87
drank Mauka Oolong by Tea Hawaii
211 tasting notes

The small, multicolored dry leaves are curly, but not rolled-up, and smell mossy and fresh. Leaf hairs in the golden brew testify to the youngness of the leaves. In it’s flavor, the base note is balsamic, overlaid by the green mossy-ness and notes of artichoke and red clover blossom. It is like a pouchong, lightly oxidized, but the floral tastes and aromas are more earthy, like the clover blossom, and less like the very sweet flowers we normally call to mind. Because I dabble in herbs, my concept of floral scent has been enlarged to include what I would call (in an aromatherapy context) a mid-note florality. If I sense a top note in this oolong, it is fleeting. This is a subtle tea, which takes some consideration to fully appreciate. I am curious about how this tea would turn out if steeped at lower temperatures, perhaps 190F. I’ll post about it here, if it gives a substantially different result.

And then there is the freshness, even in this oolong. I am sure I have never had camellia sinensis tea this fresh. Which means that it hasn’t had time to absorb the ambient aromas from months of travel, packed in various containers which are opened and closed all over the world. Some of what we taste in tea from China, for instance, is travel-acquired. We may have come to think of it as the taste of tea. Now, having tried three extremely fresh teas from Hawaii, I think perhaps not.

As to how my sister got these Hawaii-grown teas, which are not available anywhere online at this time, to send me for my birthday (thank you, Chrissy!): she reports that she went to teahawaii.com and emailed them, then mailed a check. I don’t know what she paid, but if you want to find out how fresh tea tastes (or perhaps how tea really tastes) it may be worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Batrachoid

Thanks, I’ve been wondering how to order and if this would be a good oolong to give as a gift. Given your joy, I’d say it is. =)

Pamela Dean

I think that a person who has tasted a lot of pure leaf teas will be more likely to recognize the unique qualities of these Hawaii-grown teas. However, the scarcity of this leaf (because production quantities are quite limited) makes it a very special gift, and I think any oolong lover might enjoy this tea, whether or not they know where it comes from. Best wishes to you and to the giftee, as well!

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Batrachoid

Thanks, I’ve been wondering how to order and if this would be a good oolong to give as a gift. Given your joy, I’d say it is. =)

Pamela Dean

I think that a person who has tasted a lot of pure leaf teas will be more likely to recognize the unique qualities of these Hawaii-grown teas. However, the scarcity of this leaf (because production quantities are quite limited) makes it a very special gift, and I think any oolong lover might enjoy this tea, whether or not they know where it comes from. Best wishes to you and to the giftee, as well!

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Note: I’m open to offers to swap tea samples. If you can’t message me, just comment on one of my tea notes, and I’ll respond.

I am fascinated and deeply impressed by the artistry and skill which coaxes such an array of qualities from one species of leaf. In 2009, I founded San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts. In 2014, a move to Southern California creates both upheaval and new horizons. The best part is that now I live quite close to my son and his family.

For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha. It is a joy to share good tea!

The most recent sign of my conversion to the deeply-steeped side: I’ve turned three large file boxes into “tea humidors” for aging pu-erh cakes and bricks at 65% humidity. Remote sensors within the “pumidors” relay the temperature and humidity readings to a base station on my desk. It satisfies my scientist aspect and keeps tea pretty well, too.

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