Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Imperial Tea Garden
In rural China, Blue Spring Oolong is commonly referred to as the compassionate oolong tea. The name stems from ancient folklore of Guan Yin the Iron Goddess of Mercy, of which this now famous Ti Kuan Yin style tea was named. Legend has it that drought stricken villagers offered a passing stranger some water. With the compassionate offering, Guan Yin revealed her true identity and spilled the water into the dry earth and a blue spring appeared miraculously. In honor of their benevolent Bodhisattva, the Fujian villagers began adding blue mallow flowers to represent the crystal blue spring water.
Blue Spring Oolong’s smooth and mellow character will enhance any tea party. The compassionate nature of this tea make it suitable for gathering with old friends and making new ones.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is a lovely little Oolong blend. The dry leaf is BEAUTIFUL with the purple blossoms that are tossed along with the Oolong tea leaves.
Even though I don’t always infuse my Oolong blends in my gaiwan, I decided to go with a gaiwan brewing for this particular blend because the blend looked more like an Oolong tea than flowers to me. I don’t know if that’s a suitable reason for my choice, but that’s the excuse I’m going with. That and I like using my gaiwan. I like to watch the tightly wound pellets of Oolong tea dance around in the hot water as they unfurl and release their flavor.
My first cup was the combination of infusions one and two following a 15 second rinse. This cup was delicate with a flavor that was predominately floral with lingering honey-esque notes. In the distance, I could taste some hints of roasted nuts, but, it was a very distant flavor in this cup. I suspected that I’d become more acquainted with these flavors in later infusions.
Indeed! The second cup had stronger notes of that sweet, nutty flavor, but even stronger than the nutty flavors were the intensified floral notes. The honey-like notes were showing signs of softening. This cup was really all about the flower! Slightly sharp, but not unpleasant at all, it had a very beautiful character to it, something that evoked thoughts of springtime in Southern California, when the jacaranda trees are in full bloom.
The second cup was where I started noticing the creaminess emerge, and I like the way the creamy notes melded with the nutty flavors to offer a sweet, creamy taste that was slightly nutty and slightly toasted. The floral notes seemed to give this dimension an almost vanilla-like flavor.
By the third cup (infusions 5 and 6), I noticed the unification of the nutty flavors with the honey and floral tones. It became a very fluid, seamless type of flavor, very silky and luxurious to drink.
This tea offered a very enjoyable Oolong experience – it’s one I’d be more than happy to experience again … and again!