Scarlet Honey Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea

Why has it taken me so long to review Scarlet Honey Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea?  Because it’s one to ponder.  Because it’s complex.  Because it’s IMPRESSIVE.  I could go on and on!  This Scarlet Honey Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea is for the BOOKS, folks!

Right away I have to share with you the AROMA experience of this Scarlet Honey Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea!  It’s UNREAL!  Keep in mind that this is NOT flavored.  This is a natural aroma!  The dry leaves kept me guessing for a while.  It smelled like sour fruit.  After minutes of thinking about it I came to the conclusion of sour cherries!  Once infused for about 2 or 3 minutes the sour cherry aroma pushed the envelop a bit more and seemed to morph into a sour cherry and lychee combo.  The cooler the infused tea got the more wine-like the nose was!

As for the taste of Scarlet Honey Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea it continued to please!  It was an incredibly smooth, sweet oolong with slightly sour fruit and honey notes underneath.  I’ve now enjoyed this both hot and cold and I don’t know which one I like better!  Could Scarlet Honey Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea be one of my FAVORITE straight up oolongs of the year?  Perhaps!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong Tea
Where to Buy: Dachi Tea Co.
Scarlet Honey Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea SMDescription:

Naturally bug-bitten and carefully bruised, the high-mountain tea leaves are then deeply oxidized, rolled into scarlet black beads and then slow baked, resulting in a tea with bursting summer fruits sweetness amid woodsy wisps which dance across the tongue. From the first to the final sip, velvety swells of pure honey remain on the upper palate and a cherry and lychee aftertaste lingers, making this tea as captivating as it is complex.Rare in the literal meaning of the word, the batch size of this oolong is limited to the consistency of the weather during the days of picking. All of the leaves must be in a similar state of life and energy as the process starts. To Mr. Yeh, consistency is what gives this tea its tantalizing depth. This is a shining example of the delicacy that can be achieved when tea leaves grown in an alpine climate are combined with thoughtful and patient work. It’s a divine confluence of climate, cultivar and craftsmanship. We couldn’t resist including it in the collection.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Iron Goddess Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea

Iron Goddess TeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Dachi Tea

Tea Description:

Commonly referred to as a Tie Guan Yin, the Iron Goddess Oolong has a mature, nutty, smoky aroma that leads you nicely into a very full-bodied tea with the puckering effect of citrus fruit. The sweet linger of this tea reminds you of dried apricots, but the woodsy and earthy taste which comes from the deep roast could well lead the mature palette to pick up more savoury notes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A really lovely Iron Goddess Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea!  This is a Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin – so you’ll experience more of the roasty-toasty, nutty flavors with this tea as opposed to the creamy, floral notes of a jade/greener Tie Guan Yin.

To brew this, I measured a bamboo scoop of the tightly wound pellets of tea into the bowl of my gaiwan.  I heated my kettle to 180°F and poured just enough water over the leaves to cover them.  Then I let this steep for 15 seconds to awaken the leaves.  After straining off the liquid and discarding, I filled the gaiwan with hot water and let it steep for 45 seconds for the first infusion.  For each subsequent infusion, I added 15 seconds.  Each cup is the combination of two infusions, so my first cup is infusions 1 and 2, the second cup is infusions 3 and 4 … and so on!

Iron Goddess Tea 2

The flavor is very much what I’d expect from a top-notch roasted Tie Guan Yin.  I must say that my experiences with Dachi Tea thus far have all been very positive – this is a company you really should experience!

My first cup is smooth, sweet and toasty.  It’s nutty, fruity and creamy … and oh-so-wonderful to sip!  It’s not bitter (I rarely encounter an Oolong that is!) and there’s very little astringency to this cup.  Just a hint of tangy ‘pucker’ at the end that works with this tea because I’m also picking up on some lovely citrus-y notes toward the tail.  This tangy quality plays well to that citrus tone.

As I neared the bottom of my cup, I also started picking up on the apricot notes as the description above suggests – and I like the way the sweet apricot flavors contrast with some of the earthier, woodsier notes of the tea and how those earthy, woodsy notes complement the the roasted nutty flavors.  It’s a beautiful medley of tastes in one teacup.

The second cup was not quite as creamy as the first cup – but still just as flavorful.  That is to say that the texture was thinner now, not as creamy feeling on the palate, but I’m still getting delicious nutty notes that remind me of freshly roasted chestnuts and that really pleasant citrus note toward the tail.  The flavors I experienced in the first cup are still there for the second and they’re better defined now.

With my last cup (cup 3) I found the flavors starting to mellow and become more unified.  I could still taste the toasted nutty flavors and the sweet apricot notes, the notes of wood and earth and citrus, but they seemed to have less distinction between them, like they were melding into a seamless flavor.

Another really fascinating cup of tea from Dachi Tea – I’ve loved every cup that I’ve tasted from them!  This is a must try company!

Honeysuckle Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea

HoneysuckleOolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Dachi Tea

Tea Description:

With tea making methods borrowed from the Sun Moon Lake style, the Honeysuckle Oolong’s deep cocoa and plum aroma eases you into a baked fruit flavor with a lasting honey nectar finish. With its natural sweetness and full-bodied flavor, this is one of those teas which has you constantly sipping and subconsciously craving more.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the time when I could review this Honeysuckle Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea!  This company was launched thanks to a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign that ended at the beginning of January.  I managed to do one review of their four teas from their inaugural collection before their Kickstarter campaign reached it’s deadline.  Once the campaign had come to a successful close, I held off on doing a review until they launched their new website so that people could get their hands on some of these fantastic teas!

And this Honeysuckle Oolong Tea is amazing.  It’s reminiscent of a Sun Moon Lake black tea – in fact, given that this says that it’s fully oxidized, I think this might actually BE a black tea.  It’s a little lighter than a typical black tea though, it doesn’t have a really strong, robust, kick your butt into gear type of flavor that say an Assam or even a high quality Ceylon would have.  It’s lighter, sweeter and more reminiscent of an Oolong in that way.

The flavor is sweet with notes of flower, so I think that the name “honeysuckle” is quite appropriate.  Those sweet, honeyed flavors mingle beautifully with a deep, stone fruit flavor.  The description above suggests plum and I would agree with that assessment.  I even get a slight ‘sour’ note that arrives about mid sip – similar to what I might experience if I were to bite into a fresh, tree-ripened, juicy plum.

The description above also suggests a chocolate/cocoa flavor and I do get hints of that.  The hints of cocoa are hardly something that this chocoholic would call ‘chocolate’ but I do understand the comparison.  It’s a subtle insinuation of chocolate and makes me hope that subsequent infusions would lead me to a stronger chocolate-y taste.HoneysuckleOolong1

Yes!  My second cup (infusions three and four) was certainly more chocolate-y than the first.  I also noticed, though, that the texture was a bit thinner than the first cup which lead me to surmise that while this tea is certainly a spectacular tea – it’s not quite as ‘go the long haul’ as a typical Oolong.  This is more ‘black tea’ in that respect.  You’ll get a really lovely cuppa for the early infusions but the flavors begin to wane pretty quickly with this one.

Don’t let that sway you from trying this tea – it’s a lovely Sun Moon Lake type black tea and I’d recommend steeping it as such so that you can get that rich, amazing flavor as a Sun Moon Lake type black, rather than steeping this like an Oolong (in a gaiwan).  Next time, I’ll be reaching for either my Kati Tumbler or brewing it in my Breville One-Touch instead.  The gaiwan efforts – while absolutely LOVELY – seem a bit more intensive than necessary for a wonderful cuppa when the flavors aren’t going to go for more than a few infusions.

Yet another lovely tea from Dachi – I look forward to exploring the other two with you!

Frozen Summit Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea

FrozenSummitTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Learn more about Dachi Tea’s Kickstarter Campaign Here.

Tea Description:

Also known as a Dong Ding Oolong, this tea has a woodsy aroma with notes of granola and butterscotch, which tease you into a heavy-bodied soup that has the minerality or river rocks and a malty flavor that some say is akin to a carefully crafted Indian Pale Ale. Forget the hollowness of a caffeine rush, this assertive tea comes with a boost of chi that energises you from the inside out and it’s coming to takeover the west! 

Follow Dachi Tea on Facebook.

Taster’s Review:

I love the sweet, nutty notes of a Dong Ding like this Frozen Summit Oolong from Dachi Tea.

The aroma of the dry leaf is nutty, a little sweet and there are some fresh vegetal tones to the fragrance as well.  The leaves are tightly wound into pellets that unfurl slowly as they brew.  The brewed tea has a stronger nutty scent, but I found that the vegetal notes had softened with the brewed cup.  I noticed that as the tea “pellets” began to open, there are quite a few stems in this tea.

To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan and measured a bamboo scoop of tea into the bowl.  Then I heated the water to 180°F and performed a re-awakening rinse for 15 seconds, discarding the liquid.  Then I steeped my first infusion for 45 seconds.  I strained the tea into my teacup and steeped the leaves again, this time for 1 full minute.  I combined the first two infusions into my teacup and now it’s time to enjoy!  (I repeated the process for cups 2 and 3!)

I found the tasting notes from Dachi Tea to be interesting, because I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone describing the nutty notes of a Dong Ding as “granola” but I totally get it.  Yeah, there’s a warm, nutty flavor (and scent) and there is an almost ‘oat-y’ quality to it as well.  Hints of honey too!  I don’t smell (or taste) much of a butterscotch essence – at least not yet.  I look forward to discovering that flavor (hopefully) in the infusions to follow.

The tea has a pleasant, rich mouthfeel.  It is very soothing, like a broth.

Overall, this cup is a light tasting cup – but that light flavor won’t last!  I can already pick up on notes of mineral in the distance and a slight vegetal note to the flavor.  The vegetal note is less obvious than the roasty-toasty, nutty flavors, but every once in a while, I pick up on a slight taste of vegetation with whispers of flower weaving its way into the sip.

I suspect in the next cup, I’ll enjoy stronger flavors and hopefully that butterscotch note will reveal itself!

Ah!  There it is!  The butterscotch!  I can definitely smell it (as well as the nutty notes) in this second cup and I can taste the butterscotch notes too.  This is cup is sweet and nutty – just like the first – but I think that the sweeter notes are even more intense this time around!  Mmm!

I’m tasting fewer of the aforementioned vegetal notes and few of the floral tones that I discovered with the first cup.  I’m also picking up on some light malt notes as mentioned in Dachi’s tasting notes, reminiscent of the few ‘gourmet’ beers that I’ve tasted.  (‘Gourmet’ beers should be interpreted as something that costs $6.99 a can rather than $6.99 a six-pack.)

There is a slightly dry finish to this cup, but I only really notice it when I’m trying to find out if I notice any astringency to the cup.  That is to say, it’s not a strong astringency or something that really stands out unless I’m trying to ‘find’ it.

The third and final cup was smoother than the second.  I found the second cup to be sweeter but the third cup to be more unified and even less astringent than the second.  I pick up on hints of apple in this cup.  The sweet notes are more like honey than they are butterscotch.  The aforementioned malt notes are less noticeable this time.

Overall, this is a really enjoyable cup and I’m thrilled that I got to try it.  I love that Dachi Tea has reached their goal on Kickstarter and will, therefore, be funded.  I also love the packaging of this company!  Inside the box was a beautiful metallic, coppery gift bag that has been labeled with Dachi’s logo, and inside the gift bag are their four flagship Oolong teas.  (So, needless to say, I’ll be reviewing the other three teas very soon!)

This new company approached me to help spread the word about their up-and-coming company as well as their Kickstarter campaign which has been enormously successful.  However, every bit helps, so why not consider supporting Dachi on Kickstarter and get some really great perks in the process (in this case, perks = tea and other great stuff!)  This Kickstarter campaign ends soon!