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ZO10: Oolong Se Chung

3 ratings
Picture of ZO10: Oolong Se Chung
Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Se Chung Oolong
Product page:

This tea's info last updated: Oct. 29, 2011

Commercial Description

A top grade of this lesser known style of China Oolong. Slightly green, with a woody aroma and flavor. A style served in Hong Kong Chinese restaurants. Oolong tea is also referred to as Wu-Long, or Black Dragon.

Ratings & Reviews

Page 1 of 1 page with 3 reviews

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83 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
(19 reviews) on
The reviews as well as the very low price intrigued me enough to buy a large order of this tea.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect as, while mostly positive, the reviews describe a wide range of flavors.

The rolled, snail-like leaf smells toasty. For some reason I expected a much greener aroma.

I loaded up 5 grams into a 100ml gaiwan and proceeded to infuse 7 times using water of about 195-200 degrees.

The infused liquor is a deep amber-orange-light brown. Again, I was expecting a much more light color.
The aroma is very interesting and complex. After decanting from gaiwan to cup I brought the infused leaves to my nose and detected a very pleasant roasted, extremely lightly sweet, and....menthol-like aroma! This was very unexpected and not an aroma I encounter much with tea.
Almost a pine or cedar aroma as well...extremely unique.

The flavor is smooth, toasty and very "warming". I felt quite good while sipping this tea.
There is a definite woody flavor. I did not detect any green, veggie or floral notes. Perhaps these would be more apparent with less leaf or a lower water temp.
All 7 infusions were tasty, and the aroma from the gaiwan brought the menthol and roasted "pine" wafting into the room. I kept sniffing the leaves as the aroma is so remarkable.

I enjoyed this rather interesting oolong. In a way it reminds me of a da hong pao, but still very different. Perhaps more hojicha-like, but not exactly. In another way it reminds me of an amber oolong from Taiwan, but also very different.
It's a bit difficult for me to describe the flavors and aroma I get from this very nice tea.
Interesting, to say the least :)

Looking forward to getting to know this tea better. And as others have noted it really is a steal given the low price.
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83 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
(10 reviews) on
The striking thing about this tea, believe it or not, is its simplicity.
Indeed it does have some complex attributes, but it is a very easy drinker. The characteristics I liked about this tea were the stone fruit and citrus notes. The roasted quality added some personality to the tea as well, although to my tastes it was a bit much for a green oolong like this. The texture is fairly brothy and buttery. I have noticed an astringency to it depending on how I brew it, but overall it is velvet smooth.
This is a great tea to start out learning about oolongs, as well as a simple pleasure for long time drinkers of tea. The price is a steal, and the quality is decent.

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93 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
(1317 reviews) on
This is my favorite offering from Upton Tea. The whole, light green leaves are tightly curled and become dark green and unfurl a great deal upon brewing.

The brewed tea is light golden green like many greener oolongs. The complex aroma has some of the cripser herbal qualities of green teas, and some sharper tones, with a hint of skunkiness. It also has darker, more mellow characteristics, and some woody tones, and a hint of a wine-like quality. The flavor is simultaneously bolder and smoother than most green teas. It is moderately bitter and becomes slightly sour if brewed for a long time, and with only the faintest hint of astringency. Overall, I love this tea, although I would classify it as a somewhat peculiar tea that not everyone would like.

This tea takes on a different character depending on how it is brewed. The brewing instructions from Upton, 1 tsp. of leaves per cup of water, and a lower temperature, work well, although I've also used a higher temperature with good results too. The leaves hold up very well to multiple infusions, and I would say it is a waste to not brew this tea in that manner. Brewing initially for a shorter period of time (3 min. or under) yields a mellow tea with hints of sharpness. Brewing longer (5+ min.) yields a darker, richer tea. I've brewed as long as 8 minutes for a very strong cup. I usually like to make two cups out of this tea by brewing the first cup for 3 min. and the second for 5, or brewing the first for 5 and the second for even longer. I've also had luck with three brews: two of 3 min. or less and one of 5+. The third cup is surprisingly complex and flavorful, and the second cup often has aromas and qualities seemingly absent from the first. I tend to brew the first cup(s) at a lower temperature and the last cup at a higher temperature.

This tea is very inexpensive relative to how subtle and interesting it is. The fact that it can be brewed multiple times and in different ways gives it even more value and versatility. I'd recommend this one to people who like trying new teas and want to try something genuinely different. Connoisseurs of Oolongs may really enjoy this one--don't be fooled by the low price, this one is a contender among the best of the greener oolongs.
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Page 1 of 1 page with 3 reviews