A while ago the phrase Jade Oolong would have been a complete mystery to me. A baffling partnership of words that could just as easily refer to a flashy piece of jewellery or a nonsensical paint colour than to tea.
Now though, after tasting my first Oolong in an earlier post (right here, go on click it!) and understanding a bit more about this type of tea, I was very much looking forward to the prospect of trying another.
The Oolong in question, as the title of this post suggests, is known as Jade Oolong. It is sourced by Adagio Tea from Nantou county in Taiwan which is renowned for it top quality tea growing and production. It is the humid climate and misty, mountainous terrain that make the relatively small island of Taiwan a tea-growing paradise, and Taiwanese Oolongs are some of the most highly prized teas in the world. How could I not be excited about the prospect of drinking this one?
So after dinner and a little bit of online Valentine’s Day present shopping (I’m a true romantic at heart) I flicked the kettle on and opened up the sample. I poured out some of the tea to take a look at it and…well…it looked just like another famous green leaf. To be safe, I had a quick sniff and determined the leaves to be purely that of a tea tree and therefore unlikely to make my adventure a mind-altering one!
I spooned some of the tightly rolled green leaves into my infuser and added the water. Before my eyes they unfurled and expanded, appearing now as whole leaves as if they were plucked straight from the bush and placed in my cup. After a few minutes of steeping, the tea had reached a light green colour, and was ready for drinking.
The taste was an intriguing one. It was a beautifully delicate complexity that I can’t quite put my finger on. I know, not great for a blogger that almost exclusively writes about tea tasting, but such are the subtleties of this particular variety that I’ve had to settle on just a couple of ambiguous descriptive words; sweet and green. Green because there is a floral element that is neither grassy nor flowery, and sweet because, although there is a slight astringency present, the taste left in your mouth as well as the mouthfeel (look it up, it really is a word) is one of buttery enjoyment.
Quite simply, you have to try this tea, if not purely to understand what on earth I’m going on about.
It’s a tea I’ve really taken to, and can see myself reaching for it again and again. Nothing I have tried so far has been anything like this tea, and I’m sure that is one of the main reasons why I, like so many other Oolong enthusiasts before me, enjoyed it so much.
Have you tried a Jade Oolong before? What should I try next? Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.