You are: Amongst beautiful tea gardens high up in the Nepalese Himalayas
Drinking: Chateau Rouge Organic Oolong Tea
“Sorry, Oo-what?” Yes I’m sorry to say I’d previously been dragging my heels when it came to trying Oolong Teas. Having just got to grips with the many different types of black, green and white teas, I just didn’t know if I was ready to venture into this new tea world that people raved about!
For newcomers like me, it’s worth noting that Oolong means the tea leaves are semi-oxidised after picking, compared to Green or Black Teas, which are either unoxidised or fully oxidised (world of extremes). Therefore, the claims that Oolong is a compromise between Black Tea and Green Tea are probably quite fair. A tea like this can balance the rich flavour found in a Black Tea with the freshness and some of the antioxidants found in a Green Tea. With my previous resistance in mind, this might have actually been a great start to the world of Tea!
Notebook: As with all adventures, I’m glad I persevered. Most Oolong Teas come from China or Taiwan, so this Chateau Rouge Nepalese version is out of the ordinary and described as ‘Darjeeling-styled’ because of its origins in the high peaks of the Himalayas. Tea connoisseurs might like to know this tea is made entirely by hand and you can appreciate loose leaves that are large and twisted.
With all that in mind, I still wasn’t prepared for how much like Darjeeling Tea this would taste, with its smooth texture and naturally sweet, floral flavour. However, I’d say this Himalayan Oolong had a fuller, earthier taste, compared to a lighter first-flush Darjeeling Tea I’d tried before. I can only wonder if this is to do with these rich Autumnal leaves or because of the vegetal taste a less oxidised Oolong tea might bring? I certainly would like to explore this further.
Chateau Rouge, as usual, manage to mix Fairtrade with luxury and recommend afternoon tea cakes, cream cheese or chocolate with this particular Tea. Not one to argue with any of those suggestions, I’m happy to sit and enjoy this lovely version of Oolong Tea for a while…
- Sam Selwood is a tea enthusiast who likes to connect real people with real tea through her Tea Street blog. She enjoys quality tea that is healthy and fair for everyone, making us mindful of the planet and our own drinking experience. As well as writing, Sam loves to demonstrate her passion for tea and travel through photography but can otherwise be found buried in a good book!