This is the second of the two Taiwan oolongs I recently sampled via English Tea Store. The first tea, Formosa Oolong Estate, which I reviewed on October 16, was a darker, more roasted type of oolong. Spring Pouchong is from the other end of the spectrum; namely, a greenish, flowery oolong. And while I enjoyed the Formosa Oolong, this tea much more closely suits my taste.
Curiously, ETS lists this as a green tea, not as an oolong. In their catalogue they describe the tea as being “allowed to oxidize for a limited amount of time.” Inasmuch as oolong teas are oxidized and green teas are not, I’d have to quibble with their classification. In the spirit of tea and harmony, however, let’s agree to call this a “green oolong” – in other words, a lightly oxidized (or, if you prefer, fermented) oolong. Which is essentially what the term pouchong, or the currently more popular baozhong, refers to.
Having cleared that up, let’s get down to specifics. In a word, this tea is delightful. It’s almost like sipping a cup of springtime. Light, fresh, and floral – just the way I like my oolongs.
The aroma of springtime is evident in the dry leaf when I open the package, and the floral scent becomes more pronounced when hot water meets leaves in the pot. Using the same “modified-modified gong-fu style” method described in the previous post, I steeped this tea in my little blue ducky clay pot and combined each infusion into a larger teapot after sampling it individually.
The first three infusions were smooth and delicate and rich with springtime blossoms, a treat for both nose and palate. Followed by the next three – a little lighter but still evident. Unlike higher-end specialty pouchongs, this tea started to fade after the fifth steeping; there’s just not enough character left to really do a sixth. Still, five infusions isn’t bad.
This is not one of those highly nuanced pouchongs with layers of taste and aroma. It’s a straightforwardly delightful oolong that delivers the flowery essence of a fresh spring meadow. And most mornings that’s exactly what I want in my cup.
For anyone who’s looking for an excellent example of a floral “green” pouchong at a good price I’d recommend this tea without reservation. It’s a delightfully perfect cup to start off the day.
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