Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports
This Guangdong specialty is a lovely oolong tea, scented with magnolia flowers. Alternately known as Orchid Oolong or in Chinese Yu Lan, this selection is a must try for those who appreciate a fine scented tea. The flavor nuances are unique, but hints of jasmine lend a recognizable character.
Learn more about this tea here.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a magnolia scented Oolong tea, so I was happy to find this Magnolia Blossom Oolong Tea from Upton Tea Imports in my tea stash! And it’s a really good magnolia Oolong with it’s delicately soft, sweet floral notes and hints of a fruit-like quality in the background. It’s delightfully complex.
My first cup (the first and second infusions combined following a 15 second “awakening” of the leaves) of this tea was very flavorful … much more flavorful than a typical “first cup” of Oolong tea, which generally are very subtle. There is a lot of flavor in this cup. The first thing I notice is the sweetness, it’s like nectar. As the sip progresses, the floral notes develop. In the background, I notice distant notes of fruit: something between a sweet apple and melon.
The second cup (infusions 3 & 4) is where I start to notice a creamy character come through. It’s soft and buttery and almost decadent. It has a very luxurious taste and texture. The floral notes are still present. The floral tones are a slightly sharper now. It’s not so much a nectar-y sweetness now as it is a floral and buttery/creamy sweetness. I still taste the notes of apple and melon in the distance, but another fruit note also seems to be emerging – grapefruit? Not the tartness of the citrus, but the sweeter grapefruit notes is what I’m tasting here.
The third cup (infusions 5 & 6) maintains its floral qualities. The citrus notes are more pronounced now. This note is most noticeable toward the finish. I notice a slight astringency now, this cup is not quite as soft and creamy as the first two cups were, but it is still very flavorful and wonderful to enjoy!
Overall, a very enjoyable magnolia Oolong, and a truly lovely way to spend an afternoon. It evokes thoughts of an early, warm summer afternoon which is kind of nice since it’s been so cold! Yes, I do love the cooler weather, but, it’s also nice to have memories of the warmth. Actually, I think I prefer the memories in a teacup of the warm days of summer versus the actual summer day!