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365 Challenge > Day 102 - Organic Oolong from Turkey

I did not imagine I would be able to taste and review Turkish oolong teas crafted by different tea masters. The first one did not really impress me as it was almost identical to the black tea the same company produced. However, this one is different and quite interesting, and I will tell you why.

First of all, it comes from the beautiful tea gardens of Maylivadi where the master Mr Yogurtcu organically cultivates everything he grows (mainly tea, but he also has fruit trees). Secondly, this tea is from last month, so it is very fresh. Thirdly, Mr Yogurtcu hand-crafts this oolong according to the following process.

Plucking (one bud and two leaves) -> dry in the open air for 24 hours -> pan-fry leaves at high degrees -> handroll the leaves -> wrap the leaves in a damp cloth to encourage fermentation (3 hours) -> dehydrate the leaves slowly and with control at 80°C.

This is quite a laborious method, especially for a boutique farmer. I found the wrapping technique for fermentation is interesting. It is somehow similar to the Chinese method of producing lighter oolongs during which the leaves are wrapped inside a large cloth and rolled in a special machine. The cloth is then opened, and the leaves are spread out briefly for oxidation.

I do like this oolong, it was quite mild in flavour but fruity notes in its smell were present. I could also see the beautiful green/brown leaves when infused. I keep wondering how the taste would become if the oxidation level is increased. I do not like oolongs which have a roasty aroma.

Source: Tea A Global History by Helen Saberi

Tea Profile:

Type: Oolong tea

Liquor colour: Orange

Tea aroma: Fruity

Tea taste: Smooth with slightly fruity and smoky notes

Steeping/brewing:You can use 90-100°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.

Shelf life: Up to 3 years (to improve shelf life store the sealed tea leaves in a dry, dark place with low temperatures)

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