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Se Chung

Ball and Chain Oolong Blend Tea from Indie Tea

IndieTea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Indie Tea

Tea Description:

“Till Death” Is Oolong Time, But When You Pair Together Lots Of Dates and Flowers, The Old Ball and Chain Might Actually Be A Lot More Fun.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  I love dates, but they are a fruit that I don’t partake of very often because … well, to be honest, I’m not sure why not.  I guess because when I find them in my usual “thrifty” grocery store, they don’t look very promising, and when I’m shopping at my higher end grocery store like Whole Foods or Chuck’s Produce, I don’t usually think about dates, because I usually go in there with a set list of items that I’m purchasing … and well, dates usually just are not on that list.

So, when I find a tea that is flavored with dates, like this Ball and Chain Oolong Blend Tea from Indie Tea, I get excited and want to try it!

And this is really a tasty blend!  The Se Chung Oolong is sweet and has a nice, roasty-toasty kind of flavor that melds really nicely with the flavor of  the Medjool dates.  There is a slight smokiness to the Se Chung … not an overpowering smoky tone, but just enough to keep things interesting.

There is also a stone fruit kind of flavor to the Oolong … and together with the smoky, toasty, nutty tone, it almost tastes like a roasted or grilled fruit.  Think fresh, juicy peaches that have been grilled to a slight char over smoky charcoal!  Yeah, now that sounds yummy, doesn’t it?

The date flavor is not an overpowering note – it doesn’t overwhelm the Se Chung Oolong … and that’s a good thing.  The date flavor is strong enough to taste that sweet, sugary note that is very “date-like.”  The flower petals do not add much to the flavor of this, in fact, there is very little floral tone to this at all.  If you slurp the sip enough to aerate the tea on the palate, you might notice the faintest whisper of a floral quality to the tea, but it is so very faint.  But, the date flavor and the smoky, toasted nut flavor of the Oolong is so tasty that you won’t miss the floral tones to this tea!  It’s quite nice just the way it is!

A really enjoyable Oolong blend … and another tea from Indie Tea that you should add to your shopping list!

Organic Se Chung Special Oolong from Frontier Co-Op

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Frontier Co-Op

Tea Description:

Oolong (English) or Wu Long (Chinese pinyin translation) tea is a partially oxidized tea and has flavor characteristics of both green and black teas. The fresh leaves are withered for one to two days and the leaves are then rolled to release enzymes (needed for the next step). Then the tea leaves are allowed to oxidize, although for a shorter period than for black tea, and the process is stopped before it is completed. The tea is fired (heated) to prevent further oxidation and to dry the tea. Oolong teas can vary significantly in flavor depending on when the oxidization process is interrupted having more of a green tea character if interrupted early in the process and more black tea character the longer oxidation continues.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is nice.  It reminds me a bit of an Oolong that might be served at a Chinese restaurant – nothing too fancy, just pure, delicious Oolong goodness.

Se Chung Oolong is a darker Oolong, which means that it has been oxidized for a longer period of time.  What I typically notice with the darker Oolong teas is that they tend to have a fruitier profile, while the greener Oolong teas tend to have more of a floral note to them.  This is true of this Oolong as well.  I taste a hint of sweet, fuzzy peaches in the background.

There is also a roasted, nutty kind of taste to this, as well as a warm earthy tone.  Because of this toasty kind of flavor, it gives the peach note an almost caramelized kind of sweetness.

Overall, I find this tea to be light and smooth, not too heavy or overwhelming, which is why I think it makes a good accompaniment to a meal – no powerful taste that will interfere with the flavor of the food.  This also makes a delicious iced tea because of its agreeable, amenable kind of taste.

A very pleasant tea, not as fancy as some, but, certainly nice to have on hand for times when you want to just sit and enjoy some refreshing Oolong tea.

Almond Blossom Oolong Tea from Frontier Co-Op

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Frontier Co-Op

Product Description:

Bold-leafed Se Chung Chinese oolong blended with sliced almonds. Subtle, nutty almond flavor nuance combines with light smoky character of the oolong to yield delicious toasted notes.

Taster’s Review:

I reviewed this tea previously, and I think I like it now just as much as I liked it then, if not more!  It’s so tasty!  The sweet, nutty taste of almond melds so nicely with the natural fruit notes of the Oolong.

The Oolong base is a dark Se Chung Oolong – most Se Chung Oolong teas tend to be on the greener side, but this Se Chung looks and tastes as though it’s been charcoal fired because of its distinct smoky note.  The smoky note is not an overwhelming one, but it’s there.  I enjoy how the smoky undertones unite with the flavor of the almond – almost as if they were made for one another.

The almond flavor is sweet and nutty, but I can also taste a subtle bitter almond taste as well.  Overall a very pleasant cup of tea.

Se Chung Oolong from Imperial Tea Garden

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Imperial Tea Garden

Company Description:

The best Chinese oolong teas come from the Wuyi Mountains in the Fujian Province.  This area is regarded as the “birthplace” of oolong tea.  The oolong process begins similar to black tea, but the leaves are given a much shorter
withering period.  The leaves are given a light roll, and allowed to oxidize only until the edges start to brown.  The tea is then fired which arrests the oxidization process and captures the interesting character associated with oolong tea.  Se Chung Oolong tea has a shorter fermentation time and therefore is categorized as a “green style” oolong tea.  Se Chung has a green and herbaceous flavor with
fruity characteristics.

Taster’s Review:

Oolong teas are a favorite of mine.  I think what I love so much about them is that there are so many different types of Oolong tea – and I’m not just talking about flavorings.  I’m talking about the way the Oolong tea is processed.  A light oxidation period will result in a very green Oolong, while a longer oxidation period will result in a dark Oolong.  A green Oolong tastes so much different from a dark Oolong and I find the differences to be intriguing.

The complexity of an Oolong as well as the mouthfeel that an Oolong imparts are also part of what makes Oolong teas so special for me. This Se Chung Oolong from Imperial Tea Garden is so wonderfully complex!

The sip begins with a roasty toasty taste that has a hint of smokiness to it as well.  The roasted flavor is somewhat nutty and sweet – with an almost honey-like undertone to it.  As the sip begins to develop on the palate, I can taste a slight vegetative quality that tastes a bit like roasted vegetables.  It is not at all grassy, but rather, a more developed kind of vegetal note with a lingering sweetness.

At the tail-end of the sip, I can taste a very distant floral note that mingles with a fruit-like quality.  “Peach-like” is a flavor that is often used to describe the fruit flavor of an Oolong, and that suits this Oolong as well, although I would describe that peach flavor to be more like a cooked/caramelized peach.

There is very little astringency to this cup.  The mouthfeel is light and silky, and because of the small amount of astringency, the mouthfeel manages to linger well after the sweet, nutty aftertaste.

A wonderful tea from Imperial Tea Garden!