Tasting over 500 cups of tea a day may well seem like the perfect job to many tea lovers. But whilst the team at Ahmad Tea HQ’s Tea Room treat every brew with a keen interest and passion, there are times when they yearn for a bit more variety than the everyday. That’s why they were so thrilled by the arrival of some colourful speciality Oolong teas from Taiwan. Here are some of their notes from a Tea Room bursting with colour on a sunny Friday in May.
Hands up who thought that green and black were the only two types of tea? No of course you didn’t, but just in case let us remind you of the curious world of Oolong tea. The Oolong tradition originated in China and unlike black tea, which is fully oxidised after plucking, and green tea, which is quickly processed to stop oxidisation, Oolong undergoes a set period of oxidisation. The length of time given to this process makes an amazing difference to the colour and flavour of the tea and makes Oolong production a real art that results in a wide variety of types and flavour profiles.
Green Oolong is of a type that is oxidised the least and is similar in its taste profile to green tea. Our tea tasters found this cup to be smooth in flavour with floral notes and a pleasant lingering after-taste.
The Amber Oolong that our Tea Tasters were lucky enough to enjoy was hand plucked in the hills of Nantou County in Taiwan and oxidised to a higher degree than others of the same type. The delicate method of cultivation and preparation results in a beautifully coloured liquor. Saleh from the tea department was impressed by the teas’ smooth flavour that offered a floral and fruity taste.
This heavily oxidised Oolong is a very interesting tea indeed. During cultivation, leafhopper insects (locally known as jassids) are allowed to feast upon the leaves and stems. These common pests suck at the plant’s juices and have the effect of beginning the oxidisation process early and turning the leaf tips white. This unusual cultivation technique adds a sweet, honey character to the tea. The leafhopper’s work is more noticeable in the summer months so the team did not get the full Oriental Beauty experience. Nevertheless they discovered a fruity and aromatic character without any bitterness.
A (tea)potted history of Darjeeling
Learn about the 'land of the thunderbolt.' A brief history of the place that gives the wonderful speciality tea we know and love its name.
Ahmad Tea’s Very British Quiz
Think you know your cream tea from your builder’s tea? Test your knowledge on all things British and tea-related in our Very British Quiz.
The Perfect Cake for Afternoon Tea
We asked Eileen Donaghey, The Afternoon Tea Expert, to share her tips on the perfect cake to accompany a home afternoon tea.
Hibiscus infusions and your health: More than just a tasty brew?
Drinking infusions that contain hibiscus, which often gives the deep red colour in fruity herbals, could be good for your health.
How to make the best afternoon tea at home
Our Tea Taster, Dominic Marriott, and an afternoon tea expert explore how to make the best afternoon tea at home.
The Art of Tea Tasting
From selecting the finest teas that go into Ahmad Tea blends to checking those blends are up to scratch, our team of Tea Tasters are…
Tea in the Land of the Samurai
Exploring the history, geography, culture and production of tea in Japan.
Tea Around the World
Renowned as the epitome of Englishness, the cup of tea has a rich tradition in the British Isles. But there are many other countries where…
Arguably the best known of the teas to come out of Japan, matcha has found its way into a variety of foods and beverages. Although…