Hello, all! 🙂 It’s hard to believe winter is so fast approaching! It’s certainly been a crazy year. As the nights draw on ever longer, I’ve been keeping close company with hot cups of tea and scary movies (don’t ask) to pass the time. Have you guys seen “The Babadook”?! HOLY NUGGETS! So good! Real, solid, suspenseful horror without any jumpscares. Hopefully it starts a trend of better scary movies.
Anyway! I’ve been happily sipping some of What-Cha’s Taiwan Sheng Cha today, and am eager to share my thoughts on this unique oolong with you fellow teacats. According to the package, this tea boasts an “unusual walnut-shell taste”, and admittedly is not a typical tea I would choose on my own- so a big thanks goes out to Alistair for including it as a sneaky little surprise in my order! 🙂
As I open the packet, a toasty, barley-like scent rises from the leaves. You might not be able to immediately discern the notes of walnut, but if you know what you’re.. smelling for, the scent quickly becomes apparent and will cling to your nose long after taking a whiff. It’s strangely invigorating!
Shop Link: Taiwan Sheng Cha Oolong
Brewing Guidelines: 185 F / 85 C | 1-2 minutes | 1 tsp | 200 mL
With the first steep, the leaves, tiny cannonballs at first, unfurl beautifully and will completely fill your brewing vessel. The quality of the tea What-Cha sources never ceases to amaze me.
The light emerald-colored brew tastes rich and nutty, savory and sweet. It doesn’t taste quite as toasted as I was expecting, having more of a dominant sweet seaweed flavor instead, though that peculiar walnut flavor mischievously lingers.
The second steeping results in a richer, more golden brew, with a stronger seaweed taste. I also seem to detect a flavor similar to soy sauce- this tea would be a perfect accompaniment to sushi! The drink is smooth and savory without any astringency, and (sadly) I don’t taste the walnut much anymore. Ultimately, Sheng Cha reminds me of a darkly roasted genmaicha: rich, savory, and filling. I loved the unexpected walnut taste and wish it had lasted longer, though its brevity encouraged me to really appreciate what I was tasting.
Check out Taiwan Sheng Cha Oolong for yourself!
Sip slowly, and enjoy the remainder of this chilly autumn, my friends. 🙂