365 Challenge > Day 75 - Thai Ruan Zhi Oolong Cultivar #17 (2020)


This oolong comes from the same cultivar as the one I wrote on Day 35 of this challenge. When I asked the seller about the difference between these two oolong teas, they told me that this one was a better grade as its leaves were softer and the fragrance was more intense. Which is definitely true. The oolong I tasted on Day 35 of this challenge was clean and smooth but not as complex as this one.

I went on thinking that this tea may have a slightly higher rate of oxidation which did not only make it very rich in floral notes, and smoky but also caused its liquor colour to be darker (light amber) in opposed to bright yellow.

In Taiwan (where the cultivar 17 was originated), the winter harvest runs from the end of November to late December. The next harvest is the spring one which does not start until mid-March. For Thailand, the situation is different due to its different climate. For instance, this tea was harvested in January 2020. I do not know what effect this would have on the tea. It would be great to compare and contract one day. I mean this tea and its Taiwanese cousins plucked in the winter harvest.



Tea Profile:


Type: Oolong

Origin: Northern Thailand

Harvest time: 2020

Leave colour: Green

Liquor colour: Light amber

Tea aroma: Very rich floral aroma (all natural) with hints of smokiness

Tea taste: Full bodied, rich floral and smoky taste with subtle sweetness at the background

Steeping/brewing: You can use around 85°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 one year, the fresher the better.

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