Four Seasons Spring Oolong from Green Terrace Teas

fourseasonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Green Terrace Teas

Tea Description:

Grown at about 1,200 meters in the rich soil of the Alishan region, this tea is a wonderful introduction to oolong teas from Taiwan.  Sweet, rich and aromatic, Four Seasons Spring Oolong (or Si Ji Chun) has a pleasant buttery and honey taste that evokes mild notes of jasmine and lily.  This oolong as a mild vegetal character and has almost no bitterness – a great tea for any time of the day.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh … LOVELY!  It’s been a while since I’ve had a Si Ji Chun, I’ve been focusing on other teas as of late and this is almost like a new tea to me now.  But as I am sipping this golden cup of wonderful, I have to think – why have I been away so long, Si Ji Chun?

The aroma of the dry leaf is FRESH … like a fresh spring morning!  It smells a little vegetal, and I realize it’s those vegetal notes that give it the fresh smell, but rather than smelling specifically of vegetable or steamed veggies or even of grass, this just smells like the new, fresh smells that great the olfactory nerves as spring reawakens the earth.

Sweet, sweet, sweet!  This is so delightfully creamy, with notes that are reminiscent of butter and honey – evoking thoughts of honey butter!  The sweet, yummy spread my gramma used to make when she’d bake fresh biscuits for dinner.  Mmm!  But there’s more to this cup than just a sweet resemblance of honey butter, I taste sweet floral notes and a hint of vegetative flavor.

It’s a remarkably smooth cup with very little astringency.  I do notice just a hint of astringency at the tail, but, it’s very subtle.  The above description suggests notes of jasmine and lily, and while I do taste a ‘floral’ taste to the cup, I don’t know that it’s jasmine and lily that I taste.  Then again, this is only the first cup (infusions 1 and 2 after a 15 second rinse), perhaps those flowers will reveal more of themselves in the later infusions.

The second cup is not quite as creamy as the first was.  There are still notes of butter, and it’s still a delightfully sweet cup of tea.  The floral notes are beginning to emerge more in this cup, and I definitely do notice a jasmine-esque tone.  It’s not nearly as obvious a jasmine note as I’d experience with a jasmine scented tea, but, there are notes here that I recognize as jasmine.

I’m also noticing a touch of citrus to this second cup as well, as if someone maybe put a drop of lime in my cup.  It’s bright and adds a nice dimension to the cup.

I can still taste notes of creaminess in the third cup, but there is a gradual loss of the creaminess with each subsequent infusion.  The sweetness is still there.  The floral notes seem to have merged together with the other flavors of this cup, creating a taste that’s a little floral and a little vegetal, and a little creamy too.  The aforementioned citrus tone is there as well, and it’s quite a delicious combination of flavors.

A really lovely Oolong.  For those out there who – like me – have been drinking other Oolong teas and haven’t had a really good Four Seasons in a while, now is the time to reinvigorate your palate!

Taiwan Four Seasons Fruity Sijichun Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea

Tea Description:

Plucking from Taiwan peculiar Four Seasons Spring oolong tea leaves, in addition to stringent management of planting, Taiwan fruity oolong tea (Sijichun) was handcrafted to refine into circumspect & traditional oolong tea. This Four Seasons Spring oolong was strictly selected as a higher grade oolong tea, possesses particularly pure and strong fresh flower fragrance plus smooth taste which you, tea lovers, won’t miss it out.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

What a lovely Oolong experience awaits when you try this Taiwan Four Seasons Fruity Sijichun Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea!  It is a very refreshing, pleasantly sweet Oolong that provides many wonderful infusions!

The dry leaf is comprised of tiny, tiny pellets … almost as small as gunpowder green tea … in fact, when I first opened this package, I had to do a double check to make sure I was opening an Oolong and not a green tea by mistake.

The aroma of the dry leaf is more floral than fruity and based upon the name of the tea I guess I was expecting a stronger fruity essence to it.  I do take in some fruit notes, but, largely, what I smell is a strong floral note.  Brewed, the aroma is slightly softer than the dry leaf, but it is still more floral than fruity.

I brewed this the same way I’d brew most Oolong teas:  in my gaiwan!  After a quick fifteen second rinse, I steeped the leaves for 45 seconds for the first infusion, and then each subsequent infusion had a 15 second increase.  I combine two infusions in one cup … in other words, the first cup is infusions 1 and 2, while the second cup is infusions 3 and 4 … and so on.  The tightly wound pellets were slow to unfurl and release their flavor … making for an extended enjoyment of this tea!

The first cup was light, refreshing and crisp.  Similar to the fragrance of the dry leaf, I am tasting a stronger floral presence than a fruity taste.  There is a crisp … almost apple-y kind of taste to the background, but that is the only fruit notes I’m picking up on at this point.  The floral tones are sharp yet sweet.  A very clean tasting cup.

The second cup was a stronger tasting cup, where the fruit notes became a little better defined, as did the floral tones.  This is not quite as “light” or “crisp” or even “sharp” … this is more smooth and it has a soft texture that washes over the palate.  Of the three cups that I enjoyed of this tea, the second cup is my favorite … but that doesn’t mean that the first and third cups were not enjoyable.  They were certainly lovely as well!

The third cup was more of a unified flavor … I noticed that the fruit notes emerged strongest here, and the floral tones softened and became almost a part of the fruit notes.  There is more of a vegetative tone to this cup as well … that is to say, I taste more of a “grassy” or “vegetable” taste to this cup than I did the first two.  It is not quite as creamy or smooth as the second cup … but, richer than the first.

Like I said … all three cups are very enjoyable and what I liked best is that each cup was a new adventure.  This is really a lovely cup, bravo to Fong Mong Tea for delivering yet another fantastic tea experience!

2003 Reserve Four Seasons Oolong Tea from Butiki Teas


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description:

Our aged oolong is sourced from the Dong Ding tea growing region of Nantou County in Taiwan and was harvested in the spring of 2003. The varietal is Si Ji Chuan also known as Four Season. Our aged oolong was crafted by blend master Chen Pei Wen and is re-roasted every 2-3 years to minimize moisture content. 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong is a rich full-bodied silky tea. The charcoal-colored leaves of this smooth oolong produce notes of honey suckle, bark, and grass and has a natural sweetness with no astringency present. This tea is also low in caffeine.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of the dry leaf of this 2003 Reserve Four Seasons Oolong Tea from Butiki Teas surprised me a little.  Normally, when I smell an Oolong, I smell floral notes, or sometimes hints of vegetation or sometimes fruit tones.  I didn’t smell any of these notes … instead, I could detect notes of earth and even a pipe tobacco-y kind of scent.  My SororiTea Sister, Azzrian, described the scent as

reminiscent of a campfire, or an old library, slightly musty, with a hint of leather

and yeah … I get those comparisons as well.  It definitely has an “old” kind of smell … like something I’d associate with a distinguished, elderly, well-read gentleman who smokes a pipe.

Given the hint of earth to the aroma, I expected this tea to have an almost pu-erh-ish kind of flavor to it, even though it’s an Oolong.  And it does have a flavor that is vaguely similar to that of an earthy pu-erh.  But it is also very Oolong-ish in many respects … like a dark, charcoal-roasted Oolong.

It is indeed earthy, but I do not find the earthy tones to be overwhelming or off-putting.  I like the way these earthy tones mingle with the roasted notes, creating an almost “coffee-like” taste to me.  It has a sweetness that reminds me of molasses.  Very distant floral notes in the distance … these are almost overpowered by the strong roasted tones, but, if I focus on the flavors I can taste them.  In the foreground, there are notes of leather, tobacco and oak.  This is definitely a masculine kind of tea … very rugged and yet very distinguished.

I really enjoyed this tea … and I enjoyed taking it through its paces as it delivered many wonderful, delicious infusions.  This is one tea that is definitely worth the time to get to know, especially if you’re one who appreciates a truly unique Oolong!

Four Seasons from Tula Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tula Teas

Product Description:

Si Ji Chun Wulong

Mr. Liu’s Garden

Dong Ding Mountain, Nantou, Taiwan
2010 Harvest

Our fantastically nuanced Four Seasons Oolong is from Dong Ding Mountain in Nantou, Taiwan. Four Seasons is a varietal developed in the 1980s.  This one was specially grown and handmade by a tea competition judge who is known for his tireless work in working with and developing new tea varietals that are naturally pest-resistant (to eliminate the use of pesticides) and adaptable to climate change.

Read more here

Taster’s Review:

The fragrance of the dry leaf is very enticing and beautiful.  It has a fantastic floral scent that reminds me a bit of a dew-drenched flower garden in the springtime just as the sun begins to warm the leaves and petals.  The aroma carries over to the brewed tea as well, making this a very inviting tea to sip.

And I am glad to accept that invitation, because this is truly a remarkable Oolong.  The flavor is delightfully complex with notes of creamy butter and flower, hints of vegetation and spice, and a delicious background of fruit-like flavors.

The sip begins softly with a whisper of creamy goodness, and then a sharp, sweet floral quality emerges.  All the while, I can taste the notes of crisp apple and a hint of plum.  The sip ends with a bit of cleansing astringency that leaves just enough of the spice notes and a tangy note of citrus on the palate to enjoy in the aftertaste.  It’s really a delicious cup.

This tea is aptly named, because all at once it has flavors that represent all four seasons:  Spring with its beautiful floral tones; Summer with a sweetness of sun-ripened fruit; autumn with a hint of nut and spice, and winter with its warm, comforting buttery notes.

I really enjoyed this Oolong.  Each infusion (I managed six from one measurement of leaves!) is very flavorful and unique in its own way, so please do yourself a favor and savor each infusion!  You’ll be happy you did!