Thursday, October 8, 2009

2009 Margaret's Hope Estate Oolong 2nd Flush Darjeeling


This is something one has never tried before- an oolong from India. Let's tear open the foil pack and see what it's all about...

The dry leaves are a mix of colour from distinct whites, greens, and browns. They smell very light with a touch of that infamous musketel mixed with faint cloudy chocolate raisin.

The leaves embrace ceramic and water fills the pot. The lid covers the transformation inside. When the time is right the resulting infusion leaves the pot and makes its way into cracked ceramic cups. Cups to lips.
This tea is very smooth. It is light with a juicy feel- a mild stimulation that takes a while to develop in the mouth. It is full of flavour as soft sour tones approach sweet. Soft raisin is left in the mouth.

Another infusion allows the raisin tones to become more pronounced. The juiciness evolves into manageable bitterness that cloaks the flavour and drys out the tongue. This tea is light and cheery but lacks a deep bottom.

As more water is put through, a flowery taste becomes prominent especially in the aftertaste. The tea loses taste but still has that bitter bite and fullish dry feel.

This tea becomes thinner and thinner as the session rolls along. It gets a bit chalky in the mouth, choosing to stay mostly in the front of the mouth. Some noticeable fruity and flower tones still hang on.

The energy found in this tea is a lot smoother than most Darjeeling. Smoother. More Gentle.

The wet leaves reveal small leaves and lots of buds that are mainly torn. Not ideal leaves for an oolong but even the smell of the wet leaves make one ponder another pot.

Peace

5 comments:

Jason Witt said...

They seem to have done a pretty good job with this Oolong if it has such good flavor characteristics while it's not made with ideal leaves. And I like hearing that it has smooth and gentle energy. Perhaps it's a good alternative to Darjeeling tea for that reason.

Stephane said...

Thank you for sharing this tea with me in Taiwan!

The dry leaves resemble OB with their different colors. However, as you noticed, the leaves are torn, rarely complete. The fragrance is very fresh and muscatel like.
For me, it still feels more like a red Darjeeling than an Oolong. The taste in my mouth was like a calling for milk! Indian tea seems to have milk in its DNA! The pairing is so natural. (However, I continued to drink it without milk)

Also, I found it had a higher altitude feeling than OB.

Ping An

Matt said...

Jason,

This is definitely a different take on a Darjeeling. But is still very much Darjeeling.


Stephane,

Yes, this tea is much closer to a Black Darjeeling than any oolong one has ever tried.

You compare it to an Oriental Beauty, interesting. It is so overwhelmingly 'Darjeeling' in character that one's mind didn't even think of that comparison.

On this cloudy day, one is being cheered up by some of the autumnal oolong you sent.

:)

Peace

Alex Zorach said...

These comments are fascinating to me, I recently made the association between an Oriental Beauty and a Darjeeling Oolong (in my case, Arya Topaz, and an Oriental Beauty from Life in Teacup), and then I started reading about others who have said that these two styles of tea are actually somewhat similar. It's funny, because in my case, I am not particularly enthusiastic about either of these types of tea. But I've read similar remarks from enough people now that I'm starting to think there's a real commonality here.

Matt said...

Alex Zorach,

Here is a basic primer on Darjeeling Oolong: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darjeeling_tea_(oolong)

Thanks for contributing some thoughts on a relatively rare type of tea.

Peace