Li Shan/Harney and Sons. . .

This tea tastes like it was poured out of a very delicate porcelain teapot by an expert. It’s a delicate green pollen, pooling in your cup, soothing you during difficult times. It’s classic; it’s timeless; it’s fancy. It’s exactly what I’d expect to taste at a non-matcha tea ceremony.

When I was in Phildelphia’s Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, I actually accidentally walked into a class where they were teaching tea ceremonies. I didn’t realize it was a class. There was no note. There was just a person speaking to some other people, sitting on a mat. I thought it was a tour guide or something and got — unceremoniously — thrown out.

I think that, if I had stayed, I would have learned the art of distributing this tea to my companions with grace. These leaves deserve fine treatment after, as Harney’s site claims, “battl[ing] cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists,” resulting in a “rare and haunting” quality. I could have poured this pale yellow tea with a delicate wrist motion. People would have sipped it out of clay cups like these.

Alas, I’m drinking it out of a mug I got from Hot Topic for $5. I guess I’ll never be as classy as my tastes.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons

Description

Li Shan, considered to be among the best oolong teas in the world, comes from one of Taiwan’s highest mountain areas. The tea plants must battle cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists. This makes a rare and haunting brew, with echoes of honey and cream.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Qi Lan/Old Ways Tea . . . .

Good morning, Tea-ple! It’s time for another review! Today we’re trying Qi Lan from Old Ways Tea, an oolong from China’s Wuyi mountains.

The first word that springs to mind is “tangy!” (With the exclamation point. Don’t leave that out).

There’s a metallic taste with almost a citrus feel to this tea. It’s almost the equivalent of the sound of rain tapping on a tin roof. It’s pennies and earth and rust, converted into tea form.

I’m not sure that sounds appealing; but I can assure you, this is a pleasing blend. It’s surprising and rusty and homey.

It’s a meditation session in a gazebo in a forest. It’s a wishing fountain. It’s a ceremonial gong being struck. It’s a martial arts scene set in the rain.

It’s my morning choice, and I like it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea

Description

This Qi Lan tea can be described as qing xiang meaning having a gentle fragrance. The fragrance is well rounded leaving a pleasant Wuyi mineral flavor and returning sweetness. I think that our Qi Lan turned out quite good this year.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Thailand ‘Red Tiger’ Oolong Tea/What Cha. . .

Sometimes I just have an oolong sort of day. When I first started drinking teas, oolongs were definitely not high up on my favorites list and still today I prefer other types of tea more often than not. Yet somedays nothing quite satisfies like an oolong and sometimes if I am shopping for teas and having one of those days, I tend to buy all the oolongs. This tea, What Cha’s Thailand ‘Red Tiger’ Oolong, is one that I bought the last time I stocked up on oolong teas.

What Cha claims this tea has a smooth sweet taste with notes of honey and baked cherry. With that in mind, I was pretty surprised when I started drinking this tea and it tasted more like a brisk black tea than an oolong. Maybe not brisk per se but definitely metallic. It is sweet but I am not picking up the cherry notes promised. Perhaps there is a roastiness that combines with a bit of honey. Also, to me, it has a bit of a wet leaf flavor. Not the oolong I was hoping for when I pulled this out of my stash.

Personally, I don’t love this one. I think part of the reason why is when I went on my oolong shopping spree, I was inspired by a tasty milk oolong I recently had. This lacks the flavor qualities that I loved in that and so it falls a bit short of what I hoped for. However, I know many others who have had this tea and loved it so though it is not for everyone, it is by no means a bad oolong and one worth trying.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: What Cha

Description

Another brilliant red oolong from south-east asia with a smooth sweet honey taste coupled with baked cherry notes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Autumn Reserve Tieguanyin/Verdant Tea . . . . . .

Not gonna lie to you, Sisters: these past few weeks have been QUITE STRESSFUL for me. So I’ve been in Treat Yo’self mode: cookies. cheese. trashy pop music. trips to the zoo. leisurely walks on the treadmill instead of strenuous weight lifting.

And tea. ALWAYS TEA.

Today I decided to try one of the samples I’ve been looking forward to: Autumn Tieguanyin from Verdant Tea. Oolongs are my current favorite, and frankly, I deserve fineries.

This tea is a creamy walk through a spring meadow filled with fluttering buttercups. It’s so light and dainty. If it were an garment, it would be a pastel mint-colored tutu. If it were a voice, it’d be Ingrid Michaelson’s.

The tasting notes I’m picking up are mostly flowery, sweet vegetal, and slightly creamy. The description on Verdant Tea’s site says “pound cake,” which I’m not sure I’m getting. This may be, in part, due to my profound unclassiness. I may not have enough fae in my blood to be able to pick up on everything. But I’m getting the idea, and I’m adoring it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Description

Master Zhang has worked for over four decades continuing his family’s craft growing true Tieguanyin varietal tea high above Daping village in Anxi. He is working to bring back the original habitat of the region by clearing mountainsides and planting trees, bringing back wildlife and biodiversity, for better tea and a better future. He has won awards across China and has been recognized as one of the leading teachers and craftsman in Anxi for his unique approach to grading teas and processing for flavor. Instead of grading solely by elevation or tree age, Master Zhang holds the “Reserve” designation for the few teas that meet his strict criteria of lingering intensive aftertaste, pervasive sweetness, and thick creamy body. This means that only the leaves whose weather, position in the field and processing come together perfectly can be offered as Master Zhang’s reserve. This reserve grade Tieguanyin was hand-picked and hand finished with an exhaustive fluffing and turning process to bring out deep intense florals and creamy texture.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Watermelon Oolong/Fraser Tea

Hello my fellow tea drinkers, I come with another of cup tea that offers a different experience than the normal oolong Tea experience. This tea features the completely natural flavor of watermelon. Which is indeed a feat for being that I am a lover of watermelons and melons, in general. I have had many teas and treats that feature a grossly overpowered artificial watermelon flavor. But I believe that this tea actually has captured the true essence of that summertime fruit.

The really interesting thing about this blend’s composition is that it features no watermelon at all. Now the reason is that watermelon is, of course, very hard to dry out. This blend’s ingredients are as follows; oolong, green tea, blueberries, coconut, mango, papaya, pineapples, lemongrass, osmanthus, and cornflowers. With all these flavors combined it is hard to believe that it tastes just like a cup of watermelon! With the first sip, you get that kick of sweet, refreshing watermelon and then the blend of oolong and green tea mellow it out while still carrying that flavor all the way through. I will also say that I was very skeptical of this blend for I have never been a fan of mango and papaya but I am happy to be surprised that my tastebuds can be fooled!

For the prices on this blend, for 12 sachets it is $8.98, for a 4-ounce loose leaf tin it is $11.95, 8 ounces $21.95, 12 ounces $28.95, and for 16 ounces it is $34.95. Now it does look there is a way on their site to get specific samples and I believe that you add the item designated as “samples” to your cart and in the “notes” section of the checkout then you list your desired teas. They also have specific tea blend samplers that features a handful of black teas to their rooibos tea blends.

To conclude, this tea great to drink cold or hot at any time of the year! It provides that watermelon flavor without being artificial. So if you are curious and want to try something a bit different I will give this blend a try, I certainly don’t regret it!

See you for the next cuppa!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

Description

A virtual summer picnic in your glass, Watermelon Oolong Organic Oolong Tea combines fresh berries and tropical fruit flavors together with lemongrass for a crisp and refreshing taste.  This superior grade organic oolong tea offers numerous nutritional benefits including weight management, diabetes management, and mental health.  Think wellness; embrace flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!