Rare Orchid Oolong Tea from Tea Source

Rare OrchidTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Source

Tea Description:

This rare regional oolong from Wuyi Mountain, Fujian yields a light liquor, but with great aroma, taste, and texture. You’ll experience: sweet, nutty, fruity, honey, and silky over many steepings. These long, large, twisted, bronze/brown leaves are produced at more than 1000′ elevation from the Qi Lan cultivar.

Learn more about this tea here.

To subscribe to Steepster Select, click here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a really nice Oolong!  This Rare Orchid Oolong Tea from Tea Source is an example of why I really love the Steepster Select boxes – I get the opportunity to try teas that maybe I wouldn’t have tried if not for the Steepster Select program.

I’m loving the malty notes to this Oolong.  It’s not a flavor that I usually associate with an Oolong, and I love it when I discover an Oolong that offers me something a little different that I haven’t really tasted in an Oolong before.

Over on Steepster, some of the other tasting notes on this tea mention an Asparagus-like flavor, and I’m not tasting that yet.  I’m hoping that in later infusions, I’ll pick up on that flavor.  But for now, in this first cup (infusions 1 and 2 following a 15 second rinse), I’m happily enjoying the flavors of malt, a sweet honey flavor, and a sweet, creamy vanilla note.  There are some lovely floral notes to this cup too.

With my second cup (infusions 3 and 4), I noticed more vanilla notes … this second cup is so creamy!  More honey notes, less malt than in the first cup, and the floral tones seem somewhat subdued compared to the first cup – not quite as sharp, or perhaps the vanilla has softened the floral tones just a little bit.  Either way, I really like the way the vanilla flavors seem to really envelop the palate.  And if I focus, I taste hints of the asparagus note that I was searching for in that first cup, and I’m also picking up on a distant fruit note.

My final cup (infusions 5 and 6) was a mellower tasting cup.  I still tasted the vanilla, but this was less creamy than the second.  I could taste the fruit notes a little more than I did in the second cup, but, I’m tasting less honey and malt this time around.  Still a really flavorful cup, though, and definitely worth the effort!

This was a really lovely Oolong, I’m glad that I was able to try it – thanks to my Steepster Select subscription!  Interested in subscribing to the Steepster Select program?  Click here.

Bai Ya Qi Lan Oolong from Life In Teacup

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Life in Teacup

Tea Description:

Production Year – 2011

Production Season – Fall

Production Region – Fujian Province

Style – Traditional green style

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:


As I’ve said on many occasions, Oolong teas are among my favorites.  Yellow teas take the top spot for me, but because they are rare and a bit pricy, I don’t drink them as often as I do Oolong, making Oolong my “everyday affordable indulgence.”  And the main reason why I do love Oolong teas so much is that they are different from one Oolong to the next.  It’s always an adventure … or as Forrest Gump would say “You never know what you’re going to get.”

There are many fine purveyors of Oolong teas out there, and I’m fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to sample the offerings of quite a few of those Oolong teas.  And while I have many favorite tea purveyors, one of those favorites is Life in Teacup, and the reason is simple:  Life in Teacup has excellent teas!  The focus is on excellence with this company, and the proof is in the taste. I always know that the teas I receive from Life in Teacup are going to be exceptionally good, and this Bai Ya Qi Lan Oolong (harvested this past autumn!) is a fine example.

The flavor is amazing.  The first thing I notice is the sweetness.  It has a floral quality to it, reminding me of orchid and osmanthus.  There is some earthiness in the background, even some toasted, nutty tones.  Toward the end of the sip, I notice a slight dryness, and the tail is crisp with hints of mint.

But the most remarkable flavor of this tea has to be the marshmallow-like notes.  There is a sweet, almost comforting kind of feel to this marshmallow taste, like sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows:  enjoying the lightly crisped edges and devouring their sweet, creamy goodness inside.

This is yet another amazing Oolong from Life in Teacup.