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.

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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.

Earl Grey White Tip from Tea Source

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Source

Product Description:

Made from fine Chinese teas with a large portion of white tips (the most prized leaf of the plant) and blended with the finest oil of bergamot available. Incredibly aromatic and flavorful.

Taster’s Review:

This is a fantastic Earl Grey.  Incredibly rich and flavorful!

The aroma of the dry leaf seduced me immediately – there is just something about that bergamot fragrance that captivates me.  The scent of the brewed tea is a bit softer, but, it is still quite enjoyable.

The bergamot flavor of this Earl Grey is very crisp and clear.  Very bright and tangy, and not overwhelmingly floral.  This does not have that perfume-y aftertaste.  It’s very smooth.

The black tea is a strong, brisk tea and there are several white tips.  I don’t experience much of anything that the white tips contribute to the cup, but at the same time, I can’t say that this would be the same tea without them in there.  The black tea has a very pleasing flavor.  It is moderately astringent, but it is not an overly dry astringency.  The aftertaste is tangy yet sweet.

A very enjoyable Earl Grey from start to finish!

Berried Treasure from Tea Source

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Source

Product Description:

This unique blend is sweet, smooth, and spicy with a kick. Contains: black tea, flavor, red peppercorns, and strawberry pieces.

Taster’s Review:

This is pretty tasty.  I am really liking how the hint of pepper accents the strawberry flavor.

It’s not a particularly strong flavored tea.  The black tea base is the strongest note of the cup, and that’s not a bad thing.  The black tea tastes brisk and strong, although I wouldn’t categorize it as an aggressive tea.  It has a smoothness to it and a nice undertone of sweetness that melds well with the sweetness of the berry.

The Tea Source store in Highland Park

The strawberry note is light here – and I think I would like it to be just a little stronger.  I would say that the strawberry flavor here is delicate yet piquant, as it does keep my taste buds enchanted as I sip.  It has a sweetness as well as a hint of berry tartness.

Since these peppercorns aren’t cracked, I find that they don’t offer a whole lot of flavor to the cup.  But again, that is not necessarily a bad thing, because if the pepper notes were stronger here, they could very well overwhelm the delicate strawberry flavor.  As it is, this is a well-balanced set of flavors, even though they are on the softer side, they work well as they are.

A decent cup of tea that I’d recommend to strawberry tea lovers out there who are looking for something just a little different.