Posted by: dan | July 24, 2009

waltzing oolong (part 1)

WaltzingOoling1(title with apologies to James)

Dan: I’ve just sorted out my basket o’tea. I’ve split it into two groups: teas I can drink whenever, and teas I have to review when I drink them. This has caused me to have a couple of shocks. One: I seem to be getting a bit low on new teas to review. There’s enough for the time being, but the range is getting a little limited, which isn’t helped by point two. I have five Oolongs to review. This takes up a large portion of the teas I have left to review. So being the cunning man that I am (yeah right), I have decided to review one new Oolong each week. This is the first in the ‘Waltzing Oolong’ series – Adagio’s Peachy Oolong.

I suppose I should say why it is that I’ve got so many Oolongs left. It’s because I don’t really like them. There, I’ve said it and now you all know what you’re in for with this little mini-series. That said, I’ve only tried two Oolongs before – Adagio’s Ti Kuan Yin, and Jings’ Jasmine Pearls. In case you’ve not read those reviews I’ll sum them up for you: Jasmine is horrible, and when I made the Ti Kuan Yin I got it wrong. Badly wrong. Plenty of people came forward to tell me how, and I took it all in ready for my next Oolong review. Which took a little longer than I anticipated, hence the large number of them inhabiting my cupboard.

An adagio bag that's not full to bursting!

An adagio bag that's not full to bursting!

So, this is adagio’s Peachy Oolong, which Ben pushed on me and told me I had to review this one. Not because he didn’t want to, but because (as the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed in a previous post) of my surname. He is a wit. I took it nonetheless and now find myself with it sat in front of me waiting to be drunk. Let’s go back a bit before I see if I spit this one out too, though.

I picked this Oolong above the others because I thought it would probably be one with the easiest flavour to start with. I knew what to expect, and it’d be quick enough to brew. It was in teabag form, and needed five minutes infusing in boiling water. Simple. Out of the packet it came and I quickly realised that this was correctly labelled, despite it being an apricot tea. The smell of peaches is unmistakable and surprisingly strong. I was expecting it to be a little subtler and to have a few more scents mixed in. You can pick out a dustiness to the scent, but that’s about all – this is going to taste of peaches and apricots.

Fruity, spicy, and... chocolatey?

Fruity, spicy, and... chocolatey?

Brewing it heralded a few more intricacies, as the bag contains several kinds of leaf and some other ingredients too. Unfortunately I’m not an expert on spices and things and couldn’t tell what all these odd things were. Obviously there were some fruit leaves, but there also seemed to be some tiny cinnamon sticks amongst the array of contents. I could be wrong – it’s most likely something else entirely. But something else it is, and it adds a layer of intrigue to the infusing. The water quickly turns orange, and then deepens to an almost brown shade by the five minute mark. Teabag (it’s not a temple, dammit) removed, I carried the tea to my computer where it now sits awaiting my judgement.

It’s actually quite nice. I like it. This is surprising. It doesn’t have the “nasty flavour of rotten wool and wet hay” I came across in the Ti Kuan Yin (which was there due to my own idiocy), and the fact that it has a fruity flavour instead of a flowery one makes a lot more sense. This is drinkable. This is tasty. I’ve just had another sip, and I think I’ve just got a hint of chocolate in it, which is confusing me somewhat. Yes, there’s definitely a faint hint of chocolate in it. How bizarre. It’s a quite sweet tea and I think it would work well as a sort of pudding accompaniment. I can see myself drinking this again, which is a turn up for the books. I’ve gone from being wary of Oolongs to enjoying them in one cup. I expect next week I’ll go back to my routine of doing something wrong, and I’ll revert back to not liking them again. Only time will tell!

Dan was drinking Adagio’s Peachy Oolong, available at ¬£4.99 for 15 teabags.

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Responses

  1. Yes, there are floral Oolongs and then there are fruity ones. But the natural ones are more subtle with their fruit flavors. A lot of teas are processed with hints of peach in how they taste, including many Oolongs. That might be what you’re looking for as opposed to a tea like this that’s blended with such strong “other things.”

    • We’ll be looking at a few different Oolongs soon. The next part has been delayed a bit, but should be up next week, hopefully.


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