High Mountain Oolong from Qi Aerista. . . . .

This tea is sturdy and sophisticated, like a sweater vest on a college professor who is woke to the kids’ causes. It is tasteful. It is educated. It knows how to reap the health benefits of green tea AND black tea.

There are notes here of plum, stone, moss, and maybe some algae, which I say with utter love and absolutely no derision. It’s earthy and wet and vegetal and a little bit juicy.

It somehow manages to make me feel like I know what’s going on. Like drinking it has made me a better person. Like maybe, very slightly, I have it together.

I do not, just to clarify.

I do not at all.

But the tea is very nice.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Qi Aerista
Description

Aroma is honey, woody and with a lightly roasted aroma. Flavor is smooth, crisp, with a sweet aftertaste. To dry and enhance flavor profile, the tea leaves underwent a slow roasting process with charcoal for 9 straight hours to produce its characteristic smooth flavors.

This High Mountain Oolong is grown on Xiyan mountain in Dapu county. This beautiful county is known as the Shangri-La of the Hakka world, where Hakka is one of the ethnic subgroups in China.

What makes this cup of High Mountain Oolong incredibly delightful is that these tea plants are grown at high altitude with an age of more than 60 years old

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Maple Creme Oolong from Adagio Teas. . . .

One of my coworkers slipped me a baggie with 3 servings of this as I walked in this morning, so I obviously had no choice in the matter but to try it. It’s just me, the new Florence and the Machine album, and tea. Obviously the key ingredients for a great morning for this graphic designer.

The first thing I noticed about the tea was how strong it smelled. I could suss out that creamy maple through a Ziplock bag held at arm’s length. MAMA LIKEY.

Second, I noticed how ogle-worthy the tea looks. It has pieces in it (likely the apple) and red leaves (safflower) to give off that Canadian feel. Bless those Canadians and their charming accents and dreamy prime minster. What a great bunch of folks.

But what about the taste? Delicious, guys.

When it’s on the tongue, you get spices. It’s like a cider-chai. But then, when you swallow, ahhhhhhhh, syrup. Apples, spices, and maple for DAYS.

BOOM. Suddenly you’re Justin Trudeau’s best friend. He calls you with hot gossip. He invites you on hikes that are exactly at your exercise level. You’re going horseback riding with his mountie friends next week. Also: there’s a sale on flannel at your favorite store, and you will never be cold again.

Thanks, Canada!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas
Description
The delights of maple are no longer bound by breakfast foods. You can now enjoy that delicious flavor you love, minus the sticky fingers! We’ve blended the smooth clean taste of oolong with the subtle sweet flavor of maple and rounded it all off with a hint of creme. Add a touch of your favorite sweetener (we suggest maple syrup!) and all you need to do is decide whether to drink this tea for breakfast or dessert!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Honey Orchid Dan Cong from Tea Runners. . . .

This is a strong, alluring cup of pure, unblended oolong that tastes like fruit and flowers with a dash of pollen/honey. The taste is surprisingly rich for a straight tea.

I feel like a fancy aristocrat with such a delicacy at my hands. Like my porter bright it straight from Asia as an offering from a king trying to curry my favor.

(Side note: “Curry favor”? Like… make it spicy and delicious? I’ve never thought about the phrase “curry favor” before, and had to Google it to make sure that was the exact phrase. It is. Do you ever have linguistic moments like this?)

This tea makes me think about how big and magical the world is. We have these plants that come up from the ground that we’ve selectively bred and handle in specific ways to make them tasty. There’s nothing else in this cup. Just leaves. We put the leaves into some hot water and taste pours out.

Some people put beans in hot water for the same reason. But they’re wrong. The leaves are better.

If you want to enjoy these leaves in particular, they’re for sale at the TeaRunners site. The site is run by a girl who’s been in several science fiction TV shows I like. I showed up to support the girl. I stayed because I liked the plants she picked out for me to try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea Runners
Description

From the family farm of a nationally recognized tea master, this fabulous Mi Lan Xiang (“Honey Orchid Fragrance”) Dan Cong Oolong tea sets itself apart with its distinctive golden color and strong fruity aromas.

This alluring and addictive tea has strong notes of orchid, honey, lychee and mango, with a touch of spice. It lingers on the palate for hours and will have you coming back for more.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On Wisconsin from A Quarter To Tea. . . . Part Two

I have actually written a previous review about On Wisconsin by A Quarter to Tea, the tasty honey cheesecake tea. For that reason, this review is more about a tea experiment I did with On Wisconsin as opposed to the tea itself.

For a while I have been obsessing over iced lattes. I have tried and tried but can never get my iced tea lattes to be as rich and creamy as the ones you get at places like Starbucks (though I think that because Starbucks uses whole milk loaded with syrup). Instead mine are almost watery. As a result, I have been searching the internet, reading recipes and watching YouTube videos, trying to get new and inspiring ideas for iced lattes. I came across one video by The Domestic Geek called 5 Fave Iced Coffee Hacks  which has 5 tasty looking ideas that could easily be adapted for iced tea lattes.

One hack that really caught my attention was the third hack for Inside Out Lattes. For this hack, The Domestic Goddess made ice cubes out of coffee and chocolate syrup. She filled a mug with the coffee ice cubes and topped it with milk. Since I don’t drink coffee, I followed her lead but made my ice cubes out of a concentrate of On Wisconsin tea. I made the cubes by steeping the tea per the recommended parameters but using about 3-4 times the amount of leaf suggested. I then poured the concentrate into the ice cube tray and left them to set in the freezer overnight.

Once the cubes were set, I took the hack a step further and decided to blend my tea ice cubes with the milk. I used about 5 cubes to about a 1/2 a cup of milk but it was too thick so I added about another 1/2 a cup of milk. Then something weird happened as the icy milk foam separated to the top of the glass and the milky tea separated to the bottom. After some aggressive stirring to combine the foam and the tea, I was still surprised at how loose the tea tasted. I expected a smoothie-like or iced Aroma type consistency and instead it tasted like cold, milky tea. Personally I blame my ratio of cubes to milk but also the use of the On Wisconsin tea which has a strong honey flavor that competes with the milk as opposed to mixing with it.

Ultimately the experiment turned out good but not great. I think next time I need less cubes but also I think a different tea would improve the results drastically. My guess is a chocolate tea would suit this type of thing better. Though this is definitely an improvement from other iced lattes I have tried in the past as milky tea in an iced latte is better than watery tea in an iced latte so at least I am working in the right direction.

 

Drink Me Oolong from Plum Deluxe

Drink Me Oolong from Plum Deluxe has a warm and toasty roasted oolong base with added mango and almond essence.  The darker oolong tea keeps the blend from getting too sweet, adding an almost savory nuttiness with each sip. The almond adds its trademark, almost-floral marzipan candy taste.  The fruity mango adds a nice brightness to keep this blend uplifting and not too dense or cake-like.

I believe the name of this blend is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but even without the reference is it a cute name to have looking back at you from your tea cupboard on rainy days.  With sunny mango, bakery sweet almond, and a mid-level of caffeine, this is a great tea for the afternoon slump or a mid-day tea party.

Drink Me Oolong from Plum Deluxe was a limited edition blend, that should cycle back around in their seasonal blends or as part of their subscription service.  In the meantime, give Pick Me Up Oolong a try, with almond and maple flavors and a similar oolong tea base.

Or try another flavor of oolong tea.  Plum Deluxe teas always have great flavor combinations, and include things like “love” and “gratitude” on their ingredients list, so you can’t help but feel good when you brew a cup of their tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe

This tea is no longer available but click below for other options!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!