Wooloong Tea

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From American Roland Food Corp.

This was a surprise; I picked it up at a Korean store in Portland, Maine. It was 6 ounces for about $6. I have little information on it other than that it is an oolong tea from China; perhaps if I could read Chinese I could tell you more, as the tin has some Chinese characters on it too. The leaves are dark brown and tightly rolled, and unfurl greatly upon brewing. Although some of the leaves are broken, many of them are whole and the pieces of leaf are quite large.

This tea can be brewed many different ways. Roland recommends brewing 3-5 minutes with boiling water. I would recommend water just below boiling, as it brings out the complexity of the flavor more, but this tea can withstand boiling water. Brewed this way, this tea is bold, moderately bitter, and has a rich earthy quality with some floral and spicy tones in the aroma as well.

However, those prefering a more subtle flavor may want to brew this with 180 degree water--this yields a completely different tea, more like a Formosa Oolong...nutty, earthy, mellow, and smooth: very little bitterness or astringency.

If you let this tea brew too long, it takes on a very unpleasant astringency. I tried brewing for 8 minutes once and it was definitely too long. The tea is also very good for multiple infusions./p>

Bottom line? This is a great find. It's a versatile tea, and very reasonably priced given its complexity.


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