Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Aftelier Perfumed Teas
This organic oolong tea, from Nantou, Taiwan, has gorgeous fruit and honey notes. These leaves are especially rich in GABA, a natural enzyme that calms and relaxes. Mandy uses finest hojary frankincense, with its balsamic notes and citrus undertones that marries beautifully with this full-bodied tea. These tightly rolled leaves unfurl during the first steeping, and may be re-infused up to 4 times, retaining their fragrance.
Learn more about this tea here.
Yes, I’ve sampled this Organic Frankincense GABA Oolong Tea from Aftelier Perfumed Teas before. I’ve written a review about it before. But I want to revisit it because as I near the end of my time as a tea reviewer, I want to take some time to acknowledge some pretty fantastic teas. This tea was in my stash and I thought that this one was certainly worthy of reviewing again!
I steeped this the way I typically steep an Oolong – in my gaiwan, of course! I did a 15 second rinse and then steeped it for 45 seconds for my first infusion. For each infusion that followed, I added 15 seconds onto the steep time. My first cup is a combination of infusions 1 and 2 while the second cup is infusions 3 and 4.
What I notice first about these teas from Aftelier is the exquisite aroma. This one in particular has a very pleasant aroma that makes me think of what I might smell if I were to walk into one of those exotic import type of shops in the mall with the beautiful tapestries hanging on the walls.
With my first sip I noticed a floral note that reminded me a little bit of rose. Then I started to pick up on notes of orange. There is a pleasant undertone of caramel and the Oolong has a slightly toasty flavor that nicely complements the notes of caramel and the orange notes. There is a gentle warmth to the cup. Delicate notes of spice.
My second cup was more subdued. I still tasted the aforementioned flavors: spice, orange, soft caramel-y notes, hints of toast and even a slight buttery flavor that tastes more of browned butter than of a fresh, creamy butter. The floral notes are still there too, although I can’t say that I’m tasting rose any more. It’s just a gentle flower note that has softened since the first cup. It’s a sweet and beautiful flavor.
This tea is quite unlike any Oolong I’ve ever tasted. That’s what impresses me so much about the teas from Aftelier is that the teas are very fine quality and that they’re different from teas you’ll experience from any other purveyor. This is NOT your standard issue.
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!
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