Monkey Picked Oolong from Red Leaf Tea

Monkey Picked-Oolong from Red Leaf Tea
Monkey Picked-Oolong from Red Leaf Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

Deep in the forests of Southern China, tea leaves are still harvested by hand from wild tea trees. These are considered to be gourmet, premium teas among the Chinese, and there is always a light body, a delicate clarity, and an earthy nature to the brews of these leaves that is never found elsewhere. At one time, tradition says, the monks of a certain temple, desirous of harvesting more of these wild tree leaves at a quicker pace, trained dozens of monkeys to climb to the tops of the tea trees and pick the youngest leaves and pekoe buds up there! These monkey-picked leaves were then converted into oolong tea, the monk’s favored beverage. Today, Chinese tea drinkers call the very best oolong teas made from wild tree leaves, “Monkey-Picked,” even though more reliable methods of harvesting are now employed. Premium “Monkey-Picked” Oolong is rare, labor-intensive, and extremely delicate in flavor. It can be brewed for multiple infusions, with many declaring that the second steeping is the best! “Monkey-Picked” Ooloong has an extremely complex bouquet, with an earthiness in the brew usually found only in aged Pu Erh tea! Known to the Chinese as Ti Kuan Yin tea, or Goddess Tea, this ultimate oolong is a rare treasure for our Red Leaf customers! Try some today!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I am a huge fan of oolong tea. Money Picked Oolong from Red Leaf Tea is a great one! The price is more than fair for this quality tea. At 7.99 per ounce it is robust with fruity juicy flavors and deep earthiness. The aroma is intoxicating and inviting. You can taste and smell ripely sweetened berries, and a caramelized sugar flavor that is just outstanding!

There is a slight rock mineral flavor that is not drying at all, rather quenching which I find interesting because mineral flavors are generally drying on my palate. This is a welcome and unique experience .

The flavors linger on the palate for quite a long time, beckoning me to take another sip, yet as I am generally one to drink my teas rather quickly, there is something that makes me just want to sit back and allow the flavors to meld over my palate, and just enjoy the after taste.

The color of the cup is delightful, deep golden orange almost verging on an amber color. Very cheerful to look at, and even more joyful to savor.

Red Leaf Tea is my “go to” place for straight and flavored matcha, but don’t overlook their abundant selection of straight and flavored teas!

I tend to be a big fan of Dong Ding Oolong, but this Monkey Picked Oolong from Red Leaf Tea my just be winning my top spot for oolong love!

Curled Dragon Silver Tip from Zen Tea Life

Curled Dragon SIlver Tip
Curled Dragon SIlver Tip from Zen Tea Life

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Zen Tea Life

Tea Description:

The name refers to the unusual and striking shape and color of the leaves, which are rolled into tightly-curled dragon-like shapes with a silvery color.

It is a good example of the high level of hand-work. Infused, it produces a complex, sweet, and somewhat floral liquor. Entirely handmade, it is a must have for green tea lovers.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

What a beautiful looking tea! When looking at Curled Dragon Silver Tip from Zen Tea Life, the leaves are all curled and have variegated colors of light to dark green. The appearance is almost fluffy. Its a fairy tale dreamy sort of tea that makes me feel like a Princess. Yeah that was a little corny but that is what the vision of this tea evoked. If you are a guy and don’t want to feel like a Princess then just consider the curled delicate little leaves the tea you will serve your Princess.

Regardless, this tea has an equally lovely aroma of sweetly steamed veggies perhaps caramelized in a honey butter, white flowers, and summer grass. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy sniffing it.

The flavor … butter, cream, nutty, floral, grassy, toasty, it almost reminds me of a genmaicha! There is a vegetal edge to it, but just as in the the aroma, the caramelized note comes out in the taste as well. Its naturally sweet, nothing artificial about this tea.

I would consider this a very fine tea.

I really appreciate the masterful art work of this hand rolled tea.

On some levels it is complex with layers of flavor notes to discover, yet on the other hand the way this tea makes you feel when you sip it is simple. It makes you feel wonderful. Nothing better than that!

Carmelized Pear from The Art of Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Honeybush

Where to Buy:  The Art of Tea

Tea Description:

One of Art of Tea’s most popular offerings, this delectable dessert infusion is sweet and flavorful with notes of honey, caramel, and fresh baked pear.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of the teas that was included with the Steepster Select box for August … which also happens to be the last box in this Steepster Select Program.  I’m a little sad about this program coming to an end … it seems like two of my favorite subscriptions – Foodzie and Steepster Select – are ending at just about the same time.

For the final box, Steepster decided to go with the theme “Founder Favorites” and feature three teas/tisanes that the men who brought us Steepster consider favorites.  The theme card says

Steepster is filled with amazing opinions from thousands of avid tea drinkers, but wanted to share a few of our own.  This month we bring you three favorites of the guys behind Steepster.  Teas that inspired us, evolved our tastes, and made us fall in love with tea all over again. 

These past 12 boxes have been a great ride for us.  Thanks for all our support and see you soon.  – Jason, Jack, Mike and Ricky

I’ve tried two out of the three teas/tisanes featured in this month’s box, including this one.  But, I don’t mind, because these teas are such excellent selections that I don’t mind having them in my stash once again!

As I said, I’ve tried and reviewed this tisane previously, and to be honest, my opinion of it has not changed.  It still tastes just like pear … I would swear that I can even feel the texture of the pear in every sip.  It is so true to the fruit.  And I love that it tastes like baked pear.  So YUM!

Even if you don’t really care for rooibos, this is a blend that I’d recommend trying.  It has such a sweet, delicious taste, that you will forget that you’re drinking rooibos (you don’t really taste much of the rooibos anyway!)   A stunning dessert tea – you’d swear it was loaded with calories!  But it’s not!  Yummy!