Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf. . . .

Hello! Can you hear me? I am yelling out from underneath a hoodie and a blanket, weakened by a head cold, slightly discombobulated. If you’re receiving this message, SEND. MORE. TEA.

This morning, I decided to start off with an oolong that I received in my Simple Loose Leaf box this month. Oolongs are my current favorite tea. I like their shape-shifting, not-black-not-green ways. They’re Loki, the Trickster God, of tea.

This one, Qi Lan Oolong, has a great plum/raisin/stone/earth depth. If I didn’t know it was an oolong, I probably would have guessed it was a black, honestly. It’s very rich and earthy. It’s how I imagine that port wines taste.*  *(I have never tried port wine. When I’m at a bar, I inevitably order Captain-and-diet, every time.)

This is probably going to sound odd, but do you remember the California Raisins?

This tea is them. Aged-tasting, deep, jazzy, raisin-y. Possibly ready to croon you a song.

Or a series of songs: it turns out the California Raisins RELEASED 4 ALBUMS. I’m not making this up. There was even a Michael Jackson California Raisin in one ad.

Although this tea can’t be purchased from Simple Loose Leaf individually, they do make monthly blind boxes, and there are other oolongs on offer here: https://www.simplelooseleaf.com/shop/oolong-tea/


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf
Description

Get 4 amazing loose leaf teas monthly or quarterly plus special membership only discounts! All tea boxes ship on the 1st of the month so order before the end of this month to get the next tea box.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Healthier Childhood Fave: Fruit Punch from The NecessiTeas. . . . .

Fruit Punch tea from The NecessiTeas totally smells like a juice I’d have had as a kid…. Not sure if I’m very into it now as an adult though, as there is an grape additive that isn’t quite doing it for me, but we know with teas,  smells can be deceiving. There looks to be more oolong tea leaves than fruits/herbs, which is always a plus.

It brews into quite a beautiful golden pear liquor, I’m so so glad this does not include hibiscus’ neon magenta “punch” color, kudos to the maturity shown with this modernizing twist. Fruit Punch need not be just for children anymore 🙂

OoOoo it tastes very different than it smells! Actually there’s a really beautiful flavor transition through the different fruit flavors, a warm strawberry that becomes citrus. I love the playful complexity of this oolong choice. I want to personify it as similar to me, older and wiser but secretly musing on what shenanigans I can expect at the next high school reunion.  I  think the lemongrass brings some brightness and keeps it away from the saccharine extreme I expected from a “childish” seeming name… yeah, yeah, I’m judgy with names, moving along. There is a short and sweetish aftertaste, even before I added stevia. This blend is good for a resteep, and despite my first-whiff-misgivings, it’s really pretty enjoyable. Aptly deemed a necessary tea when catching up with a school days pal and feeling nostalgic.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Necessiteas

This blend brings back childhood memories of me at the pool with a red stained smile on my face. What is even better about this tea, you don’t have to have a red stained smile to be happy. Fruit punch is a spring and summer must have around here! If it’s a party, shower or barbecue, they just seem to go hand in hand. So obviously I had to create a punch inspired tea. If you’re anything like me and enjoyed that sweet red punch as a kid then you’ll love this refreshing combo of strawberry, cherry and orange.

Your tea is hand packaged in an airtight tin at no additional charge.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Da Yu Ling Oolong Tea from Tea from Taiwan. . .

I am having a really emotional day*, so I decided to treat myself with the best option available: a bracing cup of tea.

*To be fair, most of my days are emotional. I am a person with a Lot Of Feelings.

This was a more delicate cuppa than I was in the mood for, but no fear, it is still quite the taste sensation.

It’s really LEMONY! Light, and toward the green side of oolong, and there’s a little bit of a sweet-n-sour lemonade twist. I feel like they could serve this in the South, maybe iced, and people would love it.

It comes from a place that translates out to “Pear Mountain.” I have this weird thing where I fear unfamiliar fruit (please don’t make fun of me), so I honestly am not sure if this tastes like a pear. But it definitely IS fruity. It’s got a surprising amount of extra flavor for a straight tea. Wow.

If you were to go to Mount Li, from whence this tea originates, you would be close to — and possibly able to visit — China’s Terracotta Army.

It’s a giant underground tomb-necropolis that houses a miniature version of the first Chinese emperor’s army. They protect his (still unopened) tomb. You really need to read the Wikipedia article about this. It’s fascinating.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea from Taiwan
Description

Da Yu Ling oolong tea (wu-long tea) is a premium-grade oolong tea from the Da Yu Ling area of Taiwan’s Taichung county. Its high altitude (more than 2600 meters) makes this one of the highest tea plantations in the world.

Da Yu Ling has a wonderful fragrance and taste. It is a lightly oxidized oolong tea with a refreshing palate that is sought after by the most demanding tea connoisseurs. Da Yu Ling is produced in limited quantities and is one of the most prized teas of Taiwan.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Formosa Lapsang from Grey’s Tea

The other day I was in the mood for a tea that was different. . .a game changer . . .one that would shake up my taste buds and Formosa Lapsang fit that bill perfectly!

This particular tea is an oolong with that familiar smoky tone and flavor of a Lapsang black tea.  So you are getting the best of both worlds.  That gorgeous oolong setting with a smoky backdrop.  Talk about shaking up a flavor profile. This tea does just that.

First you are greeted with this aroma of pure smoke. This tea variety is not for the faint of heart.  (If you aren’t one that enjoys smoky teas, than this tea may not be your cuppa, but if you are, I highly encourage you to check this tea out.  ) The flavor profiles are bold with

With each sip, you are greeted with that smoky rich flavor that gives both your taste buds a high five right along with your sense of smell.  Bold, yet rich and smooth.  The smoky notes combined with that familiar oolong flavor that I have come to really enjoy.   Towards the end of the sip you start to get this earthy finish that completes the sip while that smoky tone does start to come back in a subtle aftertaste.

I can’t say that this tea would be an everyday drinking sort of tea, but for a switch on what I normally drink -which is green or white teas- this Formosa Lapsang was a very welcomed palette cleanser and one that reminded me of how tasty smoky teas are.  Usually I do shy away from them, but I feel myself starting to open up to those varieties more.

All in all, a tea variety that absolutely delivers on flavor, quality, ad uniqueness.  this tea will be one that I will remember for some time to come!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Grey’s Tea
Description
  • Formosa Lapsang: a most unusual Lapsang tea from Formosa (Taiwan).
  • It combines the earthy characteristics of Formosa’s oolongs with the pinewood aromas of Fujian Lapsang Souchongs.
  • This aromatic tea is smoked uniquely over a combination of oak and pinewood.
  • The typically coarse yet deep brown leaf produces a wonderfully balanced and subtly smoky tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Milky Oolong from Harney & Sons. . . .

When I drank this for the first time last week, my first thought was “TEA BAE!” Which is so millennial of me, I know. I promise I’m not even cool enough to quite know how to use “bae” (“before anyone else”) in everyday use. But it applies to this tea.

This is a silky, rich, creamy oolong. It comes in super-cute little balls that totally snap to attention in hot water. Sometimes the balls don’t unfurl, but these are actively watch-able. The flavor is a great halfway point between green and black. The “milky” taste is really creamy, like the whipped topping on a good lemon meringue* pie.

*I was pretty sure it wasn’t spelled “mirang,” so I had to request Google’s gentle corrective guidance.

This tastes like it was flavored. That’s how sweet it is. I don’t want to be too effusive, because I try to emit a cool air of sophisticated irony (hah!) — but I really like this.

The reviewers on the Harney site like it, too. So much. Peep this review from Helen W: “Absolutely love it! Absolutely love it!” That’s the entire view. Helen. Gurl. I hear you. When I re-order this (AND I WILL), I’m going to acquire a vat. I’m going to swim in this vat like Scrooge McDuck. It will not be sanitary. People will slowly stop visiting my house. I will acquire leper status. Eventually someone will come by my house to film “Hoarding: Buried Alive: Tea Special” and I will acquire a brief Internet fame. Perhaps I will become a meme. But then I will be forgotten to the sands of time. The pan will no longer have a flash. I shall disappear into the back of your mind, just me, and my tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons
Description

For some time we’ve had requests for a milky oolong and finally we have found one that we liked so that we could share it with you.  Milky oolongs are very popular in Eastern Asia for their sweet, creamy flavors.  This one is smooth and the aroma of warmed cream is delicious!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!