ITFA Global Tea Taster’s Club, December’s Shipment, Part 3: Oolong Tea

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Produced By PT Harendong Green Farm

For More Information, visit the Tea Farms webpage

About ITFA Global Tea Taster’s Club:

By subscribing to the Global Tea Tasters Club, you will receive tea from ITFA tea farms 6 times per year. Each time, we will select a different region to feature and as we grow in tea farm members, so will your tea experience.

Your tea will also be accompanied by info about the tea and the tea farms themselves.

To know where your tea is coming from, who has grown and produced it, to taste the difference in teas from around the world…what could be better?

Taster’s Review:

December’s Shipment from ITFA was unique in a couple of ways.  First, it was teas from Indonesia, and I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to try teas from Indonesia prior to receiving this package.  Second, it was unique because all three teas were from the same farm:  PT Harendong Green Farm.

So far, I’ve reviewed for you two of the three teas I received from December’s Shipment:  the Black Tea (aka Red Tea) and the Green Tea, and I enjoyed both of those quite a bit.  Now, I’m reviewing the third and final tea in December’s Shipment:  the Oolong!

And this is unlike any Oolong I have ever tasted.  Dry, the tea looks very much like a Tie Guan Yin with its tightly wound, deep green pellets.  But it doesn’t smell like a Tie Guan Yin.  This one smells fruity and a little floral before steeping, and the brewed tea smells a bit vegetal, losing much of the fruit and flower notes that I noticed prior to infusing the leaves.

The flavor is also different.  It has a smooth vegetative taste with sharp floral tones in the background.  The contrast between these two flavors is quite compelling.  The vegetative flavor is earthy and somewhat reminiscent of fresh herbs, and this herbaceous taste lingers in the aftertaste.  The floral tones are sharp yet sweet.  The finish is dry with strong astringency at the start of the cup, and as I continue to sip, I notice that this astringency seems to taper. In subsequent infusions, the fruit tones develop, and I notice a juicy taste that begins to emerge as the astringency wanes.

I really enjoyed this memorable journey to Indonesia by way of tea, and I’ve been so honored to take part in the Global Tea Taster’s Club.  I look forward to what the next shipment might have in store!

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