I’ve never had a New Zealander before! I didn’t even know they had a tea production to start with, and even less that it was a tea production with export. Interesting. I got this one from Wombatgirl and I have enough leaves for this pot and another one later on.
I was just in the mood for an oolong, actually, so it was kind of lucky that I just happened to spot this tin in the forest of tins that lives on my kitchen table. I have actually completely dispensed with the idea of a ‘tea cupboard’ and just moved all the tins to the kitchen table. I might as well, since they migrate there anyway. That means I’ve cleared a small cupboard which now holds three retired pots and a gaiwan, thus solving some serious space issues on my various kitchen surfaces. A little rearranging made space for four other retired pots in a different cupboard, so the pots I have out now are the ones I actually use. The rest are hidden behind glass cupboard doors looking nice and decorative. Yay me and my organising skills!
Anyway, these leaves are dark green and rolled into semi-loose little pellets, so they look more or less like your would expect any typical green oolong to look. It’s got a nice yellow-ish colour in the cup and the aroma is also unmistakably green oolong. It’s got that touch of earthyness and a strong note of cooked green vegetables. For me it’s broccoli boiled just so in lightly salted water with a little bit of butter in it.
Lots of flavour here. Again it tastes like a green oolong should taste, with a slightly rough green tea flavour combined with the earthyness of begun oxidation. The green part of the flavour is remarkably hard to pin down though. I’m thinking sort of like a cross between Long Jing and Sencha, if you can imagine that. The strong vegetative flavour of both but without the side note of cat-breath and salt water.
It’s been way too long since the last time I had a green oolong that wasn’t scented so how it holds up to the traditional ones, I can’t be quite sure. But right now I think this tastes like it shouldn’t have too many problems in a competition.
So yes. New Zealand has a tea production. And they’re good at it too.