Milky Oolong from Tea Taxi. . .

When I first started drinking tea, I avoided oolongs at all costs. They were too floral or too green and just not for me. However, over the years, I have found myself more and more curious when it comes to oolongs, particularly milk oolongs which are often so simple and yet amazingly creamy.

This particular milk oolong, Milky Oolong by TeaTaxi, boasts “a subtle taste and a delicate aroma”. I steeped it per the package directions, letting the leaves steep for 3 minutes in 190F water.

At first taste, I found myself worried that perhaps this is too subtle. It came off a touch weak and not all that milky. In fairness, the “milk” oolong I had most recently prior to trying this was Oolong Creme by Sloane Fine Teas and that set the bar quite high. The more I drink, the more flavors I find. There is a definite smoothness here but I don’t know if I would go as far as to say it is “creamy”. On the other hand, I suppose “milky” is an accurate description as it is a little on the thinner side in comparison to the other milk oolongs I’ve tried. There is also a lot of floral notes here which to me appear as almost a shadow of the orchid taste in DAVIDsTEA’s Vanilla Orchid.

All in all, this tea is not bad, but also does nothing to stand out among the sea of milk oolongs. It came to me as a sample in the Generation Tea monthly subscription and the one cup is leaving me satisfied though I probably won’t seek it out again.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea Taxi
Description

A subtle taste and a delicate aroma. This classic tea will make you feel as zen as a yoga session would! Namaste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Mt. Wudong Mi Lan Xiang Dancong Oolong Tea aka Honey Orchid from JK Tea. . . .

 

Honey Orchid, what an alluring name for a tea.  That just makes you feel like this tea is going to deliver on sweet floral notes.  What that name doesn’t say is this tea is also robust, rich, and full of a slight earthy flavor that mingles perfectly with the honey and floral tones.

This particular oolong from JK Tea, a tea shop dedicated to offering high quality teas to the tea community, doesn’t have any notable aromas when you first open the tea.  But after brewing this tea with fresh water prepped right under boiling and allowing the tea to brew for a few minutes, this tea gives you all the loving you can handle.

Gorgeous rich but subtle earthy notes lay the ground work for these pops of sweet floral touches that you can pick up through each sip.  There is also this underlying fruit note that adds to the sweetness.  I greedily gulped, yes gulped, this tea down.  With all the wonderful flavors being so well balanced, I couldn’t help myself.

Don’t judge this tea by how simple the flavors sound.  This is one of those teas that you need to literally sit down and thoroughly enjoy without distraction to really focus on what the tea leaves are yielding.  Highly recommend this tea for those that are looking for a break in what they normally drink or just to change the pace up a bit. Simply beautiful!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  JK Tea 
Description

When we come to the shape of the Mi Lan Xiang Dancong Tea, if you look for some photos, you can see resemblance with dried seaweed, both in color and it’s twisted, stick-like shape, but the texture of the Tea is a bit firmer and maybe we can even make a comparison with vanilla sticks, if you can imagine them ultrathin and strained. For the taste, it enjoys strong, delicate honey aroma with light floral  aroma as well; sweet taste with lingering after taste sweetness; rich & complex mouth feeling after sipping the tea liquid.  For some people, it is hard to believe that such strong fruity flavor is developed naturally and with such sophisticated process, but this is true.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Eden Oolong from Tocha Teas. . . . .

The first thing I noticed upon inspection of this blend was the rose petals, they stuck out to me first. For whatever reason whenever I see rose petals, I think “relaxation”. The flavor and scent of rose always invokes relaxation for me. Upon looking at the list of ingredients provided by the company Tocha Teas, I noticed that this blend included jasmine as well! So yes, this is going to be a relaxing blend! Jasmine is always a soothing scent and flavor.

I would say that my initial assumption was correct! This blend is one that you would be served at a spa while waiting for your massage! The oolong was very light and a perfect base for the essence of floral lotus leaf, jasmine, rose, and osmanthus flowers. Oolong does contain caffeine, but this blend is still a good one to wind down with. The floral blend is soothing not only to the mind and senses, but also to the throat and stomach. This would definitely be one I would reach for if I was having some tummy upsets! A must try!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tocha Teas
Description

Escape into a luxuriant garden with this fresh, lively blend of delightful oolong tea and the finest botanicals. This elegant, harmonious infusion eases body and mind, supporting a fit and trim physique while putting a blissful smile on your face.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Discovering Nunshen’s Oolong. . . .

G’day, tea-ple! It’s time for another foray into the Land of Oolong — a lush valley between the mountains of Black and the rolling hills of Green. (Disclaimer: this is not literal.) Oolong is like Doctor Who: it can travel between green and black at will. You never know where it will be. It will always surprise you.

Today’s pick comes from Nunshen, which has a really chic Bauhaus-style logo.

The pouch that held the tea sachet was made of a fine matte plastic that felt like a high-end business card. The sachet itself was made of a nice cotton/linen sort of material and had the stitching turn into the string that held on the tag. (David’s Tea’s sachets have similar construction. I was always impressed by those, too.)

I’m sharing this because I LOVE good design. It shows, right from the get-go, that these people care. (Well-packaged tea might not always be delicious, but you know that they had some meetings and they WANTED your experience to be nice, at least.)

The oolong that came out of this hella-chic packaging is surprisingly earthy. It’s like I momentarily entered the world of Helvetica/Bauhaus and forgot that tea existed. All of this smooth black-and-white sans-serif typography is covering up… plants for me to drink. RIGHT. I WAS HERE FOR THE TEA.

More than anything, this tea tastes like healthy cereal. The descriptor on the bag uses the word “oats” and “long.” I’m absolutely getting the oats. When I ran out of my own cereal once, I tried substituting my mom’s, some kind of uber-fiber keep-you-regular comes-from-the-earth blend. This is that. If you love oats and earthiness, this is for you.

I do not, for the life of me, now what “taste: long” means. I actually opened up Dictionary.com and typed in “long” thinking there was some kind of secondary meaning. A Google search on “long taste” offered up a jumble of results, including one that mentioned aftertaste.

So I stopped sipping, and yes, I do still taste this in my mouth a moment later. So maybe they mean it’s a lasting flavor?

REGARDLESS, if you love some malty oat flavor, you’ve gotta get on board with this tea. And then report back to me on what you think “long” means. Please help.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Nunshen
Description

Get closer to nature with fresh grassy flavors and scents that will remind you of an open meadow in the spring.This blend is guaranteed to cœrce your mind and body to feel at peace and one with the Earth.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) – Tillerman Tea Co.

All hail the Queen! The queen of teas that is. Everything about this tea shouts royalty. Unfortunately, the dry smell isn’t coming through due to cross contamination from another tea but the wet smell more then makes up for the loss. In the first 30 seconds of steeping an aroma blossoms from the leaves that is borderline heavenly. One would think they infused rose oil into the leaves. It’s so floral it almost hides the earthy tones.

The essence extracted from the leaves in the water, aka the flavor is truly unique. Floral and fruity notes with a honey finish. Considering that it’s 70% oxidized, I’m surprised that the earthy tones are so mellow.  The surprises keep hitting with this tea. I’ve tried it hot, luke-warm, and cold and find the flavor notes do best right in the middle.

Oolongs are truly one of those tea types that are not well known enough the USA. If you are a first time tea drinker you generally start off with something that isn’t even tea [to be considered tea it has to have the camellia sinensis leaf in it]. These are generally called herbals or tisanes. They then will most likely try blacks like English breakfast or scented greens like Jasmine. It’s not until you really dive deeper into the world of tea that you discover oolongs. Even the world of oolong is intense. The type of oolong you get depends on how much it is oxidized. As I said before this tea (Bai Hao) is 70% oxidized and thus is closer to the black tea spectrum. If you truly want to branch out into the tea world or just want to discover more about oolongs and you don’t know where to start, this is a good tea to begin with.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tillerman Tea
Description

 

One of the few high grade teas to be harvested in the summer, this tea, first known as “Bai Hao” in Taiwan, reminds us a bit of a superior first flush Darjeeling. We are not the only ones to think so; the story (certainly apocryphal) goes that Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, enjoyed this tea so much that, when she ran out of her Darjeeling, she dubbed this the “Oriental Beauty.” This was subsequently translated back into Chinese as “Dong Fang Mei Ren” Multi-colored twisted leaves mixed with an abundance of silver furry tips gives this tea its visual appeal. The unique flavor profile results from the way this plant develops. The tea green leaf hopper attacks the young developing bud in the spring causing it to wither on the branch. The lower leaves are harvested in the summer with the withered “white tip” attached. This tea is organically grown in Hsinchu County in Taiwan. For anyone who likes a fruity malty tea like Darjeeling with an intriguing honey note, this is a great alternative. After all, if it was good enough for the Queen. . .

Grower: Hsu Sheng Fu Dashi
Cultivar: Qing Xin Da Pan
Region: Emei, Hsinchu
Altitude: 300m
Harvest: Summer 2016
Oxidation: 70%
Roasted

Brewing Suggestions:

Use between 3-5 grams of tea. This is a wiry leaf so practice is required. Pour 195°F (90° C) over the leaves and steep for 1 minute. Always remember to adjust steeping time depending on water temperature, amount of tea you have and personal flavor preference. Increase time and temperature slightly with each infusion.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here