Uper Fagu Darjeeling Oolong from The Tea Shelf

I’ve not come across many Oolongs from Darjeeling in the years I’ve been drinking tea, but the ones I have tried have always been something special. This one is no exception.

uper-fagu-liqIt starts with the leaf, which in appearance reminds me a lot of a first flush darjeeling (although it’s actually a second) crossed with a very fresh white peony. The are a high predominance of downy silver buds, some verging more on silver or pale green, plus some brown-ish-copper leaves. The scent is sweet and lightly jasmine.

Initially, the taste is subtle and fairly mineral, in the way that some lighter or green oolongs can be. There’s a distinctive citrus flavour in the mid-sip – it reminds me most of grapefruit, with a slightly sharp/sour tang. There’s also some of the muscatel flavour you’d typically associate with a second flush darjeeling, and the pairing is an unusual and inspiring one. As it cools. a hint of dark chocolate starts to emerge, although it’s mostly confined to the very end of the sip and it doesn’t linger long. uper-fagu-infDespite the scent, I didn’t detect any floral flavours in the actual tea, which is a small relief because it’s already quite busy. In terms of mouthfeel, it’s lightly brisk but doesn’t cross over into astringency, despite being slightly drying on the palate.

I enjoyed this one. I’ve discovered that I like Oolongs from Darjeeling in general, and they often have some of the more unique flavour profiles. Mineral, grapefruit, and chocolate don’t sound like they should work together very well, but, somehow, they do. If you enjoy either Darjeeling or Oolong, this one is definitely worth a look.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Tea Shelf

One of the finest oolongs of Darjeeling, the aroma of dark chocolate envelopes your senses, reminiscent of a cold wintry day! The leaves are springy with a moss like mosaic of silver and copper. The infusion shows another surprise with individual leaves clearly visible with bright colours of copper and mauve. The chocolate experience continues but now coupled with citrus and fruity notes. The steeped leaves give way to a gorgeous sunset yellow cup, which is very brisk on the palate with notes of jasmine and citrus, which linger on.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jasmine Silver Tip Tea from Rare Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co.

Company Description:

Jasmine Silver Tip Tea is the most delicate and delicious jasmine tea available anywhere.

Among it’s many admirers are acclaimed chef Tom Aiken and the sommelier Katie Exton.

Rare Tea’s jasmine silver tips comprises only the most tender spring leaf-buds which have been carefully mixed by hand with fresh jasmine flowers.

After the silver tips have been plucked from a tea garden high in the Fujian mountains they are taken to a jasmine farm.

They are crafted by night when the flowers give off their heady perfume.  At an exact temperature and humidity the tender silver tips absorb the jasmine’s scent. The tea is then dried and the jasmine flowers removed. This process is repeated six times, over six consecutive nights to add a unique depth of flavour.

Although the scenting is deep the silver tips retain their delicate sweetness.   The jasmine aroma is all in the ‘nose’ leaving the flavour both subtle and soft.

No flavourings or oils are used.   This is completely pure tea that has been mingled with flowers to take on their scent and then the flowers are removed.

Taster’s Review:

I love jasmine teas.  And until a year or so ago, I thought that jasmine pearls were the pinnacle of jasmine teas, and then I was introduced to silver needle jasmine teas.  And now, It would be a difficult decision to choose between the two.  I just hope there is room enough at the top for both!

This is one of the finest silver needle jasmine teas I’ve encountered.  It brews to a beautiful pale golden color which emits the softest, loveliest jasmine fragrance imaginable.  It’s so enchanting and soothing.

The flavor is amazing.  The white tea flavor is very delicate but in perfect balance with the jasmine essence.  The flavor is light and sweet.  There is no real “vegetative” taste to this tea, just fresh, floral and lively.  There is also a very light mouthfeel that is soft and silky.  For such a light tea, there is an abundance of pleasing flavor.

One of the best things about silver needle jasmine teas is that they produce many very flavorful infusions and this one is no exception.  I managed five very tasty infusions from one measurement of leaves.

If you like jasmine teas, you really MUST try this one.  You can thank me later!