I’m always excited to try teas from unusual or new growing regions. Chicago Tea Garden is the first company in the United States to sell Zealong, the only tea that is produced in New Zealand. It is grown naturally without the use of chemical fertilizers. The dry leaves resembled a typical hand rolled oolong and had a strong, woodsy aroma. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 195 degree water and 40 second infusions. The liquor was bright and brassy in color.
The first infusion was sweet and somewhat floral with a thick mouth feel. Each subsequent infusion brought out subtle changes in the flavor profile that really made this tea a great experience. The second infusion became fruitier and some smokiness appeared in the third that had not been there before. I thought the smoky notes were interesting since this particular oolong is not roasted. This tea is a great example of why oolongs are my favorite type of tea. I would definitely recommend this tea.