Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: KTeas
Single-Estate tea: Volcano Tea Garden – Farm Collective; Growing elevation: 3600′, Volcano Village, Hawaii USA
Artfully consistent leaves are vibrantly colored with slightly oxidized edges. Elusive and complex flavor in the cup with a sophisticated, delicate, pale yellow infusion.
Learn more about this tea here.
One of the things I love most about Oolong teas is that I’m always surprised by them. Just when I think I might know what to expect from an Oolong, something like this Mauka Oolong from KTeas comes along and surprises me with it’s unique flavor profile, and it is quite unlike anything I’ve tried before.
I steeped this in my gaiwan, using short steep times to extract multiple infusions. My first cup – the combined result of the first and second infusions – was intensely flavored. There was a pungent fruit note that was both sweet and sour. I could also taste a resinous pine flavor. The flavor was very crisp and almost sharp, but not in an off-putting way. It was very intriguing, and like I said previously, it was quite unlike any Oolong I had tasted before.
The second cup (infusions three and four) had become smoother, and I noticed that the sweet and sour fruit flavor that I tasted before was still present, although the sweet and sour tones had mellowed and sort of morphed into a unified flavor. Still sweet and still sour, but, more seamless this time. The resinous pine note has dissipated, and has been replaced with a woodier note.
The third cup (infusions five and six) is smoother still, with a honey-esque sweetness emerging that I had not experienced in the first and second cup. That sweetness has washed over the aforementioned sour notes and softened them. There is a crispness to this cup, but not so much a sharp note as before. Everything is softer … silkier. As I near the end of the cup, I begin to recognize notes of papaya.
An interesting Oolong, indeed. If you love Oolong, you must try this one! You’ll be happy you did.