While probably more well-known for its beer, Suntory actually has a line of tea and coffee drinks that are available all over China and Japan. One of their newer products is something called Hei Wulong (Black Oolong). It comes in 350 ml bottles, and can be bought either cold or hot. Suntory advertises it as more concentrated compared to its standard wulong tea drink and pushes the “health aspect” of the drink, claiming it has at 245 mg of tea polyphenols, and that it helps to “flush out” excess oil from food.
Had some pretty oily fried rice for lunch today, and not being able to brew a proper cup of tea at work, I decided to give this a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the tea.
Drinking a cold bottle of this left me feeling pretty refreshed. It did help deal with the oily fried rice that I had for lunch, and I imagine it would’ve been even more effective if I got a hot bottle of this instead of a cold one.
It has a slightly floral scent to start and ends with a strong finish that’s a bit earthy and just a touch bitter. Mildly astringent, the flavor definitely isn’t as layered as a freshly brewed cup of tea, but it’s still pretty good! It wouldn’t be fair to compare this straight up to a properly brewed cup of tea. But for a good balance between convenience and quality, it’s hard to beat this for a nice afternoon treat.
P.S. – The shop I went to earlier had 2 versions of the tea, one for the Japanese market, and another for the Chinese market (both by Suntory). I ended up going with the Chinese market version which cost a reasonable RMB 5.9 which comes out to about USD $0.90, as compared to the Japanese version which cost RMB 21 – about USD $3. It just felt weird paying more than 3 times the price, when the tea leaves for both versions probably came from China anyway! :P