Monday, October 1, 2018
TEA REVIEW - Tanzania Oolong (Upton Tea Imports)
Let me say right off that this oolong tea stumped me. Although I am still working on obtaining my Tea Specialist certification, my senses are nowhere near as those of James Norwood Pratt or Jane Pettigrew. This Tanzania Oolong from Upton Tea Imports really got me - I am still trying to "decipher" the complex layers as I am typing out this review. But, like the Indonesian Green Tea I previously enjoyed by them, this one is quite good!
The scent of the tea is a cross of earthy, sweet, and minty. I kept shaking the bag and sniffing, wondering if I truly did smell the mint - every time, I did. The mint scent is milder than gum. When I brewed it, I accidentally let it over steep (bad habit of mine), yet when I poured a cup, I was surprised. The brewed tea smells earthy with that hint of mint. My first cup was light earthy with something that rolled underneath it. It took me at least five sips to figure it out and I think I have - it's the sweetness rolling undetected under the earthy taste. It was hard to put that part of the tea's taste into words, yet as I continued to roll the tea around in my mouth, the sweetness came forth. I could also taste the "oolong" part of the tea - if you've had an oolong tea before, you know what I'm talking about. It's not green and it's not black but rather right in the middle of both that is distinct of neither. The earthy taste was not repulsive at all as it was mild. Don't think of earthy as "dirt" but rather as "fresh" - kissed by the sun and pulled by hands that cared. So, the way that the tea works in your mouth is like this - earthy - oolong - sweet. You really don't need sugar or any kind of sweetener with this one. It works all on its own - that's how you know you've got a stellar cup of tea.
Much thanks again to Upton Tea Imports - I hope to review more of their tea!