Pinglin Bao Chung from Terroir Tea Merchant. . .

Terroir Tea’s claim to fame is telling you about the terroir (origin of the tea, including environment, location, soil, climate, etc). Which is totally one of those things I love to know. Where did this come from? Who grew it? Can I go meet them?

This particular tea comes from a place that allegedly smells like tea all the time because said tea is drying outside.

I dare you to find a better location, except for maybe Disney World or something.

What I like about this tea (aside from knowing about the enchanted town from whence it came) is how very light and buttery it is. The color hardly changes at all during steeping, so you have to TRUST that it’s steeped after a few minutes. It’s very airy and floral and sweet. It’s like a Precious Moments figurine of an angel.

I joke about Precious Moments figurines a LOT, but it’s mostly because I intend to become the kind of old lady who collects the heck out of them. I love their… little… faces.

I know I wear all black every day, and own more than one Marilyn Manson album, but I can’t resist sweet things. I love dessert tea and sweet light oolongs. I love puppies. I love figurines.

And I love the idea of a town in Taiwan that smells nice all the time. How WONDERFUL is that?

That’s how Terroir Tea brings you in. They sell not only the tea (which is delicious!) but the story behind the tea. It’s the whole package!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Terroir Tea Merchant

An aromatic strip-style green oolong that’s purely delicious and refreshing. The lightest oxidised of all oolongs, Bao Chung has the best characteristics of green tea together with unique oolong qualities to create a complex and enjoyable tea experience.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Himalayan Dew Delight SFTGFOP1 from Terroir Tea Merchant

How wonderful is the title “Himalayan Dew Delight”?

Pretty great, but the flavor is even better.

Usually black teas taste heavy, a sturdy base that tastes malty, chocalate-y, rich, or some combination thereof. If you want a lighter touch, you have to look elsewhere.

Not today! This was called “dew delight” to clue you in! It’s springy and warm. It tastes like flowers and pollen and ragweed. Sparrows swooping through clean pale yellow air.

Just a general spring outdoor vibe.

Minus all the runny noses. Oh man. Our family has been struck by seasonal allergies like a nuke. Our sinuses are trashed. Eyes weep. Coughs and snorts interrupt our sleep.

We have traveled from prescription to prescription like wanderers through a war-torn apocalypse movie. We have found acceptable solutions, but no guaranteed safe haven.

Drinking this tea might be the closest we get to spring this year — but it’s delicious!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Terroir Tea Merchant

A colourful black tea with silver-tipped leaves and a smooth, medium strength reminiscent of a Darjeeling.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Himalayan Musky Thunder from Terroir Tea Merchant. . . . .

Not long ago I conducted an Oolong-a-Thon and did back-to-back tastings of all the oolong teas in my collection.  Somehow I missed this Himalayan Musky Thunder from Terroir Tea Merchant.  That’s because it didn’t look like an oolong at first glance.  Apparently, Himalayan Musky Thunder is a “dark oolong,” meaning it is more heavily oxidized than its greener oolong cousins.  Like other oolongs, I brewed this tea with cooler water (190 F) and steeped it a few times.  

Upon brewing, the scent and taste of dark chocolate were very forward.  When you taste a chocolate bar with a high cocoa percentage, there’s an almost-floral note to the earthy chocolate flavor, and that note comes through in this tea as well.  There’s a rich muscatel, red grape flavor right after the chocolate tones, making this tea winner for any dark chocolate, red wine drinkers out there.  

If the package didn’t inform me that this dark tea was actually an oolong and not a black tea, the mouthfeel would have given it away.  There’s a silky smoothness to how this tea falls on your tongue that is reminiscent of milk oolong teas, without any of the mouth-puckering sharpness you find in black teas. 

Upon further steeping, the sweet chocolate tones evolve into earthier notes, like a vegetable garden after a fresh rain.  The tannin richness of red wine and unsweetened cocoa linger as an aftertaste.  

All the tasting aside, I love the name for this tea, Himalayan Musky Thunder, and I think it is aptly chosen.  This is one of the boldest oolongs I’ve tasted: deep and romantic like the smell of the air and earth after a thunderstorm.  The next time you find yourself caught in the rain, wait out the storm with a cup of this tea and a bar of dark chocolate.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Terroir Tea Merchant

With qualities of a black tea and no astringency, this strip style dark oolong is surprisingly light and full of flavour.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Ruby – Taiwan – Sunmoon Lake from Terroir Tea Merchant. . . .

I don’t think I have disliked any of the teas I have tried so far from the Sunmoon Lake region of Taiwan! Lucky for me I had another one to examine! This time it was Black Ruby – Sunmoon Lake – Taiwan – from Terroir Tea Merchant!

Back Ruby from Terroir Tea Merchant is a low altitude black tea of Sun Moon Lake origin. It’s an ECO Cert organic certified legendary black tea with a smooth, sweet, and intriguing flavor. There are specs of cinnamon and mint to provide a natural yin and yang of sorts. It’s malty and sugary…naturally-speaking…there is no added sugar to this…it’s a straight-up black tea, folks!

In the product description it says this tea is Harvest Ruby #18 cultivar, Hand picked in small batches in the summer, Certified Organic, and the processing is Hand picked and natural withering for 12 hours in partial sunlight. Black Ruby is grown in a forested area of central Taiwan under natural conditions through organic cultivation.

This tea offers a sweet, smooth, and rich flavor with a deeper and more complex character that develops as you continue to drink it. As I stated before this pure tea has a natural fragrance of cinnamon and mint. PLUS a distinctive sweet malt flavor that is reminiscent of bourbon or even brandy. There is NO astringency and has a lingering taste that is very pleasing!

According to the company website and product description Black Ruby is unique and versatile because it can be enjoyed with any meal at any time of the day. Foods with spices like cinnamon and mint would complement the flavor profile of the tea. For more specific food pairings they suggest a cinnamon bun or pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast or a decadent chocolate mousse served in a brandy snap basket to enhance the tea’s sweet malt flavors.

I LOVE that they offer suggestions and pairing with this tea! What a great all around tea experience!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Terroir Tea Merchant

ECO Cert organic certified legendary black tea with a smooth, sweet and intriguing cinnamon and mint flavour. This tea is guaranteed to excite even the most jaded taste buds.

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!