Tindharia Estate Green Oolong (TD90)
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From Upton Tea
This is a green oolong from the Darjeeling district of India. It is produced through a complex process. The leaves are wiry and bulky, taking up a lot of space relative to their weight. The dry leaves are only weakly aromatic.
The brewed tea is very clear, and brownish green color. I find this tea to have little aroma but a lot of flavor. It is only a bit bitter but seems to be fairly heavily caffeinated. The initial taste is tangy, almost pleasantly sour, and it leaves a tingly sensation on the tongue, and a moderate astringency in the aftertaste. The aroma is overall nondescript: slightly vegetal, tones of asparagus. Any subtlety in the aroma is bowled over by the very bold flavor. I also don't find the aroma terribly pleasant.
This tea is quite unique. It does not even remotely resemble any of the green oolongs I have had from China or Taiwan. It bears a bit more similarity (but not much) to some green whole-leaf Darjeelings I've tried.
Upton recommends brewing this at a very low temperature of 160 degrees, for 3 minutes, using 1.5 teaspoons of leaves per cup of water. Brewed this way, it's drinkable. Brew it too hot (even moderate temperatures as you would for a typical oolong) and it acquires an unpleasant aroma, like overcooked broccoli. I have found this tea to be good for two infusions. The second infusion, surprisingly, retains the bold flavor, including the same tanginess, tingly sensation, and lingering astringency. Any later attempts yielded a watery cup with little aroma or flavor.
Bottom line? Interesting, and perhaps worth trying, but overall I'm not impressed. Some people may really like this, but it's not aromatic enough for me, and I don't particularly care for what aroma there is. It's precariously difficult to brew well, and even then, it has some unpleasant qualities. It's also quite pricey.