woensdag 31 oktober 2012

High Mountain Formosa MF from Hojo

Icy cold, crispy blue sky and lots of sunshine... my favourite kind of weather so I put some more effort in my cha xi than usual (still not that much because of limited items). The tea I'm going to review is a sample I received with my order at Hojo and is called 'High Mountain Formosa MF'. Now on his website I read the article about his High Mountain Formosa which seems to come from Alishan and is bitten by the tea jassid. Only the leafs that were bitten are harvested to give it a special, sweet aroma. Now this tea has 'MF' behind it and I'm still doubting if it means Medium Fired or Medium Fermented. I personally think the tea received a light roast to gain some extra sweetness but it's also deeply oxidized as you will see further in this review. (EDIT: it means Medium Fermented)

This tea looks particulary dark, kind of deep oceaan blue with seaweed. It might not be noticeable on the picture but when you put this one next to a normal, lightl oxidized high mountain oolong it appears to be almost black. Because I opened the vacuüm sealed package a few hours before drinking and kept the tea in a glazed jar the aromas had the chance to develop. It smelled pure and refreshing with some honey like sweetness. I wasn't able to detect a roast at all, perhaps the what I like to call 'Honey pops' smell came from some very light roasting. At the first brew I was surprised to see such an intense orange colour, I didn't expect such a deep oxidized tea! It almost looked and smelled like a fully oxidized oolong, almost like an OB. The first sip was so smooth, honey like sweet and fruity that a smile appeared on my face. It seems the more tea I'm drinking, the better they get. I don't know if it's due the fact that I'm buying better teas, my brewing skills improved or I'm just able to detect more nuances because of an increased tasting palate.
The first few brews (3-4) were full of ripe fruits like pineapple and peach, it's been quite a while since I had such a fruity too. The body is medium and not overly sweet though sweet enough to not make it flat. Once swallowed there are some slight floral notes but they disappear rather quiick. Now and then some unexpected vanilla notes pop-up. Through these first few infusions and even more in the later ones there is this 'mystery flavor'. On his website it's described as a Brandy bitterness. For me it's this plastical feeling in my mouth, don't know how else to describe it. It's this kind of sticky, coating feeling like the smell in a new bought car. It might sound strange, unpleasant or off-putting but there is no other way for me to describe this flavour. I just love this feeling/flavour in my mouth, you can also find it in full bodied, strong red wines or rather sweet, bottle oxidized white wines. Some people might have an idea where I'm talking about but I think 99% don't, too bad I cannot take a picture of a taste. Later on this tea loses its so o' delicious fruitiness but gains a more almond like flavor which makes it similar to a light sherry. This is maybe something you could compare that plastical,nutty flavour to: light sherry, hope this helps to get an idea about the flavour profile of this tea.

The leafs are a mixture of young buds and some larger, rougher ones. Most of them are oxidized for atleast 50% and more which almost makes it taste like a red tea but sweeter and with additional complexity. It's a perfect mixtures between the complexity of high mountain oolongs and the smooth,rich flavour of red teas. It might not be for everyone because of it's unusual taste but it's certainly worth a try. Enough of writing now... I'm going to enjoy the nice weather with some more of this tea. Aaah, perfect day...

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