Oolong Koushun

Oolong Koushun - dry leaf

This is one of the three teas I purchased in late September from House of Tea.

Japan is rightly famous for its fabulous green teas, but I’ve really enjoyed getting to know other less well known Japanese teas, such as the black, Oolong, and dark teas that I’ve looked at previously.

This tea is another of the Oolongs, and as the name suggests the raw material is of the Koushun cultivar, one that is often used for Oolong tea and black tea in Japan. The leaves were grown at an elevation of 500 metres in the Hamamatsu mountains, which are located in Shizuoka Prefecture. Koushun is said to be a cultivar that is very suitable for such mountainous regions. House of Tea’s notes also go on to say that this is an ecologically grown tea.

The aroma coming off the dry leaf was an interesting mix of roasty and malty notes, with a hint of green tea grassiness.

As I tend to do these days with Indian and Japanese teas, I refrained from gong-fuing these leaves…

Steeping Method

  • Water Used: Filtered tap water

  • Weight of dry leaf: 3½ grams

  • Infusion style: Japanese

  • Steeping vessel: 200 ml ceramic kyusu

  • Water temperature: 95°C

  • No. & duration: 3 infusions of 1½, 2, and 3 minutes duration

The first infusion was a luscious, creamy, lip sticker, also notable for the beautiful colour of the liquor, which was sweet, with a heady floral aroma. The sweetness was nicely balanced with a tartness that was partly black tea like, but also had me thinking of blueberries.

Oolong Koushun - a cup of

The second infusion saw the tartness become more noticeable, and the third quite clearly marked the end of the session, with even the deep colour of the liquor on the wane.

I think I’m going to have to file this session, enjoyable as it was, under the “more questions than answers” heading.

Even though these days, as I say above, I default to not gong-fuing Indian and Japanese teas, there’s something about this tea that still makes me think that it just might play nicely in a gaiwan.

It might even be the case that these leaves are at their best when given only two steepings. Let’s see.

I’m also left wondering just exactly how these small, fine leaves were processed “Oolong style“, just as I was when I looked at another Japanese Oolong – Oolong Yabukita – back in January 2019.

Oolong Koushun - used leaves

Still, for all that this is a very nice tea, proving yet again that Japanese Oolongs are well worth a closer look.

Good stuff.

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5 Responses to Oolong Koushun

  1. Very interesting. I have had the Koushun white but never had a Japanese oolong. I definitely need to give this a try.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And I’ve never had a Koushun white – sounds like something I’ll have to track down…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had a Japanese black tea that required gongfu-ish ratios of leaf to water but Western steep times… so I’m wondering what this might be like if you used less water but kept it steeping longer.

    Japanese oolongs and blacks are fascinating!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Assam Oolong | Northern Teaist

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