Red Jade Black Tea from Oollo Tea

oollo-teas-25Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Oollo Tea

Tea Description:

A perfect marriage between Burma Ashamu and Taiwanese wild tea. The long twisted whole leaves give distinct smooth raisin, date and cinnamon infusions with traces of peppermint.

Varietal: Taiwan No. 18
Curator: Yoshi Lo
Location: Yuchi, Nantou, Taiwan
Elevation: 800m

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Red Jade Black Tea from Oollo Tea has already been reviewed by Anne here at Sororitea Sisters but some teas are worth reviewing more than once.  This is one of those teas and I agree with Anne thoughts as to how AWESOME this tea is.  The following are my additional thoughts on this tea.

As for the aroma it’s one I truly adore in a black tea.  It’s toasty and date or raisin like.  The aroma matches the first sip of the cuppa, too.  I can certainly pick up on the raisin notes and paired with the dark, rich, carmelly notes it’s unlike anything I have ever tasted.  The end sip of the pipping-hot tea is a mish-mash of heavy, dark black tea flavors and a sugary syrupy type taste all in one.  Keep in mind there are NO flavors added to this tea!  This flavor is all from the leaf!  It’s all natural!

As I continue to sip the post-infused liquor cools with the room temperature – unassisted – and I notice the end sip morphs into something of a minty aftertaste that is very refreshing and welcomed.

No this isn’t ‘tea voodoo’ – folks – it’s just a mighty-fine tea that has levels and levels of complexity and for that I will appreciate it until the end of time.  This is a marvelously-fantastic Red Jade Black Tea that should be celebrated at every turn!

Rose Oolong Tea from Tea Ave

0000s_0000_teaave-wet-rose_largeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong Tea

Where to Buy: Tea Ave

Tea Description:

Our Rose Oolong is a flower tea prepared using the ancient method, in which the tea absorbs the flower fragrance during the baking progress, producing a scented tea that’s aromatic and flavorful without using any additives or chemicals.

We blend our Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong with fresh Taiwanese roses to create an elegant flower tea that is both full-bodied and mellow, with rose petals lending delicate floral notes to a robust oolong body. Rose Oolong has a floral fragrance and a rich, sweet taste. Smooth and exhilarating. Dare we say a little bit like falling in love.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Rose Oolong from Tea Ave is a very ‘pretty’ oolong tea.  I say PRETTY because it really DOES have rose petals IN the tea not just rose liquid flavoring.  Another reason I’m impressed with the rose in this tea is because it’s incredibly FRESH.  Many rose teas I have had in the past the actual rose petals go stale easily and quickly but Tea Ave must have something up their sleeves to keeping them prim and proper!

On to the leaves themselves, shall we?  I must start off by saying the Tea Ave is very upfront about their tea profiles as it takes up a good amount of the packaging and product page on their online shop.  I really like this about them and appreciate the time and transparency they show by doing so.

The Oolong they use in this rose flavored tea is an Ali Shan Jin Xuan originating from the Ali Shan Mountain Region of Nantou, Taiwan.  These leaves are functional for about 4 sturdy infusions.

I found the flavor to be elegant, sweet, rich, and smooth all at the same time.  The surprising feature was that it was thirst-quenching as opposed to other rose flavored teas.  For this reason I continued with my ‘two thumbs up’ rating.


Red Jade Black Tea from Oollo Tea

RedJadeBlack1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Oollo Tea

Tea Description:

A perfect marriage between Burma Ashamu and Taiwanese wild tea. The long twisted whole leaves give distinct smooth raisin, date and cinnamon infusions with traces of peppermint.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Red Jade Black Tea from Oollo Tea is one of those teas that after taking my first sip, the sound that I uttered was “Mmm.”  Not a lot of teas elicit that response from me.  This one did.

The dry leaves are dark, chocolaty brown.  They’ve been rolled lengthwise, producing a very long and wiry shape.  Because of the long, curly composure of these leaves, it’s difficult to actually measure a bamboo scoop of the leaves into the basket of my Kati tumbler.  So instead, I eyeballed it.  Then I added 12 ounces of boiling water and let the tea steep for 3 minutes.

Now I have a cup of perfection!

I enjoy most tea types:  Green, White, Black and if I’m going to be totally honest, I even enjoy most of the Pu-erh that I’ve encountered.  I’ve enjoyed some of the variations and even the new varietal Purple teas.  Oolong teas and Yellow teas are my favorites.  But the tea type that I drink the most is Black tea.  So, I guess I could amend  my previous statement to say that black teas are my favorite, followed closely by Yellows and Oolongs.

And this tea from Oollo is a perfect example of why I love black tea so much.  It has a rich, invigorating flavor but it doesn’t get all aggressive on me.  Instead, it’s smooth and sweet.  The description above is spot on with its comparison to raisin and date.  That sugary sweetness that I’d taste if I were to bite into a raisin or a date, that’s the kind of sweetness I taste when I sip this tea.  RedJadeBlack

There are notes of gently warm spice and hints of rich malt.  There is a slight intonation of cacao and a whisper of caramel.  And the aftertaste delivers just a hint of minty taste, especially if I draw a breath of air over my palate just after I’ve finished a sip.

The tea is so wonderfully sweet but not so sweet that it becomes all about the sweet.  There is a nice complexity to this.  Lots of depth to the flavor.  Those sugary sweet notes from the dried fruit are top notes, with a mid-note of warm spice.  Undertones of caramel that mingle with notes of cacao.  Every once in a while, I pick up on a hint of leather.  A subtle note of plum comes in here and there.  And every once in a while, I even pick up on a floral tone.  It’s a wonderful cup with lots of layers of flavor to explore!

This tea is an absolute DELIGHT to sip.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to try anything from Oollo Tea yet, I urge you to get to their website immediately and try some of their fantastic teas.  And be sure to put this tea in your cart while you’re shopping.  You’ll thank me later!

Nantou Four Seasons Oolong Tea from In Pursuit of Tea

NantouFourSeasonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  In Pursuit of Tea

Tea Description:

This tea is made from a cultivar that can be harvested year-round- Si Ji Chun, which means four seasons like spring. It’s grown in Ming Jian Township in mountainous Nantou County, Taiwan. The mature leaves are lightly oxidized and rolled into ball shapes; as they open through multiple infusions, a sweet flavor and lush, orchidlike aroma is released.

Read other Steepster thoughts on this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of the dry leaf of this Nantou Four Seasons Oolong Tea from In Pursuit of Tea is sweet with notes of flower and distant hints of vegetation.

I prepared this tea the same way I would approach most Oolong teas:  in my gaiwan, using short steeps following a quick rinse (15 seconds).  I combined the first two infusions for the first cup, and the third and fourth infusions were combined for the second cup, and so on.  I managed to get eight delicious infusions this way (four cups).  I probably could have gotten more, but, I was satisfied after my four cups of this tea.  More than satisfied because this is a seriously delicious Oolong!

My first sip, I noticed a creaminess and a slight floral tone.   Then I began to notice more complexity to the cup.  The creaminess was somewhere between a buttery taste and texture and a sweet cream taste.  Very smooth and very yummy.  The floral tones are soft in this first cup.  By mid-cup, I started to pick up on faint fruit-like notes.  I also noticed some of the vegetal tones in the distant background.  Toward the end of this cup, I picked up on a note that I can only think to describe as vanilla-esque!  This, together with the sweet cream/buttery notes is quite delectable … decadent even!

Subsequent infusions began to “unlock” the floral tones just a bit more.  The creaminess began to wane by the third cup, which was still creamy, but much less so than the first two cups.  While I noticed some vegetative notes throughout the time I spent with this tea, they were always quite distant.  For those who tend to shy away from the greener Oolong teas because they don’t care for the vegetal tones of these types of Oolong, I think this Nantou Four Seasons would be a good one for you to try.

In the third cup, I started to pick up on more of a nutty tone.  The fruit-like notes never really came forward enough for me to be able to discern what kind of fruit I was tasting … it remained “fruit-like” but indistinct.

This is an excellent Four Seasons Oolong – one of the nicest that I’ve tried.  And I don’t think I would have had this experience if it wasn’t for Steepster Select!  It’s a great way to explore the world of tea.  And if you’d like to try what December had to offer, I am currently selling my second sample packages of the December Steepster Select.  You can check out the listing here.

Jin Xuan Oolong Tea from Eco Cha

JinXuanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Eco-Cha

Tea Description:

This batch of tea was made by an artisan who won first prize in this year’s Nantou County Jin Xuan Oolong Tea Competition of 2,400 entries, and Nantou is home to the best oolong tea makers in the world. The tea he produces is, in a word, exemplary.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

In my “career” as a tea reviewer, I’ve tasted quite a few “milk Oolong” teas.  But this Jin Xuan Oolong Tea from Eco Cha has to be one of the finest I’ve tried yet.

What leads me to that declaration is this very first cup that I’ve brewed.  Typically the first cup of a Milk Oolong (infusions 1 and 2) is a soft and creamy cup, but, it isn’t quite as thick or lush as the subsequent infusions.  It tends to be lighter in texture and more delicate in flavor than the subsequent infusions – and granted, I haven’t yet gotten to my second cup of this tea yet so I don’t know how different that cup will be from this one.

However, this cup is very flavorful!  More flavorful than a typical Milk Oolong.  This first cup tastes like it would be the second cup of another Milk Oolong.  This is an outstanding Jin Xuan!

The second cup was just a little bit creamier and richer than the first, but the two cups were very similar, perhaps more similar than is typically my experience with a Milk Oolong.  Usually, the first cup is much lighter, and the second cup is quite creamy, but with this tea from Eco Cha, I am noticing more of that milky consistency in both cups (the first four infusions).

With the third cup (infusions 5 and 6), the flavors began to taper.  I noticed a little more astringency with this cup, and it wasn’t quite as creamy as the first two cups.  With this cup, I notice more definition of the fruit notes, and I can taste a hint of citrus.  Still a very flavorful cup, the honeyed notes seemed to emerge more with this cup and I liked the way these honey-like tones complemented the bright citrus notes.

An excellent Jin Xuan Oolong Tea.  Definitely one of the finest Milk Oolong teas I’ve tasted.