I can’t say whether I favor Oolong over Puerh. A good oolong is hard to beat. Of course, unlike Puerh, oolong spans a wide range of flavor profiles. Personally, I prefer highly oxidized, heavily roasted oolongs. Because of my own preferences, most of my favorites come out of Fujian, and not Taiwan. Most tea experts find Taiwan high mountain teas superior because of their floral bouquet and complex, light flavor. I don’t doubt that they are correct, and maybe my palate will one day evolve to expert status. However, right now, I like this.
Opening this bountiful sample from Zen Tea, the aroma was warm and roasty. The tea is dark; fully oxidized. After a quick wash, the brilliant aroma of Fall in the north comes to mind. Leaves, spices, apple cider, a fire in the fireplace.
The taste is just as pleasant as the aroma. There are a lot of flavors in this tea, and all of them are welcome. This tea possesses high notes mostly of spice, maybe nutmeg or hints of cinnamon. There is a sweetness in the taste, especially after the roastiness subsides. The sweetness is that of corn or tomatoes not sugar or flowers. I think this tea is loaded with umami-like flavors, both overt and subtle. This makes me want to drink more. The more times I steep, the roasted qualities fade and the sweeter aspects prevail. This tea has very nice body, depth and a clean finish.
I like oxidized oolongs in general, and I very much like this specific TieGuanYin from Zen Tea.