If something says summer is in full swing, it's seeing watermelons everywhere. Seeing a watermelon tea, on the other hand, may leave you either confused or eager to try it. Watermelon oolong tea from Yawn, is unique in every sense.
What is Watermelon Oolong?
Watermelon Oolong is a very unusual, tropical, pretty blend. It's made with greener semi-ball shaped oolong tea base, blended with papaya pieces and plum and safflower petals. It smells and looks tropical. There are no watermelons in this tea, but we didn't expect that either. Watermelons are not a type of fruit you would typically eat candied or dried, so the next best thing to add a watermelon flavour to tea is watermelon flavouring.
This tea screams summer. Light watermelon, deep and sweet papaya, and a layer of deep freshness. It's intense. It's pretty. And it smells delicious. If you are used to light oolongs, this is not one of them. If you are used to dark flavoured oolongs. This is not one of them either.
How to brew Watermelon Oolong tea?
Lighter green semi-ball shaped oolongs are always better brewed traditionally. That means using more tea leaves, and re-steeping multiple times. Which is exactly what we did. Traditional brewing using a gaiwan is not really a method you would use for flavoured teas, but there's something about this tea that says it's worth a try.
Using re-steeping technique, the same leaves can be used 3-5 times, depending on how much tea you use and how long you steep them for. Start with 30-40 seconds for the first steep. Use at least 3-4 grams of tea per 150 ml of water.
We tried it the western way too, using 2 grams per 200 ml of water and steeped for 3 minutes. This tea won't get bitter either way, which is a great plus.
Which way was better?
Watermelon oolong may have a strong scent, but the flavour is light regardless of the brewing method. Light in a very good way. Watermelon note is more intense if you steep it the western way. Even when you use more tea leaves and eastern brewing technique, the second, third and fourth infusion will start revealing the oolong base with fresher, greener notes. Surprisingly, there's a watermelon note even in the fifth infusion. The first infusion with both methods is juicy, smooth and light, with quite strong watermelon aftertaste.
If you love flavoured tropical teas but don't like the strength and possible astringency of a typical black and green tea tropical blend, this tea is for you. It's flavourful, light and juicy and would be a great daily summer tea. It would be delicious iced, too. When making an iced tea, use at least 2 teaspoons of tea per cup of water to get a more intense flavour. Since this is an oolong tea, it contains caffeine.