Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha

HR-DDO-LBJ-all_grandeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong Tea

Where to Buy: Eco-Cha

Tea Description:

This batch of tea comes from Yong Long Village, just above Dong Ding Mountain. Yong Long is known for a rich red soil which differs from other locales in Lu Gu Township. The unique flavor of the Dong Ding Oolong produced here is attributed to this soil quality, along with the fact this region is home to the most concentrated population of the most skilled oolong tea artisans in Taiwan.


Flavor: Grilled sweet corn aroma. Rich, foresty, roasted flavor. Complex, fruity finish.

Garden: This batch of tea comes from Yonglong Village, just above Dong Ding Mountain. Yonglong is known for its rich soil which differs from other locales in Lu Gu Township. The unique flavor of the Dong Ding Oolong produced here is attributed to this soil quality, along with the fact this region is home to the most concentrated population of skilled oolong tea artisans in Taiwan. This farm is managed by a father and son team who inherited their family tradition as artisans of Dong Ding Oolong. Their tea has been awarded first prize in the world’s largest Oolong tea competition, and they consistently achieve top awards in their local competition of traditionally made Dong Ding Oolong.

Harvest: Hand picked in small batches. November 2015. Yonglong, Nantou. Available Winter 2016

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha I know and LOVE is from 2013 but today I found out they have a 2015 harvest that will be available in Winter of 2016.  I’m looking forward to comparing the two.  The review of this Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha is from the 2013 harvest eventho I inserted both harvest descriptions above.

Once I infused Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha and it was ready to go in my cup I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful golden amber tone…it was beautiful!  The aroma was roasted – that is for sure.  The roasted notes followed suit when you sipped it as well.  I could taste some plum notes underneath in the middle of the sip, too, but they were very subtle.

The roasty and toasty aftertaste lingered but in a good way.  I’m looking forward to the new harvest of Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha coming in winter 2016…in the meantime I will finish what I have…and what I have is very good!  Two thumbs up!


Assam Exotic Black Tea by Golden Tips

EXOTIC-ASSAMTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Golden Tips

Tea Description:

A premium Assam tea blend from the peak second flush tea growing season in Assam. Selective sourced by our master blenders from premium Assam plantations, this extremely robust and bold black tea is characteristic of a bright liquor, a typical coppery infusion and a smooth maltiness. The dark black leaves leaves are a visual delight with an abundance of golden tips. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a signature blend second flush Assam from Golden Tips Tea, picked in August 2013. The dry leaf smells sweet and malty with an undertone of spice, and the leaves themselves are fairly thin and wiry, mostly black but with some lighter, golden tipped leaves scattered throughout. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a bright reddish-brown, and I added a splash of milk.

Assam is one of my absolute favourite black tea varieties. It’s one of the first I tried when I was younger, and it’s probably fair to say that my enjoyment of it encouraged my interest in tea generally. It’s always with pleasure that I try a new Assam, and this one is no exception.

What I’m tasting here is fairly typical of the variety, I think. There’s an initial sweetness that becomes intensely malty in the mid-sip, and a hint of woodiness in the aftertaste. There are very mild cocoa notes, but they’re fleeting and by no means a prominent part of the overall flavour. It’s a full bodied tea, with a thickly textured mouthfeel, very smooth and almost creamy. The malt becomes more dominant with successive sips, which only increases this effect.

While this is a fairly straightforward and ordinary Assam, I am enjoying this as my morning cup. It’s deliciously malty and sweet, with enough body to be somehow intensely satisfying. It’s not the most unique or even the most flavourful of black teas, but it’s certainly a solid example of a decent Assam. It’s well worth a try if you’re just beginning to explore black tea, or Assam in particular, or if you’re just looking for a reliable everyday tea. Classic stuff.

Fengqing Ripened Tribute Pu-erh Cake Tea (2013) from Teavivre

Fengqing Ripened TributeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

This Ripe Pu-erh Cake Teavivre choose is from the representative Pu-erh production area Fengqing. Fengqing is the original place of the world-wide famous Dian Hong Tea. And it is also a classic place of Yunnan Pu-erh. It is a place in Lingcang which is one of the four famous Pu-erh production areas. The taste of Fengqing Pu-erh is mellow and sweet, deeper than Pu-erh in other production area. And it usually has the flowery flavor of Dian Hong Tea. The tea leaves used to make this Ripened Tribute Pu-erh Cake Tea are all pure leaves hand-picked from 50 to 100 years old Large-leaf Arbor Tea Trees.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Fengqing Ripened Tribute Pu-erh Cake Tea from Teavivre is a really lovely pu-erh.  It’s a delightfully mild tea – very smooth and sweet!

To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan.  I broke pieces of the cake off into my gaiwan with a knife and eyeballed the measurement until it looked like about a bamboo scoop of tea.  Then I poured enough hot water (180°F) to cover the leaves and let it steep for 15 seconds and then I strained off the liquid and discarded it.  (The rinse!)  Then I filled the gaiwan with more water and let it steep for 45 seconds.

The aroma is a little loam-y but I’m not getting a strong earthy flavor, which I’m very happy about.  What little earthiness I taste is more like a mushroom than it is like ‘earth.’  Yay!  The flavor is sweet, like dates and honey.  I’m also getting an interesting contrast to the sweetness, it almost tastes ‘salty’ but without tasting briny or fish-like, it’s almost as if someone might have sprinkled a couple of grains of salt into my cup.

It’s a remarkably smooth tea with no indication of astringency or bitterness.   As I continue to sip, I pick up on notes of leather.

Before I knew it, that first cup was gone!

The second cup was a bit more earthy in flavor than the first, tasting a bit more like the loam notes that I smell.  Still pleasantly sweet, I notice the notes of leather starting to develop, and I’m also picking up on notes of raw bittersweet cacao.  I’m not getting any of that contrasting salt note that I noticed in the first cup.  The flavor has deepened and intensified from the first – it’s as if they’re two totally different teas!

Later infusions were less earthy, it seemed like that second cup was the earthiest of the bunch and then after that cup, the earthy notes began to wane.  I think the third and fourth cups were my favorite, the flavors were deep yet mellow with notes of dark chocolate, dates, and honey.  I picked up on a mid-note of leather with an undertone of mushroom.

A very pleasant cup … oh-so-smooth!

Sourenee Black Blossom – Organic – 2nd Flush 2013 – Darjeeling from Lochan Tea Limited

logoTea Type:
Black Tea

Where To Buy:
Lochan Tea Limited

Product Description:

Tea no longer available on website

Tasters Review:

Eventho this tea is no longer on the Lochan Tea Limited Website I thought it was still worth a mention.  So much so that I hope that Lochan Tea is able to get a 2014 or 2015 Flush of Sourenee Black Blossom.  The 2013 that I tried was a 2nd flush of this previous Darjeeling and I thought it was fabulous!

Dry – the leaves were fairly tight – but when the hot water was added – the enlarged and flattened out to a much larger size.  I’m chalking the multiple infusion capabilities to this leaf characteristic.  But that’s just my theory.  I was able to get at least 7 infusions out of the same batch over loose leaves.  The color was a darker brown once infused.  And if you like your black tea stronger – and tend to add more loose leaf to the water like I do (but infuse for a tad shorter) this stands up to the elements quite well.  It doesn’t go bitter…at least from my experiences.  It’s malty but at the same time it’s bright and brisk, too.  Just when you think the leaves are towards the end of their flavor intensity is when I think the iced tea factor comes in to play.  Yes…this tea also makes a pretty wonderful iced tea, too!

Overall – it’s safe to say I’m a BIG fan of this offering from Lochan Tea Limited but it just goes to show you that this company prides itself on offering the freshest flushes to its customers and you should get them before they are gone!

Jungpana Imperial Autumn Flush (2013) from Darjeeling Tea Lovers


Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

JUNGPANA IMPERIAL is another wonderful tea in offering this season from the vintage Junpana Tea Garden.

This tea has very high “Autumnal tea flavours”. After drinking this tea, you will feel the whole mouth is full of sweetness and the orchid aroma is lingering between your teeth.

Normally for tea from JUNGPANA, you will easily smell the delicate and sharp aroma after brewing. This tea is no different. A perfect specimen for what AUTUMNAL BLACK TEA should be.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Awesome!  This Jungpana Imperial Autumn Flush from Darjeeling Tea Lovers is a seriously good tea!  I actually found myself questioning whether I’d be happy with it, because when my tea maker finished the brewing of this tea, the liquor seemed rather “light.”  And while I’ve had plenty of amazing teas with a lighter liquor like this one, I still have that response, I judge a tea based on its color and this delightful tea just goes to prove that!  Don’t pre-judge a tea … let the proof be in the tasting!

I agree with the above description, this tea does have high autumnal flavors.  I taste intriguing notes of spice that are contrasted by notes of sweetness.  Notes of fruit, earth, wood and flower are also present.  It’s a lovely, complex, nicely round cuppa!

Although the color of the liquid is light, there is a pleasing, thick texture to it.  Not “heavy” but a rich thickness that gently coats the palate with a delicious sweetness that has notes of fruit (I taste notes of grape, plum, currant and even hints of apple), flower (I don’t know if I’m tasting orchid, but, it’s a lovely floral essence) as well as notes of rustic wood and subtle earth notes that lie beneath the overtones of spice and an almost sugary sweetness.

This is a truly lovely offering from Darjeeling Tea Lovers.  If you haven’t yet tried their teas, I highly recommend doing so!  Put them at the top of your must try list!