Oolong Salima (OM01)

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Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Angrboda
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180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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From Nothing But Tea

Our first African Oolong. This is another new tea from teh Satemwa Tea Estate in Malawi. This is a large leaf oolong with long dark twisted leaves, with a spicy and fruity liquor.

Brewing Advice: One teaspoon per mug. Add hot but not boiling water (80 deg C). Steep for two to four minutes.

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3 Tasting Notes

1327 tasting notes

Good morning Steepsterites, and gather round, because this is one of the most interesting teas I’ve ever seen.

It’s an oolong. From AFRICA!!! I have never seen anything other than blacks out of Africa before, and the vast majority of those were from Kenya. I can’t say I’ve ever been all that impressed with the Kenyan teas. I don’t really care for the CTC method because the leaf size becomes so tiny and difficult to manage when you brew with the leaves loose inthe pot. Flavour-wise I find them a bit like Ceylons. There are some real pearls in between but most of them just aren’t what I’m looking for. This one is from Malawi, though, so I don’t know what the taste profile from that country usually is. Not that you can really compare blacks to oolongs, even dark type oolongs, but you know what I mean.

It’s a nice copper-y colour when pouring, but there isn’t all that much aroma to speak of. What is there, however, has a very nice and very clear cocoa-y note. Oh thank Ceiling Cat! There is another note in the aroma, a spicier one that I can’t quite place. It seems familiar, but I’m not really sure of what it could be.

Gah, this is quite strong! It’s got an astringent, borderline bitter bite, a bit like an Indian black that has been eeeeever so slightly over-steeped. It hasn’t really retained the cocoa-y note in the flavour here, but it’s got that spicy kind of wooden note that I couldn’t identify in the aroma. I believe this is what is sometimes referred to as ‘oaky’. I have no clue what oak tastes like, I don’t customarily go around chewing branches of trees that I find on my way, but oakyness is the association that I get.

If this hadn’t had that bitterness to it, I would have liked it better. I think I steeped it a little too long, to be honest, but it still tastes like it has some great potential. I shall give it points now based on this and then adjust it later based on later steeps. Starting at 82 points.

I would definitely give an african oolong a go another time. I’m not the slightest bit disappointed by this so far.


That’s too cool! :)

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80 tasting notes

I made a brew with all that was left in the tin – probably a well-heaped teaspoon, perhaps a fraction more. I brewed for three minutes with water several minutes off the boil.

It made a very densely-coloured, dark-brown infusion, slightly tinged with yellow.

There’s a faint and very difficult-to-place aroma – possibly a combination of grass and liquorice and basic tea or possibly a combination of grass and beef gravy and basic tea – I really can’t make up my mind.

In the mouth, there’s a hard, firm edge to this; something I think I’ve described in some other tea as what liquorice would be like if you could imagine it without any trace of sweetness. I think I’m getting a hint of cut grass – again as it would be without any hint of sweetness. I may be getting a tiny hint of an undefinable ‘fruitiness’ – or it may be just the comination of the previous two notes. There’s another note that I can’t quite pin down that is somewhere between butter and chocolate, giving a bit of smoothness and body to it.

It occurrs to me that this is probably quite a good tea; but just happens to be one that is not to my taste. Having said that, I still get a strong impression that I’m actually steeping a black tea at too low a temperature.

I made a second infusion (I went a little bit over on the time – about forty of fifty seconds or so – absentmindedness).

I thought this a better cup of tea. The colour was less intense, and so was the hard, firm edge, and I think this gave the tea a better balance – the other elements not seeming to have decreased with it.

I made a third infusion. With this one, it’s possible I brewed it a bit hotter than instructions – 90˚, say – because when I took the first sip it was too hot to take a sizeable one.

I wasn’t getting much in the nose, but this one had better flavours, I think, which, had they only been a bit stronger, would have made it more enjoyable than the first two infusions. I was getting hints of mixed dried fruit and butter; the grass was a little less noticeable. Unfortunately, it was also a little ‘watery’ – if that makes sense (it sounds a bit daft to say that I could taste the water, especially as I use a filter jug, but it was ‘watery’).

Oh well, that’s the last of it and I don’t think it’s interesting enough to buy any more.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I keep reading this one as ‘oolong saliva’ which… is not a pretty mental image.


Ha-ha! … and … Yuk!

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