Samdayeon Jeju Tangerine: Osulloc

Samdayeon Jeju Tangerine by Osulloc

Samdayeon Jeju Tangerine by Osulloc

Ahhh… I had so many big plans for today! Laundry, dishes, walking, cleaning, beading, marking, lesson planning… and here I am with half the day gone, and the only thing I’ve done is laze around on the couch and waste time building my cell-phone city. What is wrong with me?! And furthermore, why do I feel so guilty about taking a long, lazy Sunday morning to do nothing? Do we need to be doing something productive at every moment? Why can’t I just enjoy the down-time sans guilt? All the little tasks will have to wait. I’m going to take a few minutes to consciously enjoy doing nothing. And the perfect accompaniment to nothing is, of course, tea!

Today, I’m drawn to this Korean Osulloc tea because the word ‘Tangerine’ sounds like fresh, fragrant summertime and sunlight. I open the packet and the most delicious, mouthwatering, juicy fragrance fills my room! It’s gorgeous! Tangy, orange-y, citrus, but not lemon… this is the freshest, juiciest tangerine aroma I’ve had this year… even more than the little dried up tangerines I bought in the supermarket last week! I’m just going to sit here and breathe this tea until I can’t smell it anymore. Finally, I extract the tea pyramid to find a fine loose black tea full of tangerine peel bits.

Samdayeon Jeju Tangerine tea pyramid

Samdayeon Jeju Tangerine tea pyramid

I steep the bag for about 3 minutes in boiling water, and I see the peel bits have turned bright green, while the tea itself is a clear peachy orange colour, like tangerines! It smells really fresh and fruity. Dang! It’s too hot to drink! I’ll just sit here and do nothing while I wait for it to cool 😉

green tangerine bits

green tangerine bits

The first sip is initially sweet, like honey, but as I hold the tea in my mouth, it changes. Next, there is an intense fruity/floral citrus flavour… more like dark blood oranges than light tangerines, and then there is a slight bitterness. I think I’ve oversteeped it a bit. I think I would have preferred a 90 second steep. As I continue to drink though, I’m not noticing bitterness, but a super rich orange/tangerine flavour, with sweetness in the finish. The aftertaste is a delicious sweet tangerine, like honey, or candy. There is a little bit of astringency, but it’s not too bad. The more I drink, the less I notice it. There is a lingering tart freshness that is quite surprising!

A quick search online reveals that this is in fact oolong tea, and the tangerine bits are harvested in Jeju Island. Those are the only two ingredients listed. I’m steeping another cup just to see what happens. Only 90 seconds this time, and I get the same lovely rosy colour. This time, there’s no bitterness. It’s just a really nice sweet orange/tangerine flavour, with a GREAT sweet finish. It has mellowed quite a bit, and it’s just beautiful! The oolong is the perfect strength to support the citrus flavour. I would love to drink this again, but go for a shorter first steep, and probably a lower temperature. Since the package is all in Korean, I had to guess. Now I know for next time!

SUPER BIG KAMSAHAMNIDA to my friend Sarah for bringing this, and “Sunny Hill: Sun-soaked Hillside” to me from Korea! I still have 2 more Osulloc samples that I’m looking forward to trying, and which I will be treating a little more gently in the first steep! Now… back to my loafing around…

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