Watermelon Oolong/Fraser Tea

Watermelon oolong has just the right name to pull me in while thinking of a hot summer day here in the South. I was a little skeptical about the watermelon part because I thought it might be super subtle or not very authentic.

Quite often my daughter joins me when I am I tasting teas for reviews. I like getting another person’s impressions and opinions to consider.

She took one sip, looked up, and said, “This is going to be a problem.”

“How so?” I asked. “Because this sample is all we have?”

“Because this sample is all we have and something has to be done about that.”

I sipped. Yes, it is that good. It is that watermelon-y. She likened it to Jolly Ranchers. I don’t think I have ever had those so I likened it to my homemade watermelon ice. Thank goodness for the sake of family harmony, our sample resteeped very, very well. Full on watermelon flavor like one of the best melons of summer, rich and sweet.

My order should be here next week. I expect I will be having this hot, iced, and maybe even as tea popsicles. Already some of my daughter’s friends are clamoring for a taste.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

 

Description

A virtual summer picnic in your glass, Watermelon Oolong Organic Oolong Tea combines fresh berries and tropical fruit flavors together with lemongrass for a crisp and refreshing taste.  This superior grade organic oolong tea offers numerous nutritional benefits including weight management, diabetes management, and mental health.  Think wellness; embrace flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

2018 Laoshan Osmanthus Black / Verdant

Osmanthus. A flowering tree native to Eastern Asia. There are many varieties but the bright, orange blossoms indicate that this is the Osmanthus fragrans. Of all the teas this family, the He family, produces this one ranks of the top of the difficulty list. Due to the tiny size of the flowers they all must be hand-picked.

For each batch they must pick thousands of flowers. After de-stemming and getting rid of all else they dry the flowers while processing the tea. Once they reach the finishing stage the flowers are added to the tea. One might ask if all that trouble is worth it.

Yes. Double and triple yes.

You may open the package and find it lacks scent as I did and wonder what you are in for. This is my first time trying out an osmanthus flower mixed with a tea. It won’t be the last. The wet leaves boast a unique aroma, unlike anything I’ve smelled in a tea before. It is sweet, like perfume, with high floral notes and scant earthy undertones. Hold on to your hats, the amazing train doesn’t stop there.

The clear, amber liquid, light at first but becoming slightly darker as you steep it longer, has a silky mouthfeel with a tiny bit of astringency in the aftertaste. A whirlwind of flavor begins with orange-chocolate tones and changes to brown sugar. Fruity accents, woodsy undertones.

Everything comes together so nicely on the palette. I think I need more of this.

 

 

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description:

This is a brand new 2018 premiere! Last year we were lucky enough to share the He Family’s Roasted Oolong scented with local osmanthus flowers. This year Mr. He wanted to share a rich reserve-level Autumn Harvest Laoshan Black, scented during finishing with tiny hand-picked Laoshan Osmanthus flowers. The brown sugar, honey and fruity chocolate notes are melded together perfectly with the luscious almost creamy floral of the He Family’s meticulously hand-harvested Osmanthus blossoms. This tea is one of the hardest to make in the He Family collection since the local osmanthus blossoms are so small that they have to pick thousands just to make tiny batch of finished tea, but the results are worth the effort.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Bai Mu Dan Oolong / Verdant

Death has a way of making a nice cup of tea seem like a hug. I’m at peace and yet it still hurts.

Each sip is like a comforting hug. This silky mouthfeel is like a good friend wrapping you in a soft, warm blanket of encouragement. This unusual varietal has characteristics of it’s white counterpart while retaining the unique minerality of an oolong. It has the astringency that gives the slight feeling of one that had just licked a rock. A smooth, wet rock. Perhaps this rock was in a flower field.

A field of summer flowers comes to mind in the aftertaste. Roasted flavors dominate most of the flavor wheel for this one. Strange vanilla tones also appear if you let your palette sit without tea for a bit and then you swish it around. How unique! Tea, at least for me, has a wonderful way of lifting ones spirits.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description:

You might recognize “Bai Mudan” as a white tea. This intriguing harvest is Da Bai cultivar planted in Wuyishan and picked with the classic Bai Mudan mix of leaf and smaller buds, but finished as a roasted oolong. The result is fascinating – a tea with the buddy mouth-filling textural thrill of a traditional Fuding Bai Mudan, but with the minerality and deep roasted flavor of a classic Wuyi Oolong. The aromatics are full of orange zest and licorice root. The first infusions have a bright white tea quality with earthier burdock undertones and coriander spice. Later steepings are rich and aromatic like floral ginger, with notes of juicy plum.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!