Lingtou Dancong Oolong from Qing Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Qing Tea

Product Description:

Fenghuang Dancong wulong tea has a history of about 900 years. Nowadays there are still about 3000 tea bushes left of this kind that range from 200 up to 400 years old. Fenghuang Dancong wulong tea is named after a mountain in the northeast of Guangdong province. Like supreme tea plantations elsewhere, Fenghuang mountain also possesses all aspects necessary for producing great tea such as: high altitude, abundant rainfall, short periods of sunshine and diffused light.

Fenghuang Dancong is a typical Guangdong wulong tea, with a high degree of oxidation and a taste that resembles lychee fruit. This tea bears resemblances with Wuyi tea, yet Guangdong wulong tea has become a style of tea cherished by tea lovers all over the world.

Taster’s Review:

This Oolong is delightful!

As the description suggests, it does have a taste that is somewhat reminiscent of lychee fruit.  There are also distant notes of smoke and a front note of flower.  Such a beautifully complex tea, this Lingtou Dancong!

While the aroma of this tea is a bit lighter than some Oolong teas I’ve encountered, there is no lacking for flavor here.  The palate is immediately greeted with a floral note (Orchid, perhaps?) which is followed up with the lychee note I previously mentioned.  The smoky taste weaves throughout the sip, never making itself dominate within the taste, rather it merely hints at its presence.

The flavor is sweet with a distinct sour note with a suggestion of savory bitterness toward mid-sip.  The mouthfeel is not as well-defined with this Oolong as it is with other Oolong teas.  That is neither good nor bad in my eyes, simply different.  There is some astringency to this cup, but it is not a pucker-y or an overly drying astringency.

I suggest resteeping the leaves several times – with each subsequent infusion, the flavor changes only slightly, but I notice different flavors with each.  In the third and fourth infusions, the flavor is slightly sweeter and smoother than in the first two.  By the fifth and sixth infusions, I notice very little of the smoky essence while the overall taste becomes almost seamless.This tea is top-notch, and I highly recommend it to all Oolong lovers out there!

Jade Prince (Tung Ting Oolong) from Tantalizing Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tantalizing Tea

Product Description:

Jade Prince aka Tung Ting is one of Taiwan’s most prized oolongs. Sweet, floral cup. Exquisite! Great for 3 or more infusions.

Taster’s Review:

This is a very nice Tung Ting Oolong.  The aroma is intense with fruit and flower notes and begs me to take a sip.  Who am I to refuse such an inviting request?

The flavor is complex:  sweet with notes of butter, flower, fruit and roasted nuts.  As the above description from Tantalizing Tea suggests, the fruit notes are pineapple-esque in character, complete with a hint of tartness just before the finish.  There is a creaminess which enhances the buttery notes, and a soft mouthfeel that is a bit lighter than some Oolong teas I’ve experienced, but still very pleasant to experience.

I am not getting very little astringency from this cup.  My first couple of sips, I detected no astringency whatsoever, but now as I continue to sip, there is a gradual astringent quality.  I do not find it off-putting or pucker-y though, and it seems to enhance the tart quality I mentioned before.

These tiny pellets submit to several infusions.  I brewed this tea in my gaiwan, and I managed six delicious infusions brewing it in the gongfu style.  This tea has a charming sweetness to it and I recommend not sweetening this tea – it would offset the lovely balance of flavors.

A delightful tea to be sure!  I recommend it to all the Oolong enthusiasts out there!

Jasmine Oolong Tea from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Product Description:

Jasmine Oolong is a favorite beverage for all seasons. It produces a pale yellowish brew with a rich and distinctive flavor expertly infused with the sweet, delicate fragrance of fresh summer jasmine. The tea has a very light and subtle jasmine flavor.

Taster’s Review:

I love this Jasmine Oolong!  It is wonderful!

The Oolong tea is light in flavor with a smooth, silky mouthfeel.  Just slightly vegetative but with very little buttery taste that is often associated with the greener Oolong varieties.  It has a hint of fruity taste as well, just barely there, lingering in the background.

There is a light astringency to it that seems to wash over the mouthfeel just enough so that it doesn’t impart a slick feeling in the finish.  The aftertaste is lightly floral.

The jasmine is so beautifully delicate in this cup.  It doesn’t overwhelm the palate and it isn’t too sweet or too sharp… a pleasant balance of characteristics to this jasmine, and I like that it doesn’t interfere with the complexity of the Oolong.

I steeped this in a gaiwan – steeping just 45 seconds for the first steep, and increasing the time by 15 seconds for each subsequent infusion.  I managed eight very flavorful infusions this way.  The sumptuous flavor is so comforting and delightful!

This is a tea I’d recommend to those who wish to explore jasmine but find some of the green jasmine teas to be a bit too sharp or overwhelming.  This jasmine may just be the perfect jasmine for you!

Kind of Blue from Teaquilibrium

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong / Honeybush / Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Teaquilibrium

Product Description:

Take five to enjoy Kind of Blue, an irresistible blueberry Oolong jazzed up with fennel.  Rooibos and Honeybush give blend a smooth finish while the Oolong gives the energizing boost.  Improvise this tea with any meal or have it solo for an out of this world jam!

Taster’s Review:

This is really tasty.  I was a little unsure about it, because I can’t recall trying an Oolong/Rooibos/Honeybush blend before, and I wasn’t sure how the three leaves would work together – but together they create one groovy vibe!

This blend is unusual, but in a very good way.  The Oolong lends its rich flavor to the cup as well as a smooth texture.  The rooibos adds a little nutty flavor to the cup, as does the honeybush, plus there is an underlying note of honey-esque sweetness to the cup which melds very well with the blueberry flavoring.  And every once in a while, just at the start of the sip, I’ll note a very slight hint of smoke.  Just a hint – ever so slight – and one that can be missed when not paying attention.

The blueberry flavor is not terribly strong here, and I really wouldn’t want it to be.  I think it’s perfectly flavored, because a stronger blueberry essence would overwhelm the interesting balance that exists between Oolong, honeybush and rooibos, and I’m really enjoying the flavor and body of the cup just the way it is.  Similarly, the fennel doesn’t add a lot of flavor to the cup – just a kiss of licorice-like taste that rests in the background – but any stronger and it would overpower the blueberry.

This is a sweet tasting tea, but it is a pleasant sweetness – not at all cloying.  It’s really delicious, and very different!  In fact, this is one of the more difficult teas to describe that I’ve tasted, simply because it is so different.  It has so many interesting flavors and textures throughout the sip that it is one that you need to try yourself to fully comprehend what I’m trying to express.  And you really should try it – if for no other reason than it’s unique approach … but I think it’s worth a try because it’s really good!

Also makes an awesome ICED tea!

Si Ji Chun from Camellia Sinensis

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Camellia Sinensis

Product Description:

From the high mountains of Taiwan this green wulong offers a rich cup with a touch of nutmeg and an edge of fresh vanilla. Explosive floral nose and an echo of caramel in the aftertaste.

Taster’s Review:

An exquisite Oolong!

The aroma is intense – very sweet and floral.  It reminds me a bit of that fragrance I experience when I first walk into a florist’s shop!  It is very beautifully floral.

The tiny, tightly wound pellets unfurl slowly, offering many delicious infusions.  I recommend steeping this one in a covered gaiwan to take full advantage of the aroma and flavors this tea has to offer.

And the flavor is so delightful, you’ll want to enjoy all the infusions this tea will produce!  The flavor starts out delicate, but develops quickly and becomes more pronounced in the third and fourth infusions, once the leaves have had a chance to begin to open up and release their flavor.

The flavor has pleasant notes of flower with a faint note of vanilla in the background.  This delicious vanilla note lends a lovely sweet creaminess to the cup that is enhanced by the soft, buttery mouthfeel.  There is a nutty flavor to the cup too that IS a bit like nutmeg (just as the product description above suggests).

The layers of flavor here is very enticing.  The light floral quality lingers into the finish, where I experience just a hint of astringency.  The astringency is barely there, but, it is just enough to wipe the palate clean so that it doesn’t feel overwhelmed or heavy from the texture of the tea.

I really enjoyed this cup.  If you are an Oolong enthusiast, this is one that you should definitely add to your list!  It’s awesome!

Nostalgia Dong Ding Oolong with Jasmine & Fresh Mint from Aftelier Perfumed Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Aftelier Perfumed Teas

Product Description:

Rich and complex charcoal-roasted Tung-Ting oolong tea produces a fruity aroma that is exquisite with the cool mint and rich jasmine. These rolled leaves provide up to 4 infusions.

Taster’s Review:

This tea is very interesting.

First of all, as a cup of this tea sits before me, it smells amazing.  Like intoxicatingly (I don’t know if that was a word before now, but it is one now!) amazing.   But with such an enchanting smell … I become a little apprehensive when it comes to taking a sip.  What if it’s too perfume-y?

After all, it is a perfumed tea.  That alone sort of indicates that it might come across as perfume-y tasting.

However, it doesn’t.  The perfume melds with the buttery creaminess of the Oolong tea to create one of the most unusual yet delightful teas I’ve tasted in a very long time.  The Oolong has a slightly roasted back note that seems to tie all the flavors together quite nicely.  It’s a very unified taste.

That is not to say that the jasmine is not strong, because it is.  It is quite strong (this tea is for jasmine lovers only!) and tastes very floral.  But it tastes like a natural floral flavor; not a chemical-y, artificial-tasting, lab-recreated perfume.

The mint is quite a bit more subtle, but the flavor of it develops as I continue to sip.  Similarly, the scent of the mint develops as I continue to smell the tea.  The first couple of times I could barely smell the mint, and now it is more prominent, although it is still not as strong as the jasmine.

I recommend brewing this in a gaiwan – using short steep times.  30 seconds (or less) for the first infusion; increase by 15 seconds for each subsequent infusion.  Any longer and you may wind up with a very strong jasmine taste.

If you love jasmine (and I do!) this tea is the ULTIMATE.  You really must try it!

Osmanthus Oolong from Tao of Tea

Tea Type: Oolong

Where To Buy: Tao of Tea

Product Description:

Native Name: Gui Hua Oolong

Origin: Guangdong, China

Introduction: Located in the northern part of Chaozhou, close to Guangdong’s border with Fujian Province, Phoenix Mountain is famous for its large, old growth tea trees and distinctive Fenghuang Dancong (Phoenix Select) Oolong tea. It is the highest peak in eastern Guangdong and the indigenous home of the She Ethnic Minority.

Gui Hua
Gui Hua (“gway hwah”) is the Chinese name for the fragrant osmanthus flower, which blossoms in the Phoenix Mountain area during tea season and is used in scenting this oolong.

Chaozhou Tea Culture
Chaozhou is the birthplace for the art of “Gongfu Cha”, the method used for brewing oolong tea throughout southeast China and Taiwan. Large amounts of leaf are skillfully brewed in a small teapot and the fragrant liquor sipped from tiny, thimble-sized cups.

Osmanthus Scenting
After plucking and withering, the tea is rolled sideways and pan-fired creating long, gently twisted, Fenghuang Dancong style leaf. In the final stages of processing, the leaves are baked with fresh osmanthus blossoms “heat-infusing” the tea with the flower’s fragrant essential oils.

Flavor Profile: A light, bright, sweet flavor and a fruity, floral aroma with hints of apple and apricot.

Ingredients: Oolong Tea Leaves.

Brewing Suggestions
180°F-200°F
1tsp/8oz
4minutes

Tasters Review:

This is AMAZING! Truly AMAZING!

Osmanthus Oolong from Tao of Tea smells floral but it also smells sweet, sugary, and fruity…almost like a combination of Apricots, Apples, and Grapes! I simply LOVE the aroma of this!

There is a smooth-sweet taste and gentle floral notes on the tongue.  It has a nice nutty/buttery aftertaste that makes me crave more!

This is a wonderful Oolong!

 

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