Tea: Oolong Choicest Grade

An Oolong Tea from Upton Tea Imports

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Oolong Choicest Grade
Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Oolong Tea
Region:Taiwan / Formosa
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Loose
# Ratings:1 View All

Review of Oolong Choicest Grade

AromaFlavorValueTotal
5 of 103 of 52 of 550 of 100
FairFairOverpriced

Upton offers a number of different grades of Formosa oolong with only moderate differences in price...this one, by weight, costs less than 50% more than TT11, the "standard grade". Again, the leaf is broken, but in larger pieces than some of the lower grades. The dry leaf has a weak, earthy aroma.

The brewed tea is much richer in aroma, earthy, with certain tones almost reminiscent of Pu-erh. The floral quality faintly evident in TT15 is totally absent from this tea, which disappointed me. This tea is very smooth; there's much less bitterness than any of the lower grades, and there's also not much sourness or astringency. Mellow, but very full-bodied. However...in spite of being so smooth, it isn't very interesting.

I found that Upton's recommendations lead to too weak a tea. I use more leaf, just under 2 teaspoons, and brew for 5 minutes. I tried making a second infusion but the second cup of what is already a bit of a bland tea was totally uninteresting. I think this tea is only good for a single infusion.

The differences are subtle, but I prefer TT15 to this tea, because it's stronger and more complex. People might prefer this tea, however, because this one is much smoother. However, it's a bit expensive, especially considering the fannings grade (TT10) is about half the cost (more if you consider that you need to use more leaf of this tea to get a flavorful cup) and is really, in my opinion, roughly comparable in quality. I have yet to be truly impressed by any of these oloongs. Among Upton's Taiwanese offerings I think the amber oloongs are much better, and I also in general prefer Upton's chinese oolongs.

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