Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Driftwood Tea
Gui Fei Honey Tea is created through a remarkable combination of plant and nature. Farmers allow the edges of these leaves to be nibbled by leaf hoppers which causes the leaf to producing an enzyme that results in a finished tea that has developed a naturally sweet, beautiful rich, almost honey like quality.
A beautifully rich, multi-faceted tea which is definitely deserved of the time spent to enjoy it over multiple infusions.
Learn more about this Oolong tea here.
As I was steeping this Organic Gui Fei Oolong (Honey Tea) from Driftwood Tea in my gaiwan, I noticed the charcoal-y notes immediately. My mouth watered at the thought of that unique, smoky char taste! I didn’t really realize that this was a characteristic I’d ever really look forward to in an Oolong tea (or any other tea for that matter), but, there it is … I guess my palate has come to accept and even enjoy the notes of a charcoal-esque tea … and even light smoky notes! This from the woman who at one time threw away a full canister of Lapsang Souchong because I couldn’t handle that smoky aroma any longer!
Note: this was long before I discovered Steepster and found people who would have gladly taken that Lapsang Souchong off my hands … and also long before I’ve come to terms with Lapsang Souchong and actually enjoy the stuff now!
This Gui Fei is absolutely lovely! The flavor is far less “charcoal-y” than the aroma while brewing would lead me to believe … and it has only the slightest, faintest hint of a smoky quality to the cup. What I taste is a lovely honey-esque note that reminds me of a rich, raw honey. I taste a floral quality to the honey that is difficult to place … orchid, perhaps?
The tasting notes on the Driftwood Tea website suggest a chocolate-y tone which I do taste … and it’s coming as a big surprise to me because … I don’t recall ever really experiencing cacao tones from a pure Oolong like this. I taste the nutty quality as well which is sweet and I find that this nutty flavor is accentuated when I inhale the aroma of the tea deeply before I take a sip. The nutty flavors really come to life!
This is a tea that is definitely worth the effort to resteep several times too. I find that the honey-esque notes enhance in later steepings … In my second cup (the combination of infusions three and four), I noticed that the texture was a little thicker, reminding me of a thinned honey … and this really enhanced the experience as well. The roasted notes from the aforementioned charcoal-ish tones really bring out the sweet nutty taste in this cup.
A really excellent Oolong – definitely one to add to your Must Try list! If you’re a fan of Oolong like I am … you’ve got to try this one!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!