Is Pouchong an oolong tea, or isn’t it? Some people describe it as “Chinese green tea” but in fact, it’s lightly fermented, at about 10 to 20%, and to me, that puts it squarely into oolong territory. Tavalon classifies it as an oolong, though some other tea companies don’t. But the final test is, does it taste like an oolong?
Yes, yes it does. It has the smoothness one expects of an oolong, and it holds up for a second steeping, as oolong teas usually do (and green tea usually doesn’t).
The dry leaves of this tea are quite large – make sure you use a large infuser, so that you don’t break them or cram them together too tightly for water to flow through. The aroma of the dry leaves is, well, tea-like; I didn’t get any floral hints from the leaves.
The tea brews up into a golden-colored brew. There is still not a floral aroma, but there are hints of both green tea and of fruit in the aroma. The taste is smooth, medium-bodied, not too brisk, and also has hints of fruit to it.
Tavalon describes this tea as:
A lightly oxidized oolong tea with a subtle, sweet aroma and complex flavor.Sommelier’s Steeping Suggestions: 8 oz water (180F) | 1 tsp loose tea | steep 3 minutes – great with seafood or a salad!Ingredients: Oolong teaCharacter: Sweet, Floral, MelonOrigin: TaiwanFunctions: Slimming
(Note that the claims that this tea, or any tea, has a slimming function are not medically or scientifically tested. Drink tea because you like it, not because you think it will substitute for exercise, good diet, and regular medical care in maintaining your health.)
On a second steeping – lower the water temperature by 10 degrees, brew about 2 minutes longer than the first steeping – the tea retains the golden color – it doesn’t look any “weaker” and the taste also is about the same. The hint of fruitiness is still there. Second steepings usually have almost no caffeine in them, so drinking the first cup of this in the early afternoon and the second cup in the late afternoon works well for avoiding too much caffeine later in the day. I will admit that sometimes I store my tea leaves, still in the infuser, in the refrigerator, to come back to on another day – and sometimes I don’t remember, three or four days later, what each tea is, and my afternoon cup is “mystery tea” – I find this fun. OK, I have an odd sense of humor. If somebody would decide to manufacture sticky notes in the shape of a tea cup, I might remember to label these teas – are you listening, sticky note manufacturers?