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!

Golden Lily Oolong Tea From Dachi Tea

Fullscreen capture 10202015 24544 PMTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong Tea

Where to Buy: Dachi Tea

Tea Description:

This oolong is made from the Jinxuan varietal invented by Taiwan’s tea research, a varietal renown for its milky aroma and smooth mouthfeel. This specific yield is distinctively vibrant and balances flowery aromas with a faint creaminess, before its chartreuse-colored liqueur and its lightly-floral mid palate give way to a vegetal-yet-sweet finish, reminiscent of sugar snappeas.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Golden Lily Oolong from Dachi Tea.  “Golden Lily Oolong” what a pretty name.  The name goes perfectly well with this lovely tea that is for sure.  My package says it was obtained at Alishan Mountain at 4,000 feet and that it is a Milky Lilly Oolong.

Dry this oolong smells very nice a combination of floral and peas.  Once you add the hot water it’s more of a floral aroma.  The flavor is heavily floral, subtly sweet because of the sugar snap pea flavor that is naturally found in this leaf, and the finish is quite creamy or ‘milky’ and lives up to it’s name.  It’s slippery on the tongue and after the cuppa is long-gone it leaves your tongue and teeth squeaky-clean.  Yummy!  This is a fantastic oolong!

Rose Oolong Tea from Tea Ave

0000s_0000_teaave-wet-rose_largeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong Tea

Where to Buy: Tea Ave

Tea 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 more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Rose Oolong from Tea Ave is a very ‘pretty’ oolong tea.  I say PRETTY because it really DOES have rose petals IN the tea not just rose liquid flavoring.  Another reason I’m impressed with the rose in this tea is because it’s incredibly FRESH.  Many rose teas I have had in the past the actual rose petals go stale easily and quickly but Tea Ave must have something up their sleeves to keeping them prim and proper!

On to the leaves themselves, shall we?  I must start off by saying the Tea Ave is very upfront about their tea profiles as it takes up a good amount of the packaging and product page on their online shop.  I really like this about them and appreciate the time and transparency they show by doing so.

The Oolong they use in this rose flavored tea is an Ali Shan Jin Xuan originating from the Ali Shan Mountain Region of Nantou, Taiwan.  These leaves are functional for about 4 sturdy infusions.

I found the flavor to be elegant, sweet, rich, and smooth all at the same time.  The surprising feature was that it was thirst-quenching as opposed to other rose flavored teas.  For this reason I continued with my ‘two thumbs up’ rating.


Milky Jinxuan High Mountain Oolong from Oollo Tea

MilkyJinxuanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Oollo Tea

Tea Description:

The true milky Jinxuan oolong tea with natural cream milk accent and luscious texture. The Alishan family farms tea trees that were bought from our family in 1990. They practice zero pesticide natural farming.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s no big secret that I absolutely adore a good Milky Oolong tea.  This Milky Jinxuan High Mountain Oolong from Oollo Tea is one of the very best I’ve tried thus far.  It’s so delightfully sweet and creamy but the creaminess isn’t heavy.  It’s not overwhelming my palate.

I love the texture to this first cup (infusions 1, 2 & 3 – yes three infusions in one cup, I’m using a smaller gaiwan today), it’s very silky and softly creamy.  Smooth!

The flavor is sweet with notes of orchid.  It’s not sharply floral because the creamy buttery taste helps soften the floral taste without overpowering this delightful flowery essence.  It’s not bitter or astringent.  It’s just … lovely.  Oh so delightful.

My second cup (infusions 4 – 6) still has some of that silky texture, although much of the milky taste has waned.  This is much more floral than the first cup.  It’s sweet with spun sugar notes.  I taste light vegetal notes to this too.  I am also tasting a light nutty flavor that almost tastes “popcorn” like to me.  As the tea cools slightly, some of the creamy notes seem to develop so it’s not completely without that milky note.

My third cup (infusions 7 – 9) was softer in flavor than the second.  Not as creamy as either the first or second cup, but still beautifully floral with more nutty flavors and even a hint of peach can be detected!  I still get that light, spun-sugar type of flavor that I really like.

What a lovely tea!

Alishan Jin Xuan from Tea Ave

AliShanTeaAveTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Ave

Tea Description:

Known to some as milk oolong, around here we think of Alishan Jin Xuan as our dreamy, creamy oolong. An elegant tea with a refined, subtle taste, Alishan Jin Xuan’s fruity and floral aromas complement its smooth, milky mouth feel. 

Only oolongs from this particular region, grown on the foggy Alishan mountainside, produce the creamy, milky qualities found in Alishan Jin Xuan—and since the leaves are naturally flavored, it’s all done without the addition of artificial flavors or chemicals. Alishan’s unique origins also account for a flavor profile that is delicate and nuanced—never strong or overbearing. A little bit like a beautiful woman: subtle, inviting. Alishan is lightly oxidized and unroasted.

Alishan Jin Xuan turns a light golden color after infusing, and its natural creamy and fruity notes develop immediately. Aftertaste is naturally sweet. You’ll want it to linger.

Tea leaves are bright green and come curled into balls.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I adore Jin Xuan oolong teas. If you find the right one, you can get everything from leafy and green to peachy and creamy flavors in just one cup! Plus, the leaves are usually champs with resteeping so you do get more cups of tea for your money. This particular Jin Xuan is natural, according to Tea Ave, and lacks any sort of artificial flavors or additives. I don’t mind a flavored oolong tea, but there is something so beautiful about a natural oolong that can offer such an incredible range of flavors.

teaave-wet-alishanThese tea leaves produce a lovely golden cup with just a hint of green. The first sips offer beautiful milky notes which linger and softly transition into a leafy finish. I also taste salted sweet cream butter and just a hint of mango. There is a slight drying sensation on the tongue, but the lovely creamy start keeps you coming back for more. Oh so delicious!

I can definitely say that this is one of my favorite Jin Xuan oolongs I’ve tried. It’s creamy, sweet and milky – just what I needed! I have a feeling that further infusions will bring out even more interesting flavors, but I will have to save that for another time. If you’re looking for a natural Jin Xuan oolong, this is a great place to start. It’s certainly worth the price, plus Tea Ave’s packaging and presentation are simply wonderful.