Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tea from Vietnam Ta Oolong

Country of Origin: Vietnam
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold

I recently received a batch of several samples from Tea from Vietnam but this one really grabbed my attention right away. The package explained that Ta is rare variety of tea that is native to the country of Vietnam. Say what? Their website explains that it became less popular with farmers because it is has lower yields and pest resistance than other varieties. I think it is really important to preserve the genetic diversity of Camellia Sinensis so thankfully it has not died out yet. The unfurled leaves were large and strikingly beautiful. I was immediately struck by the heady floral aromas. Orchid and lily danced around a honey-like sweetness. There was a bit of a nutty element that reminded me of a nicely roasted Taiwanese oolong. Later rounds brought out a crisp vegetal note that reminded me of fresh baby spinach. I did at least six consecutive infusions but the leaves definitely could have given a few more. Although it was fairly light bodied I wouldn't say that the tea was thin or weak by any means.

Ta Oolong sample provided by Tea from Vietnam.