Dong Ding Oolong from Tea Avenue. . . . .

I was pretty happy to see this among my samples of tea to try. When I have a lot of different teas around, I tend to flit from one to another according to mood and sometimes this leads to a bunch of them getting pushed back or left behind. But it was a Dong Ding tea that really made me embarrass myself with how quickly I drank up a whole 100 gram bag. Like…it really was amazing and shameful how fast that tea went away. I must have been super hydrated.

Knowing the quality of other oolong teas that I have enjoyed from Tea Avenue, I was looking forward to trying their Dong Ding. I was not disappointed.

I made three steeps of this tea in all and I feel that I could have gotten at least one or two more. Even the third steep had a lovely golden color and rich aroma.

This is a little less roasted in flavor than my first ever Dong Ding. (It is often sold under the name Tung Ting.) This is fruitier with a hint of floral, but there is also an undercurrent of that charcoal flavor that gives a nice rasp across the tongue and leaves a hint of smoke wafting into the nostrils.

The flavor lingers well after the sip and the tongue is slightly dry, inducing me to pick up my cup and drink again and again.

Not only are the oolongs from Tea Avenue magnifique, but I would encourage you to check out their teaware. The tasting set with scent cup really enhances and broadens your tasting experience, and the teapots and cups are astonishingly affordable and really attractive. I have given a number of pieces as gifts and it is always well received.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea Avenue
Description

This is it: the original Dong Ding Oolong, grown on the Dong Ding Mountain in Nantou County in central Taiwan, where Dong Ding Oolong originated. One of the best oolong teas in the world.  A perpetual favorite among oolong lovers, it has a strong, clean flavor and an aroma of ripe fruit. Partially oxidized and lightly roasted, Dong Ding is an approachable tea—a good choice for oolong newbies to whet their taste buds with.

Dong Ding turns an amber color when infused and possesses a sweet, fruity flavor and aroma. Longer infusion times will yield a stronger, more vivid tea, with a fuller body and aroma. Smooth, with a clean aftertaste. Don’t blame us if you develop a Dong Ding habit.

Tea leaves are green and come curled into balls.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

MrsPremise’s Oolong-A-Thon. . . . .

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.  . . . .

 

  1. 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). 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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).
  4. 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.  
  5. 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.
  6. 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.  
  7. 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.  
  8. 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.  
  9. 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). 
  10. 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!

Ginger Lily Oolong from Tea Ave. . . . .

Tea Ave has some of the most NATURALLY AMAZING Oolongs I have ever tried. Recently I was luck enough to sample Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave and I knew right away I just HAD to share my thoughts and feelings with you!

Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave features an Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong base with low roasting and oxidation levels. It’s light, sweet, smooth, and somewhat earthy with a subtle ginger finish that gently lingers onto the aftertaste.

My mind was puzzled as I sipped on Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave. How could this flavor happen to such a light oolong? Tea Ave’s Ginger Lily Oolong is prepared using the ancient method, in which the tea absorbs the flower fragrance during the baking progress. It then produces a scented tea that’s aromatic and flavorful without using any additives or chemicals.

It’s mild, soothing, refreshing, FRESH, and almost like experiencing SUMMER in a cup! Because I live in the snow belt area of the east coast of the US I always try to hang on to every bit of summer that I can. Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave certainly helped me do that. Maybe not literally but at least in my dreams while sipping on this lovely tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea Ave
Description

Our Ginger Lily Oolong is prepared using the ancient method, in which the tea absorbs the flower fragrance during the baking progress, producing a scented tea that’s aromatic and flavorful without using any additives or chemicals. It’s good for you and delicious. Ginger Lily Oolong has a mild, soothing aroma.

Ginger Lily Oolong is sweet and smooth with a light body. Ginger Lily blossoms from Taiwan are blended with high mountain oolong tea (Alishan Jin Xuan) to yield a tea that has an earthy oolong taste with a light, sweet ginger finish with pleasing honey notes. A lovely, approachable, refreshing tea. Call it summer in a cup.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rose Oolong from Tea Ave.

I’ve been sort of meh about rose teas lately, but this one has some oomph. It’s an iron fist in a velvet glove.

This tea tastes like going to an imperial palace and walking through a rose garden. The rose and the bright oolong have a spring evening feel. You’re walking through the well-tended garden, your feet on the warm yet cooling stones, discussing diplomacy in really awesome brocade silk dresses.

This tea just has just the right amount of caffeine for a productive but not jittery afternoon. Sometimes, when I drink afternoon tea, I feel like I am having a heart attack. Not so with this tea. I’m alert, but not about to fly off the handle. Awesome. Recommended!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea Ave
Description

Our Rose Oolong is a flower tea prepared using the ancient method, in which the tea absorbs the flower fragrance during the baking progress, producing a scented tea that’s aromatic and flavorful without using any additives or chemicals.

We blend our Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong with fresh Taiwanese roses to create an elegant flower tea that is both full-bodied and mellow, with rose petals lending delicate floral notes to a robust oolong body. Rose Oolong has a floral fragrance and a rich, sweet taste. Smooth and exhilarating. Dare we say a little bit like falling in love.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lishan Oolong from Tea Ave

LiShanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Tea Ave 

Tea Description:

The tea so delicious that it inspired us to start our very own tea company, LiShan Oolong is revered among oolong drinkers for its smooth, full-bodied taste. One of Taiwan’s highest mountain teas, our version hails from the beautiful LiShan Mountains in the central mountain region of Taiwan, making it one of the very best high mountain oolong teas in the world. 

Our LiShan Oolong is clean-tasting and vegetal, with a floral taste and aroma found naturally in the tea leaves themselves (a gift from the mountains, we like to think). Fruity notes are complemented by the tea’s smooth, buttery mouthful. Because it’s unroasted, LiShan Oolong is both full-bodied and delicate. Consider it a delicious contradiction.

Tea leaves are bright green and come curled into balls.

Learn more about this tea here

Taster’s Review:

I’m really excited to be trying this tea as Tea Ave mentions that this is the tea that inspired them to open up their own shop! That has to count for something, right? I know that this type of oolong is loved by many for its incredible flavor. I personally have liked other oolongs a bit more, but I’m always willing to try others.

The scent of this tea is sugary sweet and incredibly floral. It really does remind me of a buttercream icing with the essence of flowers. Lovely! Sipping… I wasn’t expecting such a thick mouthfeel, but it does feel rather heavy on the tongue. It isn’t buttery so much… but luxuriously weighty. I mainly taste flowers with  a bit of a mineral background. The flavor brings to mind lacy petals and leaves – it’s delicate, but strong enough to take center stage. I do catch a bit of sweet butter and sugar towards the end of the sip, but it’s really all about the flowers. There is also something that reminds me of apricot or peach, but it’s very faint and doesn’t last long. It’s strange, because while this tea feels thick and bold, the aftertaste is light and ethereal, leaving just a memory of what was a strong flavor.

I think this is a very special tea and would be ideal for someone looking for a well-balanced oolong. It seems to have a bit of everything.. a bit like a tea that can’t make up its mind, but in a good way. Balanced, tender yet bold.