Tie Guan Yin Special Edition from Life in Teacup

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Life in Teacup

Product Description:

Traditional charcoal roast with Tie Guan Yin and Mao Xie.

Taster’s Review:

I adore Oolong teas, and this Tie Guan Yin is superb!

The leaves are dark, a result of charcoal roasting.  The roasting has imparted a delicious toasty flavor to the natural nutty tones of the Oolong.  The buttery flavor that is often a part of Oolong has become more of a caramel sweetness.  It’s almost like a dessert in a teacup!

The sip starts with with an introduction of the sweet yet savory roasted nut flavor which soon gives way to a hint of flower (almost honeysuckle-esque).  The caramel notes sit in the background, never becoming too prominent or overwhelming.  The mouthfeel here is light, much lighter than a very green Oolong would be, and not nearly as creamy.  A whisper of smoke weaves its way throughout the sip and remains through the aftertaste.

Overall the tea is bittersweet with the emphasis on sweet rather than on bitter.  There is a moderate amount of cleansing astringency at the finish.  In subsequent infusions, I noticed that the smoky flavor came through a little more – but it was never an overpowering presence.

It’s absolutely delicious and a must try for Oolong enthusiasts.

I love all the teas that I’ve tried thus far from Life in Teacup.  I love their philosophy too, which can be read on their homepage:

“We believe tea is a luxury of time, and not necessarily a luxury of money.”

I agree.  While some teas can be extraordinarily expensive, I like it when I find a company that offers delicious, high quality teas at an affordable price, such as Life in Teacup!

Oolong from Byron Bay Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Byron Bay Tea Company

Company Description:

Tie Guan Yin or Iron Goddess is probably the best known Chinese high-grade Oolongs. A light, semi-fermented, whole-leaf tea that is low in caffeine, high in antioxidants and particularly beneficial around meal times. The fresh, earthy flavour carries a lingering aroma, as well as subtle undertones of florals and fruits.

Taster’s Review:

I adore Oolong teas.  They seem to me to be just a little more complex … a little more flavorful … a little more interesting … than most other types of tea.  Probably the only type of tea that I like better than Oolong is a yellow tea, and due to the rare nature (and higher cost) of yellow tea, I enjoy Oolong teas more often than I do yellow, which I tend to reserve for occasions as rare as the tea leaf itself.

So, when I received this Oolong from Byron Bay, I was very excited to try it.  Having been quite impressed from the other teas I’ve tried from Byron Bay, my expectations were high for this Oolong, and I’m pleased to report that Byron Bay did not let me down!

This Tie Guan Yin has a lighter body than some ofther Tie Guan Yin teas that I’ve encountered.  The floral character is a little stronger in this tea, which cuts through some of the heavy buttery notes just a little.  The result is a cup that is very pleasantly floral, lightly sweet and possesses hints of buttery undertones.  Delicious!

This tea is very smooth and has a rich taste despite it’s lighter quality.  The mouthfeel is not as thick as some Oolong teas, but it is soft and silky.  This tea is very enjoyable to sip.

Oolong Tea from Rare Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co.

Company Description:

Winner of a gold star in the 2008 Great Taste Awards.

Rare Tea Oolong is known as the Goddess of Mercy or Tie Guan Yin. It is a lightly oxidised yellow gold.

We have specially selected this oolong for its truly extraordinary flavour. Crafted to an exact point at which the leaves reveal their hidden subtleties it has rich floral aromas leading to a perfectly balanced mineral finish. The second infusion is richer and even more complex than the first. The tea can be infused several times to reveal incredible subtleties of flavour.

Note:  Read more about this Oolong here.

Taster’s Review:

Oolong tea has been a long-time favorite of mine.  My affection for Oolong began with a delightful Fancy Formosa Oolong, and has since grown as I experienced the different varieties of Oolong.

This is one of the very BEST Oolong teas I’ve ever tasted.  The flavor is simply magnificent.  The beautiful golden liquor is rich tasting, with notes of fruit and flower.  It has a creamy buttery essence is so deliciously decadent.  A smooth, silky sensation glides over the palate.  It’s absolutely devine!

It is also an extraordinary value (as are many high quality Oolongs such as this one) because one measurement of leaves can be infused multiple times – for many cups of enjoyment.  In fact, it would seem almost criminal to NOT steep these leaves at least three or four times, as the subsequent infusions produce a tea that is even more flavorful than the first!

This lovely tea is self-drinking – that is to say that it needs no additions to enjoy it.  No milk or sweetener – these might just ruin an otherwise perfect cup of tea!  And while it would be quite delicious served iced, to get the most flavor from it, it really should be enjoyed hot.

This tea is truly delightful – a definite MUST TRY!

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