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An Early Taste of Spring with Mountain Oolong Spring. . . . .

Mountain Oolong Spring from Mountain Tea Co. is truly a springtime tea.  In the spring, everything blooms and bursts into life, and you can evoke this feeling by brewing a cup of this tea in your kitchen at home.  I’ve had quite a few teas that smell like jasmine or rose, but this tea lights up with the fragrance of less typical flowers, soft and feminine like baby’s breath or lily of the valley. Putting your nose into a cup of this tea will envelop you with this relaxing, perfumey sensation. Beyond the flavor of flowers, there are nutty and Read More

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Himalayan Shangri-la from Teabox

If I had to choose between dark oolong or green oolong, for me it would be green every time. I find them characterful and unique, with more variation in flavour than I’ve typically found (at least so far…) among their roasted counterparts. And that’s coming from a habitual black tea drinker. Himalayan Shangri-la is a Nepalese Oolong from 2015. It’s a first flush, or spring, oolong comprising highly graded leaves taken from a single estate. The leaf here is pretty impressive – they’re long and twisty, with a high predominance of downy buds, and vary from a dark khaki to Read More

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Uper Fagu Darjeeling Oolong from The Tea Shelf

I’ve not come across many Oolongs from Darjeeling in the years I’ve been drinking tea, but the ones I have tried have always been something special. This one is no exception. It starts with the leaf, which in appearance reminds me a lot of a first flush darjeeling (although it’s actually a second) crossed with a very fresh white peony. The are a high predominance of downy silver buds, some verging more on silver or pale green, plus some brown-ish-copper leaves. The scent is sweet and lightly jasmine. Initially, the taste is subtle and fairly mineral, in the way that Read More

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Anxi Tie Guan Yin from Teasenz

I can’t remember the last time I drank a Tie Guan Yin, which is something of a surprise as it’s become one of my favourite oolong varieties. I was more than pleased when I came across this one, not least because it’s a good opportunity to reacquaint myself. This particular Tie Guan Yin is from the Anxi Nature Reserve in Fujian Province, a major Chinese tea growing region (although one I seem to associate more with black tea than with oolong, strangely enough!) I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water slightly Read More

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Catnap from Aka Tea

I misread the name of this tea at first, and thought it said “Catnip.” Turns out I wasn’t far wrong, because this blend does actually contain catnip. It’s even more fitting when you consider that the company logo, and indeed the majority of their blends, are cat themed. Catnap is purportedly a relaxing blend, containing chamomile, mint, lemon verbena, lemon balm…and catnip. In my head, catnip isn’t something I typically associate with relaxation – it conjures images of bright-eyed, mischief-making kittens. Maybe in humans the effects are different. Noticeable amongst the dry leaf are small whole chamomile flowers, pieces of Read More