as a green Oolong might be.  Instead, it is fruit-like with a deep, nutty quality.  The mouthfeel isn’t quite as thick as a green Oolong, but it is smooth and silky.

This tea would be delightful served hot or iced.  Because of the deeper flavor of the Oolong, the flavor won’t be lost in the chill.  The natural sweetness of the fruit and tea means that this tea doesn’t need additional sweetener, but, if you don’t mind adding a drizzle of agave nectar, you might notice that this enhances the fruit notes.

I really like this tea.  Very refreshing and delicious!

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