Anxi Dan Gui/Verdant – skysamurai

This is my first time drinking a Dan Gui. But knowing it is an Anxi region oolong I have high hopes. The dry aroma is very fresh.

With summer garden scents. . . . though I only got to smell it once since I was outside at a splash pad with my kids. Not ideal tea drinking area but we tea drinkers have to make do.

Leaf is gorgeous. Blends of light green and darker greens. Refreshing flavor. Reminiscent of tie guan yin but lighter. The mouth feel is silky. The wet aroma is very interesting.

There is a spot in Hawaii where the forest and the ocean meet. Bits of plumeria and other tropical flowers with a fresh water meets ocean water aroma.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for oolongs that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Creamsicle Oolong/Little Woods Herbs & Teas -VariaTEA-

Advent season 2020 sort of got away from me. My original intention was to make my own advent calendar using teas I already owned so that it would force me to drink my own stash. I did that. I also bought 6 other advent calendars. Oops.

This particular tea, Creamsicle Oolong by Little Woods, was part of my DIY advent calendar. It is a tea that was shared with me by one of the sisters, Nichole/CuppaGeek, that I had not tried by the time I was making my own calendar. As such, it found its way into the calendar and was a pleasant surprise the day I pulled it out.

Citrus is not actually one of my favorite flavors in teas. It’s one of those flavors that my reaction will depend on my mood. Sometimes I crave citrus and other times I am just tired of it. As far as citrus goes, however, creamsicle tends to be one I like. I think that is because its not just citrus but instead citrus and vanilla/cream. These flavors combined are dessert-like and anyone who knows me knows that I like dessert teas.

When I steeped this up, I was taken aback by an almost-roasted scent that was coming from the tea. I know there are roasted oolongs or oolongs that have that flavor, but I did not expect that in a creamsicle tea. Creamsicles are frozen and sweet and bright and “roasted” doesn’t fit into that picture. Plus, this uses a milk oolong which are typically creamy, not roasted. With that said, my nose did not deceive me because there is definitely a roasted flavor in this tea.

I would describe the flavor as orange and roasted oolong with an aftertaste of vanilla creaminess. I want to like it but the roasted quality really takes me out of the idea of creamsicle. It’s also more tart and savory than it is sweet and that seems off for me. Perhaps if it were branded differently I would be less disappointed and more accepting of the overall flavor. While personally I am more likely to purchase a creamsicle blend, I find it a lot worse when I expect creamsicle and instead get roasted orange, than if I were just given a blend called roasted orange and that’s what is delivered. As it is, I am disappointed with this blend – which is not a bad blend, but also not creamsicle.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Little Woods Herbs & Teas

Description

A special blend using a Taiwanese Milk Oolong as the tea base. It is creamy, tart, and great with milk and honey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vietnam Red Oolong – Kim Tuyen/Simpson & Vail- Skysamurai-

Another advent tea gift. I find it interesting that while this one is a rolled style the others I have come upon are shaped into balls.

So it makes me wonder why the farmer decided to make that change. It is a gorgeous leaf. Dark chocolate in color with light brown flecks here and there. The flavor is mineral, musty, and filled with wet wood notes. There is honey in the after taste. It isn’t strong but the way it lingers is very unique.

My aroma cup doesn’t reveal much for the liquid but the wet leaf is earthy and kinda mineral. I say kinda because it hides. Sometimes you sense it and sometimes you don’t. Some oolongs can last for many steepings but this one seems to have had its limelight in the first and second steepings.

Though as I’m coming upon my 7th? infusion now I’m find some of the sweeter notes are really shining. The instructions also say to brew four minutes, which I assume would be western style. I’ve tried both western and gong fu but so far I prefer the gong fu. It offers the ability to test it out more at more stages, not that you can’t in western but it just doesn’t steep the same.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail

Description

This exquisite oolong comes to us from Northern Vietnam, where some of the old tea plants are still partially grown wild. Local villagers traditionally process these leaves and the resulting tea is unique and delicious.

The large leaves resemble a black tea, however, the brewed cup is distinctively oolong in character. The aroma is bright with slight spice and floral notes. The amber cup imparts a toasty aftertaste with a slight honey sweet flavor.

Brew tea at 212º – steep for 4 minutes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

2019 Original Tieguanyin Revival/Verdant Tea -Skysamurai-

Have you ever tried to use a dehydrator to dry herbs?

It gives you a good sense of all the work it takes to make a good tea. Too hot, too cold. Too long, too short. And so on.

A unique tea like this one, which one can tell just by looking at the leaves, requires concentration and years of hard work.

Let’s not forget either that Master Zhang uses the highest and above standards for sustainability when it comes to his tea and other plants. One sip of this tea transports you to the mineral rich mountains of Anxi, China. Straightforward mineral flavors. It’s like licking a wet rock.

Tasting the purest granite surrounded by spicy dark woody notes. They mention florals along with the woody notes but honestly all I can taste are the mineral and woody notes.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description

This unusual tea is based on Master Zhang’s ongoing research into early Anxi oolong teas with a half-rolled / half strip-style shape, and a very meticulous turning and fluffing process that goes further than most modern tea would. In this experimental offering, he applies this research to the Tieguanyin varietal and provides enough roast for a deep, rich aroma. The result is a very well-balanced tea full of toasted sweetness, rich plum, and an lilac floral complemented by lingering minerality.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Huang Guan Yin/Harney and Sons – Ashmanra –

Huang Guan Yin goes by several names. The tea plant is a hybrid/cross of a Tie Guan Yin cultivar and a Huang Jin Gui cultivar. The name literally translates as “Yellow Goddess of Mercy.” It is sometimes also called No. 105 or simply Yellow Goddess. It is a fairly new cultivar.

This particular one from Harney and Sons is very light. There is none of the roasty toasty or smokey flavor found in many TGY or Wuyi oolongs. No Tung Ting nuttiness. I think some companies do sell this processed a little more roasty if their descriptions are accurate.

The scent cup revealed floral aroma reminiscent of baby powder – that light magnolia or osmanthus scent, and a baked sugary treat smell that made me think of cream filled dougnuts. Then a herbaceous savory note rises.

It was prepared gongfu style. The liquor is yellow. There is quite a mix of flavor here. The floral scents are still there, but there is a savory note overlaid on all the sweetness. Sipping the tea, I taste the floral aspects first and then the savory nips in at the aftertaste like vegetable liquor from leafy greens, like tender greens (popular in the South where I live) or perhaps bok choy, perhaps more well known.

The leaves held up for steep after steep, delivering a lot of flavor. It was a very interesting tea to try. I wouldn’t want to waste this one by drinking it with a meal. I prefer to enjoy it on it own to tease out all the flavors.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons 

Description

This is a light Oolong from the Wuyishan area of northern Fujian Province. We have been buying from Mr. Chao for many years. This Spring we stopped by and saw him and his wife. This is one of the 3 teas that we bought from them. This is a cross blend between Ti Quan Yin and Huang Jin Gui, so you have nice floral notes and a bit of sweetness.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

**this tea was purchased and not gifted in exchange for a review**