High Mountain Oolong/Qi Aerista

This just might be the first tea I have ever tried from Qi Aerista. More specifically, High Mountain Oolong from Qi Aerista, that is.

First I want to talk about their website. It’s pretty fantastic when it comes to individual information about each one of their teas and products. Very few companies describe the process of each tea to the degree that Qi Aerista did. With this oolong, they said it went thru the traditional process, but went one further to describe it step-by-step which included Plucking, Withering, Bruising, Kill-green/Fixation, Rolling & Shaping, and Drying & Roasting with special emphasis on the ‘bruising’. Bruising is a critical phase as it involves rounds of shaking and resting of the leaves to obtain the right amount oxidation that delivers the optimal flavor and aroma.

Going beyond the process, they told more secrets of this tea including the tea type being a Semi-oxidized Oolong and what other names it could go by which were Xiyan Oolong and West Rock Oolong. Cultivar was listed as Local oolong cultivar and the region it hails from is Dapu County, Guangdong Province, China.

What I find even more exciting is that the age of the plant in which this tea came from was over 60 years old and grew at an altitude of 1250m/4100ft from their April 2017 harvest.

I took about 2 or more teaspoons of this loose leaf and infused for about 3 minutes. It was the perfect cuppa outcome! It offered a gentle roasted flavor but it was also sweet. Smooth, crisp, and a bit nutty on the end sip! A really lovely flavor. I can’t want for another cup! Next time you are looking for a tea to buy or try – make sure you look this one up!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Qi Aerista

Description

This tea is no longer on the website but click below for more information regarding Qi Aerista’s offerings.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nepal Guranse Estate Organic Oolong Tea/Simpson and Vail

I have been wanting to write this review for quite a few weeks. It was THAT memorable. This Nepal Guranse Estate Oolong from Simpson & Vail is organic and from a pretty neat estate.

When it comes to the leaves of this Oolong they hail from South Asia…bordered by China and India…you guessed it…the leaves are from Nepal! Nepal is home to some of the largest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest which is the highest point anywhere on Earth. Nepal is comprised of 75 districts, one of which is the district of Dhankuta. Dhankuta is located in the Koshi hill Zone in eastern Nepal. It borders the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India, and enjoys the same soil and climatic conditions as Darjeeling.

The Guranse Tea Estate has planted pure young and vibrant clonal plants all selected to make high quality teas. They believe in producing only the best, therefore, their tea goes through a series of careful processes before it is packed and finally ends up in your cup for an entirely new experience of health and vitality.

Guranse is NASAA organic certified, JAS certified, and ISO 22000- 2005 certified. 95 % of the workers are women and the Company pays for several of the worker’s children’s education and pays for the salary of teachers at the village school. How great is that? The company also supports an older people’s home that is nearby, by providing meals, rations, blankets, and more.

When I read on the S&V website that Guranse Tea was more than just a beverage – I knew I had to dig deeper into this estate!

As for the sight, touch, taste, and smell of this tea…he strong brown, twisted, tippy leaves brew into a more mellow amber cup with a sweet, mild taste and a delicate fruity sniff and taste. The oolong itself is lightly rolled, semi fermented, and hand sorted!

This Oolong was pretty wonderful and learning about the estate and people behind it made me enjoy my cup even more!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

(Pure Indulgence) Lavender Oolong/Palais des Thés

Palais des Thés doesn’t get over the top with the explanation or product description of this one. Not because it isn’t wonderful but because it IS wonderful and they don’t need to go on and on about it.

Pure Indulgence Lavender from Palais des Thés. Simply put is…the pure sensation of lavender with tea.

This is an Oolong Tea with Lavender. It’s doesn’t get more straight forward than that, folks!

The sweet Oolong used in this offering hails from China and is combined with that stereotypical flower that ‘girly girls’ and ‘grandmas’ adore. I, for one, am neither of those types but I have to give credit where credit is due and say this one really surprised me. There was ‘just enough’ of the flower aroma and flavor to be noticeable and take this tea to the next level but it wasn’t overly loud about it either.

This is a classy tea. It’s comforting and warm. It doesn’t leave a bitter floral aftertaste like some flowery flavored tea tend to and for that I’m extremely grateful!

Don’t assume you will know what this tastes like. Try it before you label it. This isn’t your Grandmothers lavender! This is something really special. It should be shared and celebrated!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Palais des Thés

Description

The pure sensation of lavender with tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Mi Xiang Dark Roast Oolong / Verdant

Flavor and aroma descriptors are fascinating.

Take two people drinking the same batch of tea steeped for the same amount of time in the same cup and both could still pick up different nuances.  Step beyond that though and think about some of them.

Tar. Granite. Compost.

Not many who say that a tea has these characters but even if they do you have to wonder, so… did you chew on some tar? Lick some granite? Perhaps it comes down more to the aroma seeping into ones nose and enveloping the liquid flavor? Why get so philosophical?

This tea is intense, that’s why. It teases with a toasty earthy aroma that quickly dissipates the moment th water is poured on the leaves. High minerality in flavor.

I probably did like a rock or two in middle school. Master Zhang has perfectly roasted this tea to create notes of honey that pair so deeply with the toast notes. Steeped for over three minutes and it gives me hints of bourbon! Stop playing with me!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description:

“Mi Xiang” is literally honey fragrance, and a few sips give credence to the name. In other finishing styles, honey usually takes a backseat to more powerful florals and fruit flavors in Tieguanyin, but Master Zhang here has brought out the subtle, thick and rich honeyed quality of Tieguanyin through his precise roast. We have so much respect for Master Zhang’s values in roasting tea. So many workshops will roast to impart heavy handed roast flavor, and in doing so, burn their tea and compromise its original integrity. Master Zhang roasts slowly and with perfect precision so that even a tea this dark tastes only of itself and not of roasted flavor. The result is a tea full of honey, toast and oak, a cozy delight in cold months.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chinese Fenghuang Dancong Oolong Tea Honey Rhyme Mellow Grade One / AprTea

Ready for a tea test?

Have someone pull up this tea before you look at the type and look at a picture -What did you guess?

I chose black. Wrong. This is an oolong.

While a bit confusing in just appearance, it actually makes sense once you take a look at the processing. This is yet another superb tea by AprTea.

No aroma notes to talk about in the dry leaf. Yet it still is a nice tea to look at. Whole leaves, dark chocolate in color. Twisted with care. The best flavor comes between a minute to three and a half minutes.

The aroma cup reveals scents of sweet honeysuckle mixed with other floral hints. Silky mouth-feel with a very slight astringency in the aftertaste if steeped longer than three minutes. If steeped longer then 6 minutes… don’t do that. Just don’t.

Luckily I save a cup from my previous steep the flavor starts sweet with a mix of floral flavors spring floral leads to summer floral the longer you steep it. Longer steeps also lead to introductions with earthy tones.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Apr Tea

Description:

Fenghuang (Phoenix) Dancong Tea:The main origin place of Phoenix Dancong tea is Chaozhou Phoenix Mountain, it is rare high flavor famous tea whose natural floral tea is the most lofty, has most diverse floral types with mellow and sweet taste, special charm in our tea resources.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!