This tea is grown on the Nantou mountains moistened by mist every morning and late afternoon. It is produced by combining lightly-oxidised Taiwanese oolong leaves with fresh osmanthus blossoms. The recipe of this oolong has been around for a long time. This tea was especially popular among the ladies in the past as they believe that drinking it can help them enhance their beauty.
At first glance, there is a tendency to dismiss this oolong as a run-of-the-mill blend. More often than not, blends with are often made from lower quality tea leaves with more fragrant flowers or herbs used to mask the deficiencies of the tea. But this oolong bucks this trend. The base used is not some cheap leaf but those from the Jin Xuan cultivar, which has a creamy quality that is known as Nai Xiang (milk fragrance). In fact, the osmanthus oolong shouldn’t be classified as a blend but as a scented tea. During production, the tea leaves are packed with fresh osmanthus blossums and left overnight to absorb the fragrance. Unlike Jasmine tea, the scenting process is not repeated. Before sale, most of the osmanthus petals are removed leaving a small amount for ornamental purposes.
Part of the fun of Osmanthus Oolong is watching the interplay between its two components. In the first two brews especially, the osmanthus and peachy fruit notes tend to shine through. From the third or fourth infusion onwards, the osmanthus note starts to fade and the oolong taste (green plant, citrus, nuts) dominates. Visually, the tea is beautiful to observe as the blossoms float to the top of the teapot while the tea leaves slowly unfurl from their semi-ball shape.
This all makes for an interesting and evolving tea. Perfect for beginners or purists. But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.
Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Nuts, Osmanthus, Peach