It’s an unflavored, pure leaf tea, but somehow this Silver Oolong tastes like the juiciest Bai Mu Dan white was met with lemon-grapefruit essential oils, all whipped into a light-as-air chiffon. The citrus flavor is vivid and soft, and is joined by the depth and aroma of zest. It’s a sophisticated, lightly sweet lemon drop candy, with all of the essence and none of the acidic bite of fresh lemon juice.
The Silver Oolong is unique among any tea I’ve tasted, while at the same time bringing to mind similar flavors in other teas. Winter White Earl Grey, a Mu Dan white tea and bergamot blend by Harney & Sons, could seem like an attempt to blend what Silver Oolong creates with pure leaf. The resemblance is in the Winter White’s base tea as well as the bergamot, since the Silver Oolong’s citrus flavor seems more like Meyer lemon or grapefruit than tangerine. However, even in the smoothest blends (in which I would include the Winter White Earl Grey), I find bergamot oil to be harsh, a form of bitterness that I have taken in for the experience but have not found pleasant. In contrast, the Silver Oolong captures the essence of citrus without delving into the bitterness of bergamot oil.
I brewed this tea in a sort of hybrid style in a 150mil ruyao easy gaiwan. It was the last of the bag, which ended up being less leaf than would be recommended for the gaiwan. So, I chose steep times that bridged gongfu and Western (around 30 sec, 1 min for later steeps), and this brewing a good number of flavorful cups. This tea had lots of staying power. Even as the sweet fruitiness faded and the deeper flavors became more apparent, every cup of Silver Oolong was still sweeter, juicier, and gentler than any bergamot tea I’ve tasted.
Another tea that the Silver Oolong brought to mind was the Cannon Ball Green Tea. It was a fun realization that both teas are produced by Nepal’s Greenland Organic Farm. I’ve tasted only a cup or two of the Cannon Ball Green, not enough for a detailed comparison, but plenty to recall that it too captured citrus blossoms in a tea leaf.