Before getting into this week's review, I wanted to briefly cover what exactly "pouchong" is. Also known as baozhong, this variety of tea falls under the category of an oolong. However, pouchong teas are often very light, approaching a green tea in their flavor profiles. Sometimes, pouchong teas are even given their own categorization...lighter than an oolong but not quite a green tea.
In today's review, we are drinking DavidTea's Pouchong Oolong. Due to the delicate nature of the leaves and their flavor, we are going to either boil our water and let it cool a bit or heat our water to nearly-boiling but stop heating it before it comes to a boil. This is much like the temperature we need for oolong teas in general, yet these will not be hurt by using the even cooler water, like you would for a green tea.
In my twelve ounce mug, I put two teaspoons of pouchong and set a timer for four minutes. Pouchong, like other oolong teas, can be brewed in an eastern style, using a gaiwan or small teapot in a gong fu style. However, today we are going to use a western style of brewing for tasting this tea. The leaves are tightly wrapped/rolled, and it is pleasant to watch them unfurl in the hot water.
Fragrant aromas waft from the container of dry leaves, rather vegetal like a green tea but with some forest-y notes, too. In many oolong teas, floral notes are prominent, this pouchong tends more toward a fruity sweetness (which is not to say there are any fruit flavors, the aromas are more natural and generic).
Once released by the hot water, the aromas grow stronger. From the cup come moderately strong smells of green vegetation and some pine. It reminds me of a garden of vines in a cup. I take my first sip, and the flavors burst over the tongue. They are surprisingly intense. Rather smooth and very drinkable, the flavors taste complex and light, verging on delicate. A natural sweetness surrounds all the flavors, and the aftertaste is light and very reminiscent of a green tea. Yet, it seems like there are very few distinguishable flavors.
I feel as though distinguishing different flavor notes is difficult with this pouchong. The overall taste of the tea is wonderful, yet the complexity seems hard to break-down. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea an 89/100.
Photo credit to Built from Ink and Tea.
DavidsTea's Pouchong Oolong is available from their website, here, and in DavidsTea retail stores.
This review was unsolicited and uncompensated.
Text is copyright 2016, Built from Ink and Tea.