Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea Mania
This Oolong from Doi Mae Salong is a Oolong # 17 Jade Pearls which was flavored with the Osmanthus flower. The sweet, honey-like aroma of Osmanthus flower harmonizes wonderfully with the mild flavor of the Oolong # 17 Jade Pearls. The beautiful fragrance of Osmanthus complements the mild flavor without masking the taste of Oolong. Due to the intense floral aroma and its honey-sweetness, the osmanthus flower is often used in Chinese desserts.
Learn more about this tea here.
Having previously reviewed Tea Mania’s Oolong #17 Jade Pearls and enjoying that tea, I was pretty confident that I’d love this one – Not only do I like the base of this Oolong Osmanthus Jade Pearls from Tea Mania, but, I also love Osmanthus and the flavor that the flower imparts on Oolong teas.
And I am really enjoying this tea. The Osmanthus notes in this particular tea are a little different from some other Osmanthus Oolong teas that I’ve tasted, in that I taste a little less of the “peach-like” notes of the Osmanthus (although I do taste those notes too), and more of a honey-esque tone that is almost pollen-y, it’s so honey-sweet!
I think that this may be due in part to the dry leaf, which has quite a bit of “powder” from the Osmanthus flower, and it kind of looks like the pollen from the flower. But that’s not a bad thing in this reviewer’s estimation, because I’m enjoying the sweetness from the Osmanthus and how those honey-like tones meld so beautifully with the floral notes. It’s like a flower garden in the early spring … right in my teacup!
But let us not overlook the Jade Pearls – because those are not at all overpowered by the Osmanthus. There is a really delicious balance going on here. It’s sweet, lush, and slightly vegetative. The natural floral notes of the Oolong are enhanced by the Osmanthus flowers. There are some buttery notes to this as well, and I think that Osmanthus helps bring that out too, because I don’t recall as much a buttery flavor in the pure version of the Jade Pearls. The Osmanthus and the Jade Pearls work together in a really harmonious way to create a very pleasing flavor.
My first cup (infusions 1 & 2) was very smooth and buttery, with a strong pollen-y, honey-nectar type flavor that was a pure joy to sip. My second cup (infusions 3 & 4) became a little more focused, the flavors were less “fuzzy” and soft, and while this cup is different from the first, it was no less delicious! I like being able to now taste the notes of peach a little more distinctly, as well as the floral tones which are so beautiful. My third cup (infusions 5 & 6) was a little softer in flavor than the second cup, but still very enjoyable. The tea is a little less creamy and buttery now, and a little more focused on the fruit and floral tones.
This is a really good Osmanthus Oolong. If you are an Oolong enthusiast and haven’t yet tasted the joy of Osmanthus Oolong tea, well, why not? You’re missing out, and this one from Tea Mania is a really good place to start exploring Osmanthus Oolong and how much the Osmanthus flower brings to a cup of tea.