When I first started writing about tea on instagram, I got a message out of the blue from Chao Zhou Tea Growers, aka @wudongtea, asking if I would like to try some Organic Oolong Tea.
Oolong tea is not particularly common in the US. I had tried a few over the years, but didn’t really know much about it. In fact, I had sort of been avoiding it, as from what I had read, Oolong was basically a whole other world of tea and tea terminology from the basics of White, Green, and Black teas. Many Oolong teas are highly coveted and often quite expensive.
But, how could I refuse some samples? The usual rule with these deals, I come to understand, is, you buy some of their teas, and they send along some small samples of their other teas.
The first batch, I bought 100g of their Honey Orchid Oolong, and they sent along samples of their Ya Shi Xiang, aka Duck Poop Fragrance varietal tea.
I drank all the Honey Orchid, but really liked their Duck Shit Oolong, so decided to re-up my supply of that with my next order.
The previous bunch of teas and samples they had sent had all been in the “Orchid” family of flavors, so I asked them to send me a couple samples that were different varietals/flavors/fragrances.
This is Spring 2018 Chaozhou Old Bush Wudong Bai Ye Oolong Tea. Bai Ye means “White Leaf”. It is called that because the leaves of the tea varietal used to produce it are lighter in color than most other tea trees.
The flavor of the Bai Ye varietal is most often described as “Peach”, but it is more evocative of Peach Blossom scent than the flavor of ripe peaches.
It has just enough grip in the early steeps to keep it interesting, but it is the length that is crazy. This tea haunted me for days after drinking it.