Once a week, I enjoy what has become a ritual: a visit to the local Buddhist Temple and tea house for a steaming bowl of Lucky Noodles and Osmanthus Oolong tea, which is floral, thick and meditative. Ideal for quiet moments.
Deciding to order a stash for home, I was surprised to discover online two ‘Osmanthus’ oolongs for purchase – one from Taiwan, the other from China.
Golden Osmanthus (or Huang Jin Gui) hails from the famous AnXi region in the Fujian Province and is one of the finest Chinese oolongs. The name ‘Golden Osmanthus’ refers to the yellow cup, the yellowish green leaf and a fine flavour that reminds you of the Osmanthus blossom. However, it is not a scented tea; unlike the Taiwanese version which is layered with osmanthus blossoms.
Golden Osmanthus is composed of hand-rolled leaves, in clusters of variegated colour from light olive to ivy-green. The scent is mostly floral bouquet. Tasting the tea, it really does resemble Osmanthus flowers, but it has a very different overall character from Osmanthus-scented tea. Also it has some surprises.
The first two infusions were for 40-60 seconds at around 85 degrees, which produced a very clear cup that was mostly aroma with a little body. Interesting, this was followed by a 5-minute infusion, upping the temperature to just under boiling, and the results were completely different: now there was a bold, herbaceous quality, tones of celery and parsley. This cup was full-bodied and rich. Like many other Chinese oolongs, this tea is full of mystery and complexity…and yet it is very reasonably priced.
Flavors: Butter, Nuts, Osmanthus, Plants