In the early days of my loose leaf tea drinking, I first encountered jasmine green tea pearls. I was working evening shifts at the college library and we had a small, varied supply of tea, mainly our favorite tea bags. But one night, one of my coworkers had brought in loose leaf teas they were looking to share. I was fascinated by these little green pellets in one of the tea canisters and dropped a few in mug even though we didn’t have tea bags or filters. I watched the balls of tea unfurl and fill my mug with flavor. Turns out they were jasmine green tea pearls, and I’ve had a nostalgic affinity for this kind of tea ever since.
The Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Enjoying Tea are beautiful little tea oddities. Tightly rolled pellets of tea, twined with both grey fuzzy buds, and olive green leaves. Brew them gently, despite their tight shape, these leaves are still green tea at heart, keep the temperature of your water a little cooler than normal.
The dry leaf was already heady and fragrant with jasmine blossoms. Brewed, the flowery notes continued to be pronounced, full and luscious like a bouquet of flowers in your hand. Beneath all that flower-power, the tea has a buttery base, with slightly earthy and savory undertones. The less sweet notes paired well against the powerful jasmine. The overtones of each sip carry the floral flavors, so sweet they are almost fruity.
Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Enjoying Tea lived up to my fond first memories of trying jasmine pearls from many years ago. Give this tea a try and make your own jasmine-scented memories!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Enjoying Tea
This green tea has a unique shape of a pearl and comes from the Chinese province of Fujian. These hand rolled pearls consisted of both leaves and bud. This tea has a sweet flavor with a flowery jasmine aroma. Researchers in Japan found that people who drink green regularly have a lower chance of getting cancer or developing heart diseases. Dragon Pearl is a great tasting healthy tea to drink regularly. We highly recommend it.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Attention everyone: I have found a pure pu’erh (no added flavors) that I like!
Oh my gosh. I should have told you to sit down first.
You are floored. Literally. Upon the ground. Let me help you up, darling.
Here. Sit on this fainting couch I keep in my heart specifically for revelations like this.
I’ve been looking for a pu’erh without flavoring for ages that I liked. It was up there with Matcha as a final hill I needed to climb to be a proper tea person. Of course, the notion of a “proper tea person” is a bit subjective. But I associate being able to drink all of them (including pu’erh and matcha) as a sign of being a member of the intelligentsia.
This drink, my golden exemplar of a pure pu’erh, my new BAAAABY, is a rich and earthy 2-year aged tea from the Yunnan province. It turns the water a warm red-brown. It has earth notes and slight spice notes and that feeling of a very slightly musty blanket that you just yanked from storage on an unseasonably chilly night.
The slight note of mustiness maybe sounds displeasing, depending on how you are. But I grew up in a household where the basement was a key player. We didn’t have air conditioning, so we slept down there all the time. The whole family. Everything smelled slightly musty, even with the dehumidifier going full-throttle, full-time.
The basement was by far my favorite place. As my brother and I aged, my parents had about half of it renovated, with carpet, and our family’s first computer (!), and a large (for the time) TV and VCR. We could watch the 1960s Batman movie again and again without bothering our parents at all. Nickelodeon. Slumber parties. Endless chips. Visiting friends. Getting that basement partially renovated was probably the best investment my parents ever made in the family’s collective mental health.
This tea takes me back there. It also moves me forward to a new world of opportunities for tea, self-growth, and — of course — pretending to be a member of the intelligentsia.
Look out, matcha. I’m coming for you.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Puerh
Where to Buy: Enjoying Tea
This ripen Puerh Tea is from Yunnan provenience in China. Quality Yunnan tea leaves and buds are selected for post fermentation that allows the tea to fully ripen. The ripen tea are allowed to age for around 2 years. Doctors in Kunming reported that drinking this tea helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood stream and helps digestion. The Puerh with dark and reddish black leaves makes a heavy thick tea with strong earthy aroma. It is very popular in the Cantonese Tea House and normally consume with Dim Sum. This tea is commonly mixed with chrysanthemum flower to create a Chinese Restaurant Tea.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
As I delved into my tea cabinet recently, I realized I had been stockpiling oolong teas. Where did they all come from?!
Since the season is finally starting to turn, and oolong teas always make me think of spring, it seemed like a good time to try them all.
So I had an Oolong-A-Thon and brewed ten samples from my stores. The numbers below aren’t a “best-of” ranking, but they roughly move from most delicate in flavor to the most potent in flavor. . . . .
- Alishan High Mountain from Cameron Taiwan Premium Loose Leaf – The dry leaf smells sweet and nutty, and this sweet-oat flavor is echoed in the first steep with additional notes of green melon. The second steep is nuttier still more oat than fruit, though a bit of the green flavor lingers on the aftertaste. (See a review from my fellow Sororitea Sister).
- Alishan High Mountain Eco First Pluck from Terrior Tea Merchant – The dry leaf smells like sweet grass and sour fruit. The first steep is not sour at all, but very green and buttery, with more interesting notes like citrus or bok choy coming out on later steepings.
- Ding Dong Oolong from Eco-Cha – Prior to brewing, this tea smells dry and earthy, like hay or dried grass. Brewed, the first steep is roasty and savory, with just a hint of starchy sweetness in the aftertaste. The second steep has nutty, brown rice flavors, but still remains light and drinkable. (See a review from my fellow Sororitea Sister).
- Ding Ding Oolong from Cloud Nine (Spring 2015) – The first steep features fruit notes like plum, grape, and currant. There are almost red wine or acai berry flavors. This potent fruit flavor drops off in the second steep, with more green notes and fewer berries, more like green grapes and white wine, though the brew never got too bitter or dark even with longer steep times.
- Ping Lin Pouchong from Cameron Taiwan Premium Loose Leaf – These long dark tea leaves smelled like caramel or burnt sugar when dry, but their first steep was surprisingly green and floral. The brew turned out to be slightly buttery, with almost-seaweed notes. The second steep wasn’t distinctly different, with similar savory tones and a smooth, buttery aftertaste.
- Jin Xuan Milk Oolong from Teavivre – The first steep of this tea ended up tasting like sour grapes and bright florals, with a hint of roasted nuts and a supremely smooth mouthfeel. The second steep increased the almost-honey flavor and feeling of the tea, and brought forward some either, grassier notes to the brew, and maintained the milky smooth texture.
- Tie Kwan Yin Oolong from Tea Ave – The first steep was surprisingly roasty, with notes like warm toast or freshly baked bread. There were no green or floral flavors, but the starchiness was well-balanced with an herbaceous earthiness. The second steep brought out a stronger roast, and slightly bitter, dry hay notes, though the flavors were still balanced and very drinkable.
- Shui Xian Oolong from Origins Tea – The tightly rolled dark leaves, smelled like hay and earth slightly bitter, though the first steep had a pop of tart currant, quickly buried under strong, roasted almond flavors. This tea had a dry mouthfeel, very nutty and savory, with even a hint of smoke, like an oolong for lapsang-lovers. The second steep brought out even more sweet, starchy, marzipan flavors.
- Alishan Charcoal Fire Heavy Roast from T-Oolong Tea (Spring 2012) – Despite the name the first steep of this tea did have some bright notes like a greener alishan oolong but with a distinct, roasted, malty depth. There are some charcoal notes: mineral and toasted. Both steeps brew up dark in color, the second steep maintains the toasted rice and malt flavors as the first steep, but develops a smoother mouthfeel. (See a review from my fellow Sororitea Sister).
- Gingseng Oolong from Enjoying Tea – I tried this tea last, because it was the only flavored oolong in this grouping. Anything with added flavor was bound to be more potent than just the leaves alone. This tea smells sweet in the dry leaf, and brews sweet and sour with a very strong passionfruit flavor: green and slightly tropical. The second steep is earthier, less sweet and more like wet foliage, still some lingering passionfruit notes, especially on the aftertaste.
And there you have it– the results of my Oolong-A-Thon!
Like black or green teas, there are many variations and flavors to be had from trying a variety of oolong teas. From my point of view, there wasn’t a bad tea in the bunch, and each had its own flavors to suit the changing weather or my variable tea cravings.
There is certainly an oolong out there that will fit your tastes as well. Happy oolong brewing!
Where To Buy: EnjoyingTea.com
Of all the black teas available in China, Keemum is probably one of the most well known. Keemun black tea was produced only after 1875 due to the demand of the English’s preference of black teas over green teas at the time. Keemun rapidly became an English staple after its production. This organic tea has a complex and subtle flavor that’s aromatic and penetrating without being lush or floral.
This tea will kick the morning uglies right out of you! The first time I tried this I was having a rough morning. Well, not so much of a rough morning – but a morning I just wanted to go back to bed! Keemun Black from EnjoyingTea.com is a nice strong Keemun and it’s here to make your day bold and daring! Get ready to face the world, folks!
In a way this reminds me of an English Breakfast type tea but then I can understand the Black and Green “meeting in the middle’ type of description as well.
I think this is a great morning tea – with or without additions. Personally, I prefer Plain, As-Is, and Natural!