An oolong unique to Vietnam with a smooth texture combined with a strong floral aroma and taste.
Back from vacation! The southern North Carolina coast is one of the most relaxing places I've ever been. I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a nice quiet getaway.
Green oolongs tend to be a bit of a departure from the norm for me. My oolong stash is heavily dominated by darker roasts, and I'll sometimes have to search a bit for something less oxidized. Vietnamese teas have so far been winners in my book. The various green teas especially are some of the best greens I've tried. This tea is made from the 'Ta' (meaning 'our') variety that is unique to Vietnam.
Dry leaves - The leaves are rolled into tight little balls in the traditional oolong fashion. Coloration ranges from a bright, almost chartreuse, green to a deep forest green, while the aroma is fairly mild and brings notes of spring flowers and leaves.
Brewing parameters - 175F, 60s first, +15s after.
Tasting notes - Smooth, lilac, orchid, lily, citrus
The aroma of the pale yellow soup is very floral, almost perfumey, in nature. Lilacs and orchids dominate the florality. One thing I found unique about the aroma is the orchid notes are almost identical to the smell of a Cattleya hybrid I have that blooms a couple times a year. The resemblance is almost uncanny. This is certainly one of the most up-front floral teas I've had the pleasure of drinking so far.
Taste is just as floral as the aroma. Despite being a green oolong, this one forgoes the thick, sweet soybean taste that many Taiwanese green oolongs have at first. 'Ta' is just straight-up flowery. After a couple steeps, a light citrus note begins to take hold amongst the floral explosion. I had a hard time placing which citrus specifically is was most akin to, but I'd say tangerine if I had to pick one. Notes of slightly spicy lily start to crop up between the lilac/orchid as well. I got a total of 7 steeps from the leaves before they petered out.I should have taken a photo of the unfurled leaves against a ruler, because they are gigantic. Significantly bigger than anything I've seen from Taiwan or China.
Overall, this was a very nice green oolong. It is very floral, maybe even too floral for some people, but if you're a fan of unroasted oolongs this should prove a great tea for you.
You can buy this tea from What-Cha here: http://what-cha.com/oolong-tea/vietnam-ta-oolong-tea/