Thursday, April 24, 2014

Go rest high on that mountain

Hello! Today I'm going to be talking about my absolute favorite tea that I have tried, Organic High Mountain Oolong(OHMO) from! OHMO is the first oolong that really made me say "WOW" and turned my love for tea up to 11!  If you have tried lots of teas, then this tea may not be as mind blowing for you as it was for me but I'm sure many of you, if there is anyone there (hello..ello...ello?), have had that "ah-ha" moment when trying a new tea and can appreciate the process.

To start off, I want to talk about how I received this tea. I had ordered my first tea order from Mountain Tea and was waiting for it to come in the mail. Luckily they are in the US so shipping time isn't that bad compared to overseas purchases. Originally I had ordered Milk Oolong and an Oriental Beauty Cake. On the day my package was being delivered, I received an email from Mountain Tea telling me that I should contact them about my order. After work I gave them a call expecting the worst. I spoke with a woman who was friendly and she let me know, embarrassingly, that there was a mix up with my order and another customers order. She continued to express how sorry she was and said that my correct order was already packaged and sent out. As someone who rarely has problems with ordering online, it didn't upset me much due to the customer service I was receiving. I then asked her what I should do with the tea I would be receiving. She told me to keep it and enjoy; And enjoy I did!

This was from the end of my bag. Please excuse the fannings!

The Organic High Mountian Oolong is actually grown in Vietnam by cultivar QingXin making it not as "traditional" as a oolong grown in Taiwan. When opening the package, a complex scent of fresh tea and spice wafted up to my nose, instantly making me excited. When inspecting the tea, the 3-5mm tightly rolled balls are green with hay looking stems. The tea looks fairly clean and without any noticeable debris or dust.(except for the bottom of the bag)

First or second steeping!

When I originally tried this tea it was in my yixing pot which produced great results, but for this session I am using my houhin style gaiwan for ease of use and convenience. I put 8-10g of OHMO in and poured in some freshly brewed water to commence the gong-fu style brewing. After a quick 5-10 second rinse, the smell of spice(possibly cinnamon or nutmeg) and tea is much stronger and is making me salivate. Moving on, The first steep gives a typical light yellow liquor which is typical of an oolong with 20% oxidation and no roast. The taste is very pleasant and takes me to a setting of a fire on a cold winter night. The rich spice flavor is dancing across my pallet morphing into a clean sweet nectar. The next infusion brings a deeper flavor profile out of the leaf which is giving me its full potential. Notes of flowers, honey, and slightly, umami emerge playfully dancing with the spice on my pallet to create a wide eyed grin only an "AH-HA" moment can produce. I continued to enjoy this tea until it was completely exhausted which happened around infusion 7 or 8. I love the qi this gives me and the flavor is by far my favorite of the oolongs I have tried. At the price point of 2oz/$10, 5oz/$20, and 10.5oz/$38, this cha certainly is a bargain for what you get out of it. I plan to make another purchase very, very soon.

Sip slowly,

Tea setup: 4 fl oz houhin, 8-10g of leaf(two teaspoons full), boiling water.
2-Spice--sweet after thought
3-Spice, flowers, honey. slight umami
4-Lighter notes than steeping #3 umami is gone?
5-Even lighter but still enjoyable!
6-8- Still a slight flavor.

I tend to take the leaves to the edge with this tea. I love this tea!