Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s Yushan High Mountain Oolong & Yushan Charcoal Roasted Oolong | Tea Review

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Teas provided for review

BeautifulTaiwanTeaCo_Yushan_Charcoal_Roasted_Oolong_spoon

As I continue on my tea journey, one thing that has been very insightful is trying teas from one tea producer of a country! I find it is a great way to better understand a region!

As I hone in on my tasting skills and become more familiar with different types of teas and countries, it has always been such a treat to be able to taste from the same producer! Taiwan is especially a special place for me because I visited last year for a few days (I will be posting about my all top favourite places soon!).

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In this post, I will be tasting two Taiwanese oolongs from Yushan (or Jade Mountain) and grown by Famer Luo at 1,600 meters. What I like about these teas is that both teas use the same base material but are processed differently. However, stright from the pouch, there is a noticeable difference visually and by smell between the two!

Now that we have some basic information about the teas, let’s go!

 

Yushan High Mountain Oolong

BeautifulTaiwanTeaCo_Yushan_High_Mountain_Oolong_spoon

Description: “Yushan is known as Jade Mountain and towers over the neighboring landscape. This tea is grown at 1,600 meters by Farmer Luo[.]”

Instructions: One teaspoon | 8oz water | 195° | 3½ minutes 

Review: The tea leaves were tightly rolled and different shades of green ranging from dark forest to muted olive. The dry leaves carried a strong fresh grassy smell. After steeping for 3½ minutes, the leaves had unfurled and become a jade colour. The wet smell reminded me of fresh-cut grass and spinach.

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There was a sweet, fresh grassy, and floral aroma from liquor which had a dark yellow hue and a green tinge. The taste itself was vegetal, floral, sweet and there was a nice lingering floral taste in the mouth. When the liquor cooled, the flavour diminished and there was a hint of astringency. Overall, I thought it was a nice high mountain oolong (3.5/5 rating).

 

Yushan Charcoal Roasted Oolong

BeautifulTaiwanTeaCo_Yushan_Charcoal_Roasted_Oolong_spoon

Description: “After the initial processing of outdoor/indoor whithering and rolling, he passes it to a friend that specializes in charcoal roasting.  This stage mutes some of the top notes of this high quality oolong but replaces them with a satisfying underlying texture.”

Instructions: One teaspoon | 8oz water | 195° | 3½ minutes 

Review: After trying the Yushan High Mountain Oolong, I really wanted to see how the charcoal roasting would affect the tea. Right from the pouch, there was a faint roasted smell that reminded me of hojicha (roasted Japanese green tea). Compared to the High Mountain Oolong, the oolong pearls were slightly darker in colour and had a grayish-green colour. After steeping, the leaves did not fully unfurl but had a strong charcoal smell that was smokey and earthy.

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Whereas the High Mountain Oolong had a yellow colour liquor, the roasting process gave the liquor an amber colour. It had equally as strong charcoal and earthy smell as the wet leaves with a noticeable charcoal smell before each sip. Therefore, it was no surprise when it had a predominantly earthy and charcoal taste. However, there was some underlying sweet malt to the sip after the charcoal disappeared. When the liquor was cooled, it was drying and the flavours became much more mellow with only the charcoal flavour remaining.

I have to say, I rather enjoyed this tea. I have tried a few roasted teas in the past, and I have found sometimes the roasting was strong it masked all the other flavours. I liked that this one did have a range of flavours, despite the charcoal starting off the sip. I would suggest this to someone who likes a lighter roasted oolong or hojicha (4/5 rating).

 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed both teas, but I enjoyed the roasted one slightly more. Looking back at my notes, it is very interesting how one aspect of the process (admittedly a very large one) can make the teas taste so different despite being grown in the same area. This is why I really enjoy these types of tea tastings!

The question of the post: Have you ever done comparison tastings like this?

Nicole from Tea for Me Please kindly included this post in her weekly roundup! Make sure to check out all the other great posts that came out including visiting an HK tea house, a conversation with Jane Pettigrew, and the history of a teapot!

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