Yesterday was chilly and rainy, today was hot and sunny. It is days like this that make me loathe the Midwest, I was so enjoying the rain that when I woke up to the blazing sun I snarled at the sky and hid under my pillow wishing it was November already. After braving the heat and sunlight and crawling out from under my mound of protective pillows, I decided I want a tea that evokes Autumn, and honey is one of those things. I am not entirely sure why honey evokes Autumn to me since its sunshine colors are more of a Summer thing, but here we are.
Leaves are beautiful!
Today we are reviewing Heritage Honey Oolong by Mountain Tea, an Oolong from Nantou, Taiwan that was picked at an altitude of 1,300 meters about sea level. The aroma of this beautiful green Oolong is first and foremost of honey, very rich and sweet. It reminds me more of raw wildflower honey than clover, but that just shows how much honey I tend to eat. Following the initial honey aroma is heady flowers, especially night blooming Angel Trumpets, blending the almost intoxicating floral with a tiny hint of citrus. Lastly there are notes of chestnuts with a slightly figgy afterthought.
Note to self: sticking face in hot tea cup will end in a burnt nose
While the tea is steeping I notice that it, like the Tie Guan Yin I reviewed earlier, is managing to fill the area with its aroma. Considering I am outside on a breezy day, that is no small feat. I think if I had to chose one word to describe the aroma of the steeping tea it would be hypnotic. The slight figginess has disappeared, but the remaining aroma is that of honey, chestnuts, and intensely floral. Orchids and orange blossoms swirl around in my nose and it is bliss. The liquid without the leaves takes on more of a roasted chestnut aroma with notes of sweet honey.
The taste is pleasantly and surprisingly mild. I was expecting with an aroma that was so intense that the flavor would knock me into some sort of trance, but instead the flavors are subtle and mild, they just creep up on you. The main flavor is floral, reminiscent of orchids with just slight tart notes of orange blossoms, it melts into sweet honey and finished with a whisper of creamy peach. This mild Oolong would be heavenly on a rainy day, but I actually think drinking this on a hot day was perfect. I have to get more of this Oolong, if I am not careful it may supplant Tie Guan Yin for the coveted spot of ‘favorite tea’.