Site-Wide Activity Forums Tea Conversations Blending Oolongs

12 replies, 6 voices Last updated by  Xavier 4 years, 11 months ago
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  • #8650

    Xavier
    Participant
    @xavier

    I just add the idea of blending different Oolongs together.

    Do you think it would be feasible? interesting? worth it?

  • #8656

    peter
    Keymaster
    @peter

    I just was browsing through some of the wholesale catalogs I have here in the house and while there are plenty of black tea blends (obviously) and the occasional green tea blends, I didn’t see a single oolong blend. I think you may be on to something there. I wonder what the others think about it.

  • #8657

    iheartteas
    Participant
    @iheartteas

    I say give it a try. You’ll never know unless you do.  I always imagine a flavor profile that I’m to trying create and go from there.  I’d start there first.

  • #8674

    Xavier
    Participant
    @xavier

    Still thinking about it…

    You should be afraid of what I might come up with.

  • #8675

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    That could be interesting. A lightly roasted one with a heavy roast? Or one from Taiwan and one from China? I haven’t come across an Oolong blend before either. Anyone else? Let’s ask one of our tea reviewers, @lazyliteratus@liberteas @azzrian you? 

  • #8914

    Warren Peltier
    Participant
    @tea-author

    *Oolong tea blending is done here in Fujian – Tieguanyin, for example, is blended – taken from various farms. 

    Wuyi Rock Tea is also often blended in a few ways:

    Zheng yan cha added to non-Zheng yan cha to add a little kick.

    Fragrant Dong Pian (winter season Rock tea) – added in to add extra fragrance for some specific rock tea lacking fragrance.

    Reduce MRLs (pesticide residues) but blending in low (or no) pesticide residue containing tea leaves.

    Wuyi rock teas (of various varieties) blended together to create a unique flavor profile; and to make up for weaknesses in single-variety teas.

    Normally, we don’t like to drink blended Wuyi Rock tea – because most of the charm of this tea is to distinguish between varieties; exploring the over 200 varieties of wuyi rock tea – especially the famous varieties.

    But in actual fact, a lot of wuyi rock tea varieties taste very similar – so they lend themselves to blending.

    But sometimes the blend tastes so muddied, it doesn’t really taste like anything special – not like an excellent quality pure, single variety – from 1 origin source/farm.

    Why blend? Mainly it’s to meet high market demand for tea while satisfying buyer requirements. 

  • #8917

    Xavier
    Participant
    @xavier

    @tea-author thanks for the input.

    To your question, why blend? My answer is “it is for a gift”.

  • #8918

    Robert Godden
    Participant
    @thedevotea

    There are plenty of blends with oolong in them. Plenty!

    Blending oolongs together is not unknown, as suggested above.

    Some oolongs are blended in groups with flavour profiles like honey, almond etc.

  • #8923

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    Not unknown @thedevotea – but rare. Who do you know who blends an oolong from one area with an oolong from another? I don’t mean flavored oolongs, just a mix of different styles of oolong, or countries of origin, or as @tea-author mentions from different tea gardens. I’d be interested to see “what happens” if you take a heavy roast and a medium roast for example. Is that an “ideal” roast for some? @gingkoseto have you come across this? Also Warren, the blends you talk about, are they always labeled as such, or do they sometimes pretend to be single origin Wuji rock teas and then command a higher price? 

  • #8924

    Robert Godden
    Participant
    @thedevotea

    *At the last Tea Salon, one of the tea nerd types – they are all interchangeable, can’t remember which one – was banging on about this, but I was distracted by a new site featuring funny pictures of cats and can’t remember what was said. I think it was blending similar oolongs from the same region. Maybe.

  • #8925

    Warren Peltier
    Participant
    @tea-author

    Jackie: there are light, medium, and heavy roast oolongs (however, light roast doesn’t age well – must be consumed within 6 months – or the flavor will go off [return to green], thus necessary to further roast the tea).

    The blends I’m talking about are never labeled as a blend; instead called “Wuyi Rock Tea” – a generic name (though also a geographical mark); and you’re right – they can command a higher price.

    Take for example, Jin Jun Mei 金俊眉, only a small amount can be produced a year in tongmuguan each spring – because the buds are hand-picked. But on the market you see a lot of different teas – from different growing areas, different tea cultivars, sold as Jin Jun Mei – all commanding a very high price (even though the wholesale tea price is actually quite cheap).  

  • #8935

    Warren Peltier
    Participant
    @tea-author

    @xavier you’ll never know unless you try. I have to admit I’ve never dared to try blending teas – afraid of some unpleasant consequence. But you’ll never know unless you take the plunge.

    I did try an artisan tea that was made from Zhenghe black tea and Zhenghe white tea – contrasting the colors of the two leaf types. That tea was actually pretty tasty. Don’t know if it’s on the market though.

  • #8936

    Xavier
    Participant
    @xavier

    I will let you know how it turns out.

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