REVIEW: Canton Tea Co – Zealong Pure Oolong (2014)

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Tea: Unroasted oolong tea from the Zealong Tea Estate in Hamilton, New Zealand
Available for purchase at: Canton Tea Co and Zealong

A tea grown in New Zealand? No way. Yes, believe it. I don’t want to write much here because Jane Pettigrew wrote an excellent blog post about the history of the Zealong Tea Estate and its founders and owners, Vincent Chen and his father, Tsu. But for a quick summary, the Chens imported tea plants from Taiwan into New Zealand and planted them on the Zealong Tea Estate in Hamilton in 2000. In 2004, they built a tea factory to process tea. By 2009, they were selling their oolong tea. Today, the Zealong plantation is 40ha and can produce 100 tonnes of fresh leaves. Zealong currently sells four oolong teas.

Dry leaf:

– The dry leaf consists of tightly rolled leaves that are dark green in colour

– It has a sweet, floral aroma

Infused tea:

– The tea cups out a pale green liquor with a strong floral aroma

– The liquor has all the characteristics of a top unroasted oolong: buttery, floral, sweet. It is smooth, and its aftertaste grows in your mouth but doesn’t leaf your mouth feeling dry

Tips/conclusions:

– Prepare this tea gong fu style with 80 to 85C water. Infuse for 20 to 30 seconds. You will get at least four to six infusions

– After learning this tea came from Taiwanese tea plants, and after opening the pouch and smelling and seeing for the first time, I already knew I was going to love it. Unroasted Taiwanese oolongs are some of my favourite teas, and this tea has all the wonderful characteristics of a top-quality Taiwanese oolong. For oolong lovers, this is a must-try tea not only because it is delicious, but because it isn’t every day that you can try a tea grown in New Zealand!

Score:

5/5

Retail price: £5

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
This entry was posted in Canton Tea Co, New Zealand tea, Oolong, Uncategorized, Zealong and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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