Oolong Extra Fancy (TT36)
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From Upton Tea
This is the second-highest grade of the 70% oxidized Taiwanese Oolongs offered by Upton.
This tea is appreciably different from the lower grades, which in my opinion, are more or less similar to each other. This one makes a break into a new level of complexity and subtlety which, for better or for worse, corresponds to a similar break in price. The aroma is much more complex, warm, mellow, wholesome, inviting. Tones of spice and gingerbread, some delicate floral tones. The flavor is smooth, and this tea has a very clean aftertaste. There are hints of the dust-like tones charateristic of a good Pu-erh, but it lacks the bolder earthy tones common to many Oolongs. No bitterness or sourness whatsoever, and only the faintest hint of astringency, which vanishes into a smooth finish. A hint of sweetness throughout. A subtle tea. This tea gives you a warm feeling and leaves a tingly sensation in your mouth. There is a cinnamon-like quality to the aroma that I dislike. And although the tea is very rich and full-bodied, I would appreciate more boldness...it is a bit too mellow at times.
Upton recommends 1.5 teaspoons per cup, and brewing 3-4 min. with 190 degree water. I found this to be good advice. I have not tried brewing it another way.
This tea, in my opinion, is one example of getting what you pay for. It is expensive, at 80 grams for $12.80. Is it worth it? It depends. If you like subtle teas, it might be.