Moc Chau Three Moons Oolong is a complex oolong that is grown in the north of Vietnam, in Mộc Châu district of Sơn La Province. It undergoes multiple roasting, creating a characterful flavour that emulates an aged tea. Three Moons Oolong is grown at a high altitude of around 1,100m on a small tea estate that specialises in growing Taiwanese tea cultivars. April 2018 harvest.
This Three Moons Oolong is hand processed from estate-grown tea trees. The cultivar used is called Thanh Tam locally. It is the same as the Qing Xin ‘Green Heart’ (青心) cultivar, originally brought over from Taiwan. Both Vietnam and Thailand have successful plantations utilising some well-known Taiwanese tea plant cultivars, often with the aim of imitating Taiwanese oolong tea. Most of these are exported to Taiwan or Japan. However some gardens produce some very fine teas that have a unique character of their own.
The Qing Xin cultivar is particularly known for the floral aspects of teas that are made from it. The Three Moons name comes from the fact that this tea undergoes multiple roasting and resting over a three-month period. This aims to emulate the flavours of an aged tea. Certainly the skills of the tea master are apparent in the complexities of flavours derived from this processing. The floral aspects of the Qing Xin cultivar are retained, while the roasted elements elevate the tea to a whole new level. The fine balance achieved yields a tea that is flavoursome, multifaceted, comforting and slightly addictive!
We also feature three other Qing Xin oolongs from the same producer in Moch Chau in our shop, which all differ in their processing. It is always a good idea to taste these side by side if possible to gain a better understanding of the way tea processing can completely change the flavour of the original leaf. Our Vietnamese oolong teas from the same producer, made from the same cultivar currently are:
- Moc Chau Green Heart – minimal oxidation and minimal roasting (rolled leaf);
- Moc Chau Three Moons – medium oxidation and medium lengthy roasting (rolled leaf);
- Moc Chau Red Buffalo – heavier oxidation and medium roasting (rolled leaf);
- Moc Chau Dragon Breath – heaviest oxidation and very heavy roasting (twisted strip leaf).
This Moc Chau Three Moons oolong has dark, green-umber, tightly-rolled leaves indicating medium oxidation and roasting. When brewed, these unfurl into large leaves with stalks, typical of this style of oolong. The bright, clear liquor is a golden colour with a floral aroma and creamy, roasted hints. The predominantly floral profile has a smooth, clean taste with floral, fruity, sweet and pronounced roasted flavours. The aftertaste is smooth, a little tangy and mineral. Overall this tea gives a very charming, warming, comforting impression. We love the complexity that this tea exhibits and the fine interplay between the pronounced floral and roasted flavours.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste. It should be brewed 3+ times depending on your brewing method and taste preferences to fully experience the multitude of flavours.
This Moc Chau Three Moons Oolong was first featured in our June 2019 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.