Tuesday Tasting: Dragon Claw Oolong from Tea Runners

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This Dragon Claw Oolong tea was part of the free Pure Teas box I received last month from Tea Runners that I unboxed on my YouTube channel recently, and I’ve been curious to try it. I finally opened it (I have a plethora of oolong right now) and decided to give it a taste. This is a rolled Nepalese oolong that looks semi-oxidized and was harvested in Summer 2018.

I used 5 grams of tea in a 120-ml gaiwan with 87C water. The dry leaf is dark green-brown and rolled into loose spirals. I get an aroma of cream and roasted nuts from it. I did not rinse it, but instead went straight into steeping it.

The first steeping was for 20 seconds. The wet leaf aroma was roasty with an undertone of hazelnut liqueur. The liquor was reddish amber brown and smelled of amaretto. It had a smooth, milky mouthfeel and almost tasted like black tea with maple syrup and milk. It has a jammy and sweet fruity aftertaste, maybe like prunes. It also had a lingering flavor of roasted nuts. The second steeping was also for 20 seconds and yielded a slightly darker liquor with more roast aroma on the wet leaf and a fruity aroma on the liquor. It had a similar tea-with-milk flavor, with a hint of Frangelico.

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By the third steeping, also for 20 seconds, while the liquor was a similar color, I noticed the flavor becoming milder, with some tannin coming through. I left the fourth steeping for 45 seconds and for some cherry and firewood aromas from the wet leaves. The liquor had a lovely maple sweetness. The fifth steeping, also for 45 seconds, had lighter flavors and tasted of cherries, almonds, and tannin. By the sixth steeping, for a full minute, the tea seemed done.

The spent leaves were interesting, as they were quite narrow and small, despite being a whole-leaf tea. I’m used to oolongs have big fat leaves, but these were different from other oolong leaves I’ve examined. All in all, this was an intriguing oolong and makes me curious to try other non-black Nepalese teas.

NB: This tea was sent free of charge in exchange for my honest thoughts. All thoughts are my own. To learn more about the format of my tea tasting posts and why I switched from reviews to tastings, please read this post. For more information about collaborating with me, please read my collaboration information.

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