Peter on Tea: Oolong

Peter Guagy is a friend of ours who has a great wine background and is excessively talented at describing his experience of tea.  Iron Goddess of Mercy oolong

The leaves are dark and twisted into half-balls of oolong goodness.  Light liquor with green to yellow tinge.  The nose has a grassy, toasted rice quality.  On the palette a toasted, oily and wood like qualities, or that of dried fruit.  This tea feels full-bodied on the mouth with a heavier, feel of a pile of wet fall leaves, with darker slight-floral undertones and an elemental touch of incense.  Rather than being sharp, the tannic acid is dull and yet gives the tea substantial structure and body.

Associations, a walk through the woods on a fall day, rotting tree limbs and wet leaves perfume the air.  There is a feeling of being well bundled up on a brisk day.  This tea is serious and does not let you take it lightly, but you will be rewarded with a rich earthy experience.

Jade oolong

The leaves are tightly wound and appear to be almost braided. Light liquor.  Nose has a bright greenish floral note with a white oily nut.  On the palette it has the delicate forward tannins that give it a green apple like sharp quality.  The mid-palette is rich with a fuller body than one  may expect, but it still dances to music of a higher key.  The finish is sweet and candied with a slight hint of coconut milk that lingers on and on.

This tea is a delight and brings a sense of joy to one’s heart.  It is bright and cheerful, but like a smart child –it asks deeper questions than one would expect from one so innocent.  Spend some time with h this one and it will take you to happy places.

Monkey Picked oolong

The leaves are twisted and curled into small dark green balls. Light Liquor.  The tea has a lovely nose of mixed Asian spices, a perfumed cedar box and orchid undertones.  The is a gentle mouth feel and a roundness on the palette.  This tea is mid-toned – no bright acidity and no deep earthiness, but rather a light white asparagus on the finish.  A little leafy, a little toasted and a little nutty.  But, overall a very pleasant experience.

Maybe, it is the name, or perhaps the damp hints of incense, earth and flowers, that made me think of a tropical rainforest.  I did not hear the monkey’s howl, but perhaps the historic name lingers on in the essence of this tea.

Pouchong Transitional oolong

Being a transitional oolong, the leaves are half-curled.  Between a green tea and an oolong.  The liquor has a light green to yellowish translucent tinge.  On the nose this tea is aromatic with herbaceous floral notes.  In the mouth, it is reserved with a toasted rice delicacy and well integrated green tea type tannins.

This is a very easy, light tea that does not demand too much attention.  It just wants to be enjoyed without too much focus.  A perfect accompaniment to a conversation with a friend.

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