Vietnam Gui Fei Oolong from What Cha. . . .

I may have gone a bit overboard this past Black Friday. I was splurging on tea orders right, left, and center. Normally those orders would be for flavored teas but a friend of mine was ordering from websites that have huge selections of straight teas and I decided to join in on her orders. One such site was What-Cha. I have had several of their straight teas thanks to others sharing samples with me and I’ve always been impressed.

More than just straight teas, I decided to go wild when it came to the oolong sections of these sites. In hindsight this was a weird choice for me since up until recently I wouldn’t even try a flavored oolong tea, let alone a straight one. I guess as time goes on, your tastes change and my tastes are moving towards oolongs. What Cha must have sensed that because this tea, Vietnam Gui Fei Oolong Tea, arrived as the sample in our order.

This tea has a really nice honey sweetness. That is what stands out sip after sip. As I continue to drink it does become a bit more nuanced with the honey giving way to a touch of signature oolong toastiness. The more I focus, the more I can taste. In addition to the honey, the sweetness has a slight taste of stonefruit and raisin and a little citrus zip intermingled with the toastiness. Also, floating about is a touch of rose/floral that could be present because I expect that in an oolong more than because its actually there.

What is nice about this tea is that the sweetness gives it some body and that body reads almost like a caramel / malt making this come off like a dessert tea despite it having no dessert flavorings. It is light and rich at the same time which makes it easy to drink again and again.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  What Cha
Description

A highly aromatic oolong with a wonderfully sweet honey aroma and taste accompanied by citrus fruit notes of orange blossoms and peach.

Gui Fei is notable as it requires the leaf to be nibbled by leafhoppers just like Oriental Beauty. The tea plant responds by releasing more polyphenols into the leaves, resulting in added sweetness and complexity in the tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

King Dragon from Wendigo Tea

With a name like King Dragon…this Oolong was set-up for GREATNESS!

Dry, this loose leaf oolong smells like a damp forest with wet wood and stone. After infusing this one it smells more like stone and a little less like wood. However, the aftertaste, especially when chilled, the tea-itself, is fairly woodsy! The aroma and flavors flap back and forth like a dragons MIGHTY WINGS!

This tea ‘brews up’ pretty dark for an Oolong and does well with multiple infusions. The darkness lightens up with each follow-up infusion but the woodsy/earthiness flavor is still present.

If you are a fan of Red Robes you will enjoy this one, as well!

I salute you – King Dragon from Wendigo Tea! You are a warrior!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Wendigo Tea
Description

All arise for I am King Dragon, an ancient and illustrious oolong tea. I smell of exquisite honey, leather, orchids, and wet stone. My taste is of ripe peaches, earth, and smoke with a smooth lingering sweetness.

As reverence for my exalted nature for millennia I was simply known as “The King of Tea”. I also have been called an Imperial Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong or Royal Red Robe, but all you need to know is that if you are to unleash my all-powerful leaves into the water, all other teas must bow before me.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tie Guan Yin from Origins Tea . . .

One cold and wintery evening I decided to dive deep into my loose leaf stash and randomly choose one I hadn’t had in a good, long while. The one I choose from the heap was this Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea from Origins Tea which I haven’t been able to locate online for a long time.

Some tea lovers say it’s a perfect middle ground to a black tea and a green tea but it’s actually an Oolong! Tricky, tricky…little fellow…but oh-so-comforting and satisfying!

Other tea fans say that Tie Guan Yin is arguably the most famous oolong tea with an aroma of baked bread with a floral, buttery finish.

I agree with both stances. It’s a little bit green, a little bit black. It’s not too weak and not too strong. It offers that semi-bakey, yet somewhat creaminess, too!

Could this be the Jekyll and Hyde of Oolongs? Perhaps! But for now…I will just call it a solid cuppa and enjoy it for what it is…Tie Guan Yin…a marvelous Oolong!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Origins Tea
Description

Grown in the high mountains of the A Li Shan region of Taiwan, this tea is also known as the “Iron Goddess of Compassion”.  This tea will almost certainly become your favorite roasted Tie Guan Yin.  Nice deep roasted fragrance, comes off a bit nutty with the charcoal aroma, along with a bit of floral in the background.  Really nice mix of floral notes, fruity/herbal terpene complexity, and underlying roasted aroma.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Notes on Zhong-Shu-Hu Oolong Tea from Tea from Taiwan. . . . .

This is my second cupping for this tea. Though it doesn’t call for it on their website,

I found that this tea is better off if rinsed for a few seconds before the first sipping. Judging on the grassy flavors and marine mouth feel and I would guess this oolong to be on the lighter end of the oxidized spectrum.

The liquid is a light golden amber.

IT does have slightly bitter tendencies and can be too strong if brewed too long.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea from Taiwan
Description

Zhong Shu Hu oolong tea comes from the Zhong Shu Hu area of Ali Mountain (Alishan) – one of the most famous tea producing regions of Taiwan. The climate here is cool and moist with cloud cover and mists every day. These conditions are ideal for tea because the plants grow very slowly and produce tender, flavorful tea leaves and buds.

Zhong Shu Hu oolong tea has a sweet taste and refined aroma. Each brewing brings out new flavours and taste sensations. This tea has a complexity that provides continuous nuances with every cup.

Zhong Shu Hu oolong tea can be re-brewed several times while maintaining an excellent flavour. We recommend the Gong Fu method of preparation to bring out the best of this excellent tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

San Lin Xi Oolong from Harney & Sons. . . .

This tea tastes like eating a bouquet of nectar-y flowers. I have not, for the record, done this, but it’s how I imagine the experience might be, if you were so inclined. It’s light, lively, vegetal, and easy.

(Original Artwork from Super Starling inspired by this tea)

I feel like being a bee would be wonderful. A life spent in the sunshine, with a clear, tasty plan — find flowers; collect yummy pollen. Have a fluffy face. Hang out in Taiwan (whence this tea originates) with your friends in a hive. Hexagons are very hot in interior decoration right now.

Since I am not a bee (uuuuuuugh), I’ll have to savor this flavor instead.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons
Description

We are pleased to expand our offering of Taiwanese high mountain (Gao shan) oolongs. This tea is from the middle of the Nantou District, between Li Shan to the north and Ali San in the South. It is a lovely lightly oxidized oolong.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!