Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea
Oolong tea is a perfect balance of oxidation between black and green tea that produces a strong cup of tea that includes a sweet aftertaste in the mouth. This take on the traditional Earl Grey tea combines premium loose leaf Fermosa oolong tea with bergamot orange for a new twist on the classic. With the addition of Jasmine flowers to balance out the blend this is a nice taste alternative to the black tea based versions of Earl Grey. This smooth but yet intense flavor makes Oolong Earl Grey a real hit with tea lovers of all kinds.
Red Leaf Tea has the most extensive collection of Earl Grey teas that I’ve ever seen. And as an Earl Grey aficionado, that makes me very happy … and when I browse their website, I find myself to be a bit like a kid in the candy store: not sure where to begin, because I want to try everything!
This Earl Grey offering combines the enticing flavor and aroma of the bergamot orange with Formosa Oolong. I love Formosa Oolong teas (my first Oolong was a Formosa, and it will always hold a special place in my heart), so I was fairly certain I’d love this Oolong Earl Grey.
And I do!
That being said, this IS quite different from a typical Earl Grey, starting with the Formosa Oolong base. As Formosa Oolong is a bit lighter in flavor than a typical black tea, this Earl Grey has a much lighter flavor to it. I would describe it as diaphanous, as it doesn’t possess the same strong, solid background of black tea flavor that one might be used to when drinking an Earl Grey; instead, it is more of a delicate taste. The mouthfeel is smoother and there is less astringency too.
Something else that is unusual about this tea is that the fruit notes taste different. Yes, it still tastes like bergamot orange, but there is a little more to it, and then I realized … it tastes like peach with the citrus. And that makes sense, since Oolong tea (especially the Formosa varieties) have that fuzzy peach taste to them. The combination of fruit-y notes here is really quite delicious.
The bergamot itself is a fine quality bergamot, with notes of tangy citrus. It isn’t overdone in this blend, and it doesn’t taste off in any way. It tastes very bright… perhaps even brighter than in a typical black Earl Grey because of the lightness of the Oolong. The jasmine notes are subtle; it is just enough jasmine to enhance without the cup tasting soapy.
A well-balanced blend, and an overall AMAZING tea from Red Leaf Tea! I recommend this to all Earl Grey enthusiasts out there!