Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Silver Needle Tea Co. High Mountain Oolong

Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold

Earlier in the year I helped Lucy from +Silver Needle Tea Co. at NY NOW. While I loved her passion and beautiful packaging, what really sent me head over heels was her high mountain oolong. It was grown at a staggering elevation of 7,000 feet on Alishan. This is not a tea to drink when you are in a rush. Even with a rinse, the leaves barely opened after the first infusion. The taste started out sweet and buttery smooth with lingering floral notes. Enjoyable as that was it really came into its own on the second and third rounds. The floral notes became deeper, accompanied by a delicious creaminess. I really shouldn't drink teas like this before bed. It's not that the caffeine keeps me up but that I just simply won't lay down until the leaves have given their all. It would be a waste otherwise, right? Over the last few years rolled oolongs have been trending towards the radioactively green sort. They're just not my thing so I was really glad that this one was so well balanced. I've had this tea both western style and gongfu. It performed very well both ways but the gaiwan is always my go to.

High Mountain Oolong sample provided by Silver Needle Tea Co.