sir-rhuberry-oolongbottom1-337x418

Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom from BlendBee. . . .

Tea has often been a solitary experience for me. It’s an opportunity for me to get lost in a cuppa, explore the aroma of the blend, and let the heat of the fresh brew melt away my thoughts. There are opportunities that allow tea to be communal in my life and I had that opportunity recently with a friend. One of my husband’s childhood friends is Korean and grew up with tea as a strong part of his daily routine. I had the opportunity to share Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom from Blend Bee with him. This tea had a sweet aroma Read More

Bao_Chung_1-560x400

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 Read More

goldenleaflogo

Honey Red Jade from Golden Leaf Tea. . . . .

I’m a sucker for bug-bitten oolongs and their characteristic honey flavor. Although I usually avoid black teas for health reasons, I couldn’t resist a straight black tea with honey in the name. I did not know anything about it at the time I drank it and took notes, but I have since looked it up and am not surprised to learn that this is a Taiwanese black tea produced from tea leaves that have been nibbled on by leafhoppers. It tastes exactly like you would expect that description to taste, in the best way. The sample I received came in Read More

teavivrelogo

Nonpareil Anxi Qing Yiang Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea by Teavivre . . . . .

I steeped about half the sample packet (or a little over half) in about 10 ounces of water at 212 degrees for about 6 minutes. It smells indisputably delicious as it starts to brew. Buttery, creamy, smooth, and rich. Also a tiny bit seaweedy/vegetal/grassy, but that’s subsumed by the butteriness. The packet says to brew 4-10 minutes, which means it’s probably great for resteeping since you only need to steep it about 5-6 minutes in my experience (and with a little less water it would be less). So if you’re in the mood to re-steep, this might be a good Read More

Ti-Kuan-Yin-Oolng-Cup_1024x1024

Monkey Picked Iron Goddess (Fujian Monkey Picked Ti Kwan Yin) from Tea N Joy. . .

Ah, oolongs – my favorite type of tea. There’s no bad time of year for a good ti kwan yin. Summer? Cold brew. Winter? Western-style brew in a giant mug.  Any time? Gong fu. The dry leaf of this particular ti kwan yin is forest green with brown stems. It is semiball-rolled. I could not find brewing guidelines on the company’s website so I improvised from experience. I got five decent steeps out of this leaf, all delivering a pale gold brew. I prepared the first steep at 205f for 40 seconds. The wet leaf looks and smells good. The leaves Read More