Tea Reviews

An Oolong from Honyama: the Beautiful Work of Tatsuji Takahashi

Much of Japanese tea is green tea. You might actually think that the Japanese tea scene consists entirely of green tea. Well, a huge portion of the Japanese tea market is green tea for sure. There is, however, a very small amount of other types of tea produced, bringing some life to Japanese tea culture. Examples would be Japanese white tea, black tea and, as is the case with today’s tea for review, oolong tea. Let’s look at our Honyama Oolong.

This one is a quite show-stopper. It sold out rather quickly last year and actually comes from a single producer in the Honyama area by the name of Tatsuji Takahashi. He started growing Oolong tea trees which seem to do well with the pristine weather of the Honyama mountainous region. Whether it is in China or Taiwan there seems to be a strong connection between oolong cha and cultures that inhabit mountainous regions. With an emergence of oolong producers in Japan, this seems to be the case here too.

This tea lacks the sort of “soapy” taste that some lower-grade oolong teas may have. The brew has virtually no bitterness at all but instead delivers a soothing, coconut milk flavor and an almost sugary sweetness. It might remind one of mango sticky rice, a popular South-East Asian dish. It brews up an orange-gold cup which is somewhat normal given that oolongs tend to be more oxidized then green teas. The aroma also most likely come from the oxidation as well, which might remind one of soft-smelling tropical flowers.

We expect to have more of this tea later this year, around Summer time. Until then, feel free to visit our website to browse or selection of other teas with a similar profile such as our Wakoucha Mariko, a Japanese black tea. You can also follow our instagram and tiktok for more content and also subscribe to our newsletter by entering your email at the bottom of our website.