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!

Li Shan/Harney and Sons. . .

This tea tastes like it was poured out of a very delicate porcelain teapot by an expert. It’s a delicate green pollen, pooling in your cup, soothing you during difficult times. It’s classic; it’s timeless; it’s fancy. It’s exactly what I’d expect to taste at a non-matcha tea ceremony.

When I was in Phildelphia’s Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, I actually accidentally walked into a class where they were teaching tea ceremonies. I didn’t realize it was a class. There was no note. There was just a person speaking to some other people, sitting on a mat. I thought it was a tour guide or something and got — unceremoniously — thrown out.

I think that, if I had stayed, I would have learned the art of distributing this tea to my companions with grace. These leaves deserve fine treatment after, as Harney’s site claims, “battl[ing] cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists,” resulting in a “rare and haunting” quality. I could have poured this pale yellow tea with a delicate wrist motion. People would have sipped it out of clay cups like these.

Alas, I’m drinking it out of a mug I got from Hot Topic for $5. I guess I’ll never be as classy as my tastes.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons

Description

Li Shan, considered to be among the best oolong teas in the world, comes from one of Taiwan’s highest mountain areas. The tea plants must battle cold (sometimes even snow) and frequent mists. This makes a rare and haunting brew, with echoes of honey and cream.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Qi Lan/Old Ways Tea . . . .

Good morning, Tea-ple! It’s time for another review! Today we’re trying Qi Lan from Old Ways Tea, an oolong from China’s Wuyi mountains.

The first word that springs to mind is “tangy!” (With the exclamation point. Don’t leave that out).

There’s a metallic taste with almost a citrus feel to this tea. It’s almost the equivalent of the sound of rain tapping on a tin roof. It’s pennies and earth and rust, converted into tea form.

I’m not sure that sounds appealing; but I can assure you, this is a pleasing blend. It’s surprising and rusty and homey.

It’s a meditation session in a gazebo in a forest. It’s a wishing fountain. It’s a ceremonial gong being struck. It’s a martial arts scene set in the rain.

It’s my morning choice, and I like it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea

Description

This Qi Lan tea can be described as qing xiang meaning having a gentle fragrance. The fragrance is well rounded leaving a pleasant Wuyi mineral flavor and returning sweetness. I think that our Qi Lan turned out quite good this year.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Thailand ‘Red Tiger’ Oolong Tea/What Cha. . .

Sometimes I just have an oolong sort of day. When I first started drinking teas, oolongs were definitely not high up on my favorites list and still today I prefer other types of tea more often than not. Yet somedays nothing quite satisfies like an oolong and sometimes if I am shopping for teas and having one of those days, I tend to buy all the oolongs. This tea, What Cha’s Thailand ‘Red Tiger’ Oolong, is one that I bought the last time I stocked up on oolong teas.

What Cha claims this tea has a smooth sweet taste with notes of honey and baked cherry. With that in mind, I was pretty surprised when I started drinking this tea and it tasted more like a brisk black tea than an oolong. Maybe not brisk per se but definitely metallic. It is sweet but I am not picking up the cherry notes promised. Perhaps there is a roastiness that combines with a bit of honey. Also, to me, it has a bit of a wet leaf flavor. Not the oolong I was hoping for when I pulled this out of my stash.

Personally, I don’t love this one. I think part of the reason why is when I went on my oolong shopping spree, I was inspired by a tasty milk oolong I recently had. This lacks the flavor qualities that I loved in that and so it falls a bit short of what I hoped for. However, I know many others who have had this tea and loved it so though it is not for everyone, it is by no means a bad oolong and one worth trying.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: What Cha

Description

Another brilliant red oolong from south-east asia with a smooth sweet honey taste coupled with baked cherry notes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Autumn Reserve Tieguanyin/Verdant Tea . . . . . .

Not gonna lie to you, Sisters: these past few weeks have been QUITE STRESSFUL for me. So I’ve been in Treat Yo’self mode: cookies. cheese. trashy pop music. trips to the zoo. leisurely walks on the treadmill instead of strenuous weight lifting.

And tea. ALWAYS TEA.

Today I decided to try one of the samples I’ve been looking forward to: Autumn Tieguanyin from Verdant Tea. Oolongs are my current favorite, and frankly, I deserve fineries.

This tea is a creamy walk through a spring meadow filled with fluttering buttercups. It’s so light and dainty. If it were an garment, it would be a pastel mint-colored tutu. If it were a voice, it’d be Ingrid Michaelson’s.

The tasting notes I’m picking up are mostly flowery, sweet vegetal, and slightly creamy. The description on Verdant Tea’s site says “pound cake,” which I’m not sure I’m getting. This may be, in part, due to my profound unclassiness. I may not have enough fae in my blood to be able to pick up on everything. But I’m getting the idea, and I’m adoring it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Description

Master Zhang has worked for over four decades continuing his family’s craft growing true Tieguanyin varietal tea high above Daping village in Anxi. He is working to bring back the original habitat of the region by clearing mountainsides and planting trees, bringing back wildlife and biodiversity, for better tea and a better future. He has won awards across China and has been recognized as one of the leading teachers and craftsman in Anxi for his unique approach to grading teas and processing for flavor. Instead of grading solely by elevation or tree age, Master Zhang holds the “Reserve” designation for the few teas that meet his strict criteria of lingering intensive aftertaste, pervasive sweetness, and thick creamy body. This means that only the leaves whose weather, position in the field and processing come together perfectly can be offered as Master Zhang’s reserve. This reserve grade Tieguanyin was hand-picked and hand finished with an exhaustive fluffing and turning process to bring out deep intense florals and creamy texture.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!