Japanese oolong


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Japanese oolong

Postby Oni » Jan 9th, '13, 15:45

I have made an order from yuuki-cha, and among some sencha and gyokuro I bought some japanese oolong.
Has anybody tried these? I made a first attempt, I made it gong fu style, and it was a disaster, it cooked the leaves, I felt like it was green tea, it should be brewed with much lower temperature. (p.s. Kumamoto sencha Yabe is stellar)
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby debunix » Jan 9th, '13, 16:35

which one specifically did you get?
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby teaisme » Jan 9th, '13, 18:54

the only possible way I see getting around 3-5 well round infusions from these teas is very fast flash infusions with a good amount of leaf. Start with cooler then you would expect maybe 170-180ish. Slowly raise up.

couple things I did not try with these teas is brewing them with sencha style temps and times, or bowl brewing a few leaves May be worth a try? Also did not try the two green oolongs . Just the darker ones, and the oolong blacks.
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby Oni » Jan 10th, '13, 02:56

I have tried this ~Organic Miyazaki Oolong Tea Kuchinashi~, it is green oolong, but I think it is more like pan fried green tea, rather than oolong, it has a lot of acidity and tanins compared to chinese oolongs, and it burns at high temperatures, I thought I should try it sencha style, or Dancong style with short infusion times.
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby debunix » Jan 10th, '13, 11:04

Checking back, the one that I had is not currently offered, Kagoshima, and it was very difficult for me because it was very black-tea like which took very careful handling to get the chocolate and fruity notes without bitterness--quite the opposite, it sounds like, from the one you have behaving like a green tea. I don't think these are very standardized teas, so I suspect the advice for one would not necessarily apply to another.
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby chado.my.teaway » Jan 10th, '13, 16:21

I'v tried only 2 japanese oolong.

Oolong made from Yumewakaba(Tree Variety).

Tea name
Yumewakaba 1
Yumewakaba 3

This tea was made by Yoshiaki Hiruma

Not excellent but good;) Original Da Hong Pao its better;p;)
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby Tead Off » Jan 29th, '13, 23:29

The main stumbling block with Japanese oolongs, IMO, is the perception that they would have anything to do with Chinese oolongs, which they don't. I think the word oolong could only be applied in a technical sense of a tea being semi-oxidized. So all expectations of what a Japanese oolong might be should be swept aside in order to fully appreciate what they are.

I've tried two from Yuuki-Cha. One was a smaller leafed, delicate tea, maybe the Kuchinashi which was given to me along with an order from Yuuki. This tea was interesting, flavorful, delicate, and quite different than any sencha. I think I brewed it with a good amount of leaf in a shiboridashi and I enjoyed it.

The other oolong was a big leaf roasted variety from Miyazaki, Koube Shiage. This one to me, was like a farmer's tea, kind of rough and strong until I started to brew it in a larger pot, 240ml, and making large Yunomi size cups of it. Then, the whole character of this tea became something warm and friendly to be enjoyed after a meal with friends. It was a very satisfying drink to me but only after I was able to get past my own preconceived notions about what this tea should be vs. what it is. Sounds like words to live by. :D
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby teaisme » Jan 30th, '13, 18:14

Tead Off wrote:perception that they would have anything to do with Chinese oolongs, which they don't. I think the word oolong could only be applied in a technical sense of a tea being semi-oxidized.


absolutely agree, there obviously seems to be some clear distinctions between what is called oolong and what fits more into the semi fermented/oxidize catagory, the later often being labelled as the former.
Most certainly the processing is different with these styles of tea, traditional oolongs requiring more steps along with longer times-lower temps, more thought out processes, not just picking a tea whose cultivar was intended for green tea and making it into a semi ferm oolong because its lying around.

I do enjoy those semi ferm teas, usually they are a very aromatic sweet affair (esp when chocolate shows up well), unfortunately the lack of body and other sensations makes me not come back. It's the kind of tea which I wish I could drink the second infusion first and finish off with the first.
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby Alex » Feb 6th, '13, 09:23

I bought some a couple of years back. Just brewed it like western style. Very nice it was. Can't remember which one.....think it had an orange packet. It was pretty small particles.
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby blairswhitaker » Feb 7th, '13, 04:35

I have tried all the oolong offerings from Yuuki-cha as i love to experience things in tea I never have before. ( I do not know how that Kumamoto sencha Yabe has escaped me to this point but that needs to be remedied)

Yes the biggest problem as tead off mentioned is that they ARE NOT chinese oolongs as long as you approach them as if they were you will be bummed out. if you start to brew them in their own way you might be pleasantly surprised. for the greener one you are referring to try brewing in small kyusu or a gaiwan works great for this one. use about 1grm per oz of water do not overpack it like gongfu cha. use water that is around 90c and steep the first brew fro about 1min to 1min20sec. do the same for the next brew then start adding time on. the darker oolongs need a little more room to move around, I actually have a dedicated kyusu for higher roasted japanese oolong and I brew them at just off the boil with 1grm per oz. for 40sec first steep, 40sec second steep and increase time from that point on.

with some patience I have found these teas to be quite rewarding in their own way, and I really enjoy the taste and feel they completely hold their own. this is a type of tea making that is in it's infancy in japan. the breeds they use are typically breeds for black tea not green. since this is fairly new the only place japan has to go is up! I for one am looking forward to the journey of japanese oolongs!
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby amaranto » Feb 7th, '13, 18:42

I'm glad I stumbled upon this thread because I just got a shipment of Organic Miyazake Oolong. Thanks for the pointers, guys!
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby amaranto » Feb 8th, '13, 19:29

Okay, I've tried the Miyazake now, and it reminds me of a Kamairicha because of its toasty, slightly-vegetal taste. It's definitely different, though not at all unpleasant.
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Re: Japanese oolong

Postby mganz42 » Aug 4th, '14, 23:06

I pulled up this post because I was trying to figure out how to brew the Miyazaki that I just got along with my new houhin, and wanted to share my results...
It turns out it's really good brewed "grandpa style" in a hagi yunomi. Kind of like da hong pao had a baby with gyokuro. Very yummy and low maintenance, brewed this way.
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Japanese oolong

Postby Pig Hog » Aug 5th, '14, 08:30

I recently opened a packet of Miyazaki koubi shiage, which I'm very pleased with. Need plenty of leaf but it's deep in flavour, kind of earthy and sweet.

Want to try it cold brewed but don't want to 'waste' the leaf...
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