Shi Zuo Oolong Tea/Tea From Taiwan

(Insert Music Bed HERE)…The best part of waking up…is dancing leaves in your cup! Okay, I’m just having a little fun with spoof jingles and at the same totally showing my age. Regardless, it was the first thing that came to mind when I was infusing this tea. Shi Zuo Oolong from Tea From Taiwan…it’s where it’s AT!

Don’t let the gentle, pale yellow liquor tea color fool you! What it lacks in a bolder, more vibrant color…it makes up for in beautiful aroma and flavor!

It’s very fresh, clean, buttery, and sweet when it comes to taste. As for aroma it reminded me of sweet, sugar snap peas with a hint of raisin. The buttery texture of the sip lingers long after the sip and makes you crave more.

This is definitely one of the more interesting and flavorful Oolongs I have sampled in a while. I think it would pair well with a nice savory veggies and rice dish, too! YUM!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea From Taiwan

Description

Shi Zuo oolong tea (wu long tea) is grown in the Shi Zuo (Stone Table) area of Alishan (Mount Ali). At an altitude of 1300 meters, Shi Zuo has a cool, moist climate that is ideal for growing tea.

Shi Zuo oolong tea is hand picked and hand processed in the traditional manner of Taiwanese High Mountain oolongs. The processing results in ball-shaped tea pellets which consist of two or three leaves and a bud. These pellets open up during brewing to release the full flavor of the tea.

In order to experience the full potential of this tea, we recommend brewing it Gong Fu style. This method of brewing brings out the sweetness and complex undertones that mark this tea as one of the best that Taiwan has to offer.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Liao Mian Ji / Verdant

It is currently snowing outside.

We Lord of the Rings loving Minnesotans are trying to determine whether this is third winter or elevenses. I’d prefer it to be over all together. But because I am not equipped with elemental superpowers to rid us of this weather a mid-day gong fu session will do.

Recently I have had the pleasure of enjoying many oolong using this fashion of tea ceremony. It is incredibly relaxing and makes one truly appreciate the tea. Not to mention you are able to pull out unique flavor nuances that may otherwise be missed. Nothing to be missed with the dry smell of this tea though.

Almost put it in my nose and still couldn’t detect anything. The liquid is a light honey color. If brewed with hot water, pour a cup every 10 seconds and let them cool slightly. Doing so will let you properly experience the liquid. Silky on the tongue with minimal astringency in the after taste. Flavors of summer flowers abound, a meadow of marigolds, especially when steeped longer than 2 minutes.

Also it should be noted that the Liao Mian Ji I am sampling is not the same as the one in the link below.

This one is definitely a lighter oolong. Maybe a 30-40% oxidation would be my guess.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description:

Master Zhang cultivates this almost unheard-of varietal as part of his commitment to achieving the rich biodiversity in his tea fields, all while maintaining zero-impact agriculture for his Original Ecological Preserve designation. Liao Mian Ji is a unique cultivar, full of deep dessert-like caramel undertones and rich nutmeg and cinnamon spice. Master Zhang’s slow full roast brings out even more sweetness in the aftertaste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sun-Link-Sea Oolong Tea/Fong Mong Tea Shop

Currently Fong Mong Tea has their Spring 2018 Shanlinxi Taiwan Sun-Link-Sea Oolong Tea featured in their shop. It’s a High Mountain Ooolong Loose Leaf.

I haven’t sipped on the Spring 2018 one YET but the Sun-Link-Sea Oolongs from previous years have been stellar!

Gaiwan Style is preferred but in a strainer always seems to get the infusing job done, too! I used about a tablespoon – maybe a little more – and let sit just until the leaves were ‘open’. This is what I like to call a ‘dancing tea’. Yup! You guessed it! The leaves dance around in the cup naturally while uncurling and steeping.

As much as I hate the term ‘mouth-feel’ I don’t really know how to describe the texture of the sip. It’s really quite amazing. It’s smooth, light, refreshing, a tad floral, a little vegetal-sweet, and even a bit fruity-sweet…maybe like a sweeter crab apple.

This tea is just begging me for multiple infusions. Of course, I had to oblige. I infused longer each time and was able to get a solid 3 to 4 infusions out of it. Delicious!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea

Description

Located between Xitou and Ali Mountain in central Taiwan – Nantou County, Shanlinxi (Sun-Link-Sea) is famous for its amazing “sun links sea” scenery. Situated at an altitude of approximately 1200 meters, Sun-Link-Sea has an average temperature of 20 degree Celsius all year long. Shanlinxi (Sun-Link-Sea) tea tree mountains, not as high as other high-mountain tea tree ones though, with their distinctive geographic environment, gestate another different fragrance and taste which is another characteristic fine tea of Taiwan high-mountain teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

King Dragon / Wendigo Tea

Big Red Robe. This tea is as unique as its name.

While some are closer to being a queen dragon with more floral notes this one deserves the title of King Dragon with hints of smoke and earthy notes like oak, cedar, and damp soil.

There is a surprising amount of mineral notes, especially in the aftertaste. Though it may be weird to say one tastes wet rocks, it really does have that flavor.

Perhaps with a bit of granite mixed in. The astringency is also unique. It doesn’t quite make you pucker your lips as some black teas do, however, it leaves a familiar texture in your mouth as often astringent teas do.


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!

Dragon’s Tooth/Swallowtail Tea

First off, I have to say that this tea is nothing short of amazing—it ties in everything I love about greens and oolongs in a perfectly smooth, sweet cup of tea. I expected something a little more vegetal/grassy with how green the leaves were but I was pleasantly surprised with a nice floral taste.

While this might go good with honey, I wound up not adding anything to it. Any sweetener would cover up something that tastes perfect on its own, detracting from sweeter floral notes.

Part of the sweetness of this tea reminds me of fresh spring water. There’s a hint of minerality, but it doesn’t leave an aftertaste. I got two steepings out of this one and may even try a third, as the flavor didn’t change much aside from losing a little of its floral flavor. It was still about as bold as the first brew.

This one’s a keeper! I’ll definitely be adding this to my “must have” list.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea

Description

This wonderful Mao Xie oolong has dramatic floral notes of lilac and jasmine, with the complexity of butter, stone, and steamed greens.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!