Japanese Green (Oolong)
Since the puer storage is still recovering from the affects of winter (and my stomach is still recovering from Cow Cunt Puer), this would be a fantastic time to drink down some of the other teas that haven't been getting as much attention lately. While waiting for the puer to recover, I’ve been giving more treatment to oolongs and hot chocolate. Yeah, hot chocolate isn't tea but it’s still a good substitute! Anyways, lately I’ve been sipping on a very unusual oolong that derives from Japan. Japan is most notable for their green teas, but oolong? I know it sounds strange, but thats because it is. Japan isn't known for their oolongs, (or any other variation of tea for that matter) because they don’t produce a lot of it. Japanese tea culture is synonymous with green teas such as sencha and matcha. However, since their oolongs are not as well known as their green teas, here’s an idea of what you can expect when drinking Miyazaki Takachiho Japanese Oolong…
Steeps 1 -3
For this particular oolong (MT for short), I used 5g of tea for a 100ml sized vessel. When opening this tea, the sacchariferous aroma of grass and corn lofted across the nose, and smelled so fresh you’d think it was just harvested yesterday. With the first infusion, the notes of cream corn danced across the tongue and painted a trail of fresh sugary grass behind it. MT left a salvia-inducing freshness that showed evidence of being steam-cooked.
Steeps 4 - 7
The personality of MT was being altered rather quickly, as the light trails of grass grew thicker and more noticeable. Although the sweet notes of corn started to disappear, the luscious creamy texture stayed behind which gave MT a full bodied mouthfeel. While this tea was tasting thicker and fuller, it seemed to leave behind a small bitter like feel at the back of the tongue. With these steeps, I also discovered this delicate oolong turned tart if it was brewed too hot.
Steeps 8 - 10
MT began to slowly mellow out, and although it was on the decline through these steeps, it still had a lot to present. These steeps weren’t as loud as before, and this is when MT went from rough to smooth. Each sip trickled down my throat with a lasting impression of velvety-smooth grass. The sweet notes of corn made a comeback as they helped guide the grass, and all came together to create a perfect ensemble of blissful liquid. Also, these steeps felt soft; so soft that the tea felt as fluffy as a cotton ball. With the last steep, and even the last sip, MT managed to make a harmonious exit…
Overall, Miyazaki Takachiho from Tealyra was a fantastic change from drinking other oolongs. This tea had a great body and was complex in more than one way. However, this tea sits at $30.00 per 100g. Even though Japanese Oolongs are rare to come by, the price point seems to be on the higher side. Despite its price point, it had a lot of memorable attributes that made this tea a pleasurable experience, such as its cleanliness and its clarity. In the end, I would buy more of this tea but save it to drink on special occasions. When you decide to try this oolong, hopefully you’ll agree that this tea is a great representation of why Japan should adopt Japanese grown oolongs into their tea culture…
Rating - 9.6