King Ginseng Oolong is a very high grade oolong tea grown on Zhu Shan (Bamboo Mountain) not far from Shanlinxi in Nantou County, Taiwan. The actual leaves used to makes this tea are of fantastic quality, which can easily be seen in the brewed leaves and the lovely liquor they produce. The leaves used here are from a Jin Xuan cultivar that is often known as Milk Oolong due to the creamy and slightly milky taste and mouthfeel of this tea. This oolong is somewhat different to a straight Milk Oolong as it has been blended by the tea master with just a touch of ginseng to give it an extra dimension.
The reason we selected this particular King Ginseng Oolong tea for our shop would be apparent to anyone who has ever tried other pellet style ginseng oolongs before. Normally they consist of lower grade leaves that have been covered in a case of green ginseng powder. These normally come from China and they produce quite a strong tea that has an extremely sour taste, which can often be quite unpleasant and overwhelming. When you try our King Ginseng Oolong, you will not find any of those unattractive characteristics. Instead you will get a wonderfully fragrant cup that has a lovely floral taste. This is the result of the tea master carefully blending together high quality oolong leaves with only a small amount of high grade ginseng, just enough for the tea to acquire its special character.
The leaves of this King Ginseng Oolong tea are very tightly rolled and are dark green in colour. The dry leaves have quite a strong but pleasant fragrance of violets. When brewed the dry leaves unfurl so you can see whole leaves (often the tips plus two top leaves) in your tea pot. The liquor produced is light in colour and still has that lovely fragrance of violets of the dry leaves. The taste is very smooth, very floral, tasting of creamy sweet violets with a slightly tart edge on the finish. A very nice tea to keep you going at work after your lunch break!
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3-5 minutes according to your taste and can be brewed multiple times, increasing steeping time with each next brew if desired.
You can read an independent review of this tea over at the Tapiocat Blog.