Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: T-Oolong Tea
This quality Alishan Charcoal Fire Heavy Roast Oolong is handpicked, handcrafted and produced from Alishan oolong tea. Use only the charcoal made of either Taiwan Longan wood or Taiwan Acacia wood to roast the tea (NOT by electric roasters), and follow old traditional method. This tea has an intense charcoal aroma and taste mixing with flavors of Alishan oolong. The aftertaste is enjoyable and long lasting. It tastes sweet, rich and complex, and stands up very well to multiple infusions.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve had an occasional charcoal roasted Oolong, but I can’t recall having very many AliShan charcoal roasted Oolong teas! I know I’ve had at least one, but, I can’t recall many others. So, I’m very happy to have this opportunity to try this AliShan Charcoal Fire Heavy Roast Oolong Tea from T-Oolong Tea!
This is lovely!
To brew, I reached for my gaiwan. I measured a bamboo scoop of tea and put it into the gaiwan. I heated the water to 180°F and after performing a quick rinse (15 seconds), I started the first infusion, steeping it for 45 seconds. I added 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusions. Since this is a charcoal roasted AliShan, I opted not to use my designated AliShan Oolong Yixing mug and instead put the tea in one of my favorite tea cups. This tea cup holds two infusions perfectly, so I combined the first two infusions to make one cup. Then the third and fourth infusion combined made the second cup and so on.
With my first cup, the roasty-toasty flavors brought as smile to my face. It’s deliciously nutty and sweet. While an unroasted AliShan may taste floral and even a little ‘milky’ – this instead tastes nutty, creamy and sweet. I taste notes of the charcoal. It’s remarkably smooth with very little astringency and no bitterness.
My second cup was even more ‘roasty-toasty’ and I could pick up on more of the charcoal notes. Still deliciously nutty and sweet! The creaminess has subsided somewhat. This cup is less thick than the first, and there is a slight dryness to it. Still really nice.
The third cup was a little more mellow than the second cup. I’m starting to pick up on some light floral notes – like toasted orchid! It’s an interesting contrast of flavors. I think that this is the most interesting of the three cups. The cup is softer in texture. The charcoal notes are more pronounced. This cup isn’t as nutty as the first and second cups were but there are still some nutty tones. This is still roasty-toasty and really pleasant to sip.
I really enjoyed this tea.
Leaf Type: Puerh
Where to Buy: Samovar Tea Lounge
Wild-crafted from 30-foot trees in the jungles of Southwest China, this tea is a traditional wedding gift and evening mood-setter. Dark, creamy, and luxurious with notes of bittersweet chocolate and espresso.
Tea Type: Pu-Erh
Origin: Jing Mai Mountains in Yunnan, China
Caffeine Level: Medium-high
Processing Details: Tender, young-leaf, vintage, loose leaf Pu-Erh
Tasting and Aroma Specs: Very balanced, smooth, rich and dark, with a slightly sweet, wildflower honey finish. Deep, strong forward notes of earth and moss with a lingering raisin sugar sweetness.
Food Pairing: Dim Sum and Samovar’s Mushroom Quiche
Learn more about this tea here.
It is really difficult to sum up a puerh in a review without mentioning each and ever steep. Especially when it is such an excellent puerh like this Maiden’s Ecstasy Organic from Samovar Tea Lounge.
Maiden’s Ecstasy is one of the first pureh that I ever tried and is still one of my favorites. I stopped drinking coffee shortly before I found my love for loose leaf tea, and this Maiden’s Ecstasy provides such a rich, full, and robust cup that it brings back memories of my once loved coffee, but is so much better, and far more flavorful!
With a creamy, heavy mouthfeel, this tea has notes of german rock sugar, brown sugar, raisins, tree bark, oak moss, and so much more. Sometimes you will taste a more woodsy note, while other times you get a taste of chocolate, and other times a savory note of mushroom!
There is something otherworldly about this tea. It is the kind of tea I like to drink while watching a movie such as Avatar, or The Never Ending Story. I would take this and drink it at the Renaissance Festival every year if I could find a way to keep steeping it! It makes me feel like jumping from toadstool to tree trunk and swinging from branches of friendly tress and cavorting with gnomes but beware of the trolls because this tea does have a sparky, spicy kick to it at times as well! Its not dangerous though, it won’t burn your tongue at all, its just a little spark of playful now and then in the middle of an otherwise dreamy cup.
It does evoke thoughts of sipping on a very luxurious espresso, a good one though, one you could probably only find at one of those quaint cafes in Italy, as you sit writing in your diary at a white linen clothed table, dreaming of a romantic interlude. Flavors of molasses peek through resembling the sweet desires playing out in your mind as you gaze into nothingness, while someone, sitting at a table not too far away can see everything emoting through your eyes.
Yes, this tea is that special.