Dong Ding Oolong from Tea Avenue. . . . .

I was pretty happy to see this among my samples of tea to try. When I have a lot of different teas around, I tend to flit from one to another according to mood and sometimes this leads to a bunch of them getting pushed back or left behind. But it was a Dong Ding tea that really made me embarrass myself with how quickly I drank up a whole 100 gram bag. Like…it really was amazing and shameful how fast that tea went away. I must have been super hydrated.

Knowing the quality of other oolong teas that I have enjoyed from Tea Avenue, I was looking forward to trying their Dong Ding. I was not disappointed.

I made three steeps of this tea in all and I feel that I could have gotten at least one or two more. Even the third steep had a lovely golden color and rich aroma.

This is a little less roasted in flavor than my first ever Dong Ding. (It is often sold under the name Tung Ting.) This is fruitier with a hint of floral, but there is also an undercurrent of that charcoal flavor that gives a nice rasp across the tongue and leaves a hint of smoke wafting into the nostrils.

The flavor lingers well after the sip and the tongue is slightly dry, inducing me to pick up my cup and drink again and again.

Not only are the oolongs from Tea Avenue magnifique, but I would encourage you to check out their teaware. The tasting set with scent cup really enhances and broadens your tasting experience, and the teapots and cups are astonishingly affordable and really attractive. I have given a number of pieces as gifts and it is always well received.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea Avenue
Description

This is it: the original Dong Ding Oolong, grown on the Dong Ding Mountain in Nantou County in central Taiwan, where Dong Ding Oolong originated. One of the best oolong teas in the world.  A perpetual favorite among oolong lovers, it has a strong, clean flavor and an aroma of ripe fruit. Partially oxidized and lightly roasted, Dong Ding is an approachable tea—a good choice for oolong newbies to whet their taste buds with.

Dong Ding turns an amber color when infused and possesses a sweet, fruity flavor and aroma. Longer infusion times will yield a stronger, more vivid tea, with a fuller body and aroma. Smooth, with a clean aftertaste. Don’t blame us if you develop a Dong Ding habit.

Tea leaves are green and come curled into balls.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lishan Oolong from Tea Ave

LiShanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Tea Ave 

Tea Description:

The tea so delicious that it inspired us to start our very own tea company, LiShan Oolong is revered among oolong drinkers for its smooth, full-bodied taste. One of Taiwan’s highest mountain teas, our version hails from the beautiful LiShan Mountains in the central mountain region of Taiwan, making it one of the very best high mountain oolong teas in the world. 

Our LiShan Oolong is clean-tasting and vegetal, with a floral taste and aroma found naturally in the tea leaves themselves (a gift from the mountains, we like to think). Fruity notes are complemented by the tea’s smooth, buttery mouthful. Because it’s unroasted, LiShan Oolong is both full-bodied and delicate. Consider it a delicious contradiction.

Tea leaves are bright green and come curled into balls.

Learn more about this tea here

Taster’s Review:

I’m really excited to be trying this tea as Tea Ave mentions that this is the tea that inspired them to open up their own shop! That has to count for something, right? I know that this type of oolong is loved by many for its incredible flavor. I personally have liked other oolongs a bit more, but I’m always willing to try others.

The scent of this tea is sugary sweet and incredibly floral. It really does remind me of a buttercream icing with the essence of flowers. Lovely! Sipping… I wasn’t expecting such a thick mouthfeel, but it does feel rather heavy on the tongue. It isn’t buttery so much… but luxuriously weighty. I mainly taste flowers with  a bit of a mineral background. The flavor brings to mind lacy petals and leaves – it’s delicate, but strong enough to take center stage. I do catch a bit of sweet butter and sugar towards the end of the sip, but it’s really all about the flowers. There is also something that reminds me of apricot or peach, but it’s very faint and doesn’t last long. It’s strange, because while this tea feels thick and bold, the aftertaste is light and ethereal, leaving just a memory of what was a strong flavor.

I think this is a very special tea and would be ideal for someone looking for a well-balanced oolong. It seems to have a bit of everything.. a bit like a tea that can’t make up its mind, but in a good way. Balanced, tender yet bold.

Alishan Jin Xuan from Tea Ave

AliShanTeaAveTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Ave

Tea Description:

Known to some as milk oolong, around here we think of Alishan Jin Xuan as our dreamy, creamy oolong. An elegant tea with a refined, subtle taste, Alishan Jin Xuan’s fruity and floral aromas complement its smooth, milky mouth feel. 

Only oolongs from this particular region, grown on the foggy Alishan mountainside, produce the creamy, milky qualities found in Alishan Jin Xuan—and since the leaves are naturally flavored, it’s all done without the addition of artificial flavors or chemicals. Alishan’s unique origins also account for a flavor profile that is delicate and nuanced—never strong or overbearing. A little bit like a beautiful woman: subtle, inviting. Alishan is lightly oxidized and unroasted.

Alishan Jin Xuan turns a light golden color after infusing, and its natural creamy and fruity notes develop immediately. Aftertaste is naturally sweet. You’ll want it to linger.

Tea leaves are bright green and come curled into balls.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I adore Jin Xuan oolong teas. If you find the right one, you can get everything from leafy and green to peachy and creamy flavors in just one cup! Plus, the leaves are usually champs with resteeping so you do get more cups of tea for your money. This particular Jin Xuan is natural, according to Tea Ave, and lacks any sort of artificial flavors or additives. I don’t mind a flavored oolong tea, but there is something so beautiful about a natural oolong that can offer such an incredible range of flavors.

teaave-wet-alishanThese tea leaves produce a lovely golden cup with just a hint of green. The first sips offer beautiful milky notes which linger and softly transition into a leafy finish. I also taste salted sweet cream butter and just a hint of mango. There is a slight drying sensation on the tongue, but the lovely creamy start keeps you coming back for more. Oh so delicious!

I can definitely say that this is one of my favorite Jin Xuan oolongs I’ve tried. It’s creamy, sweet and milky – just what I needed! I have a feeling that further infusions will bring out even more interesting flavors, but I will have to save that for another time. If you’re looking for a natural Jin Xuan oolong, this is a great place to start. It’s certainly worth the price, plus Tea Ave’s packaging and presentation are simply wonderful.

Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong Tea from Tea Ave.

Alishan Jin XuanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Ave.

Tea Description:

Known to some as milk oolong, around here we think of Alishan Jin Xuan as our dreamy, creamy oolong. An elegant tea with a refined, subtle taste, Alishan Jin Xuan’s fruity and floral aromas complement its smooth, milky mouth feel. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I received the amazing package that I received from Tea Ave., I was most excited about trying this Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong Tea.  I mean … hello?  Alishan?  My FAVORITE!  Of all the many different Oolong teas out there, Alishan is my favorite … especially a Jin Xuan (aka milk Oolong).

And given how much I adored the other two Oolong teas that I’ve tried from Tea Ave, I knew that I was in for an amazing treat with this Alishan Jin Xuan.  So, I got out my special Alishan YiXing mug and started brewing!  Alishan Jin Xuan1

LOVELY!

I’ve had many different Alishan Oolong teas over the years, and many of them were Jin Xuan.  Some were ‘flavored’ Jin Xuan where the milky notes were enhanced with added flavors.  Others were not.  I’m happy to say that this is one that is not.  Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy a flavored Jin Xuan, but there is something just so amazingly, naturally beautiful about a pure Jin Xuan!

The creamy notes are generally more subtle in a pure Jin Xuan, but they are so soft and wonderful.  I love how the creamy notes don’t inundate the palate with the flavor so that other characteristics of the tea can be explored and enjoyed.  Notes of flower mingle with the notes of cream.  The floral notes are not sharp.  They are mild and meld beautifully with the creamy flavors.  Sweet hints of fruit reveal themselves and develop as I continue to sip.

Alishan Jin Xuan2I was surprised to find that later infusions were still just as creamy as the earliest infusions.  Sweet, luscious and thick on the palate.  The floral notes softened in later infusions as the fruit notes emerged stronger.  It’s difficult to really pinpoint the fruit flavors that I’m experiencing because the sweet notes of the fruit aren’t really present.  The sweetness of this tea is more from the creamy notes – almost vanilla-esque!

But the fruit notes taste more like the fruit but not so much of the sugar sweetness of the fruit.  It’s like an apricot or a peach that has had it’s sugars extracted from it, quite interesting.

A truly AMAZING Alishan Jin Xuan – this is a tea I’d recommend to all tea drinkers.  Not just Oolong enthusiasts!  I think that this is a tea that all tea lovers can appreciate and enjoy.