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Baozhong Oolong Tea from Oollo Tea

BaozhongOolong1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Oollo Tea

Tea Description:

Grown in the serene mountainous terrain of Wenshan, Taiwan. The twisted leaves produce elegant lilac and vanilla fragrances while developing delicate sweet, floral notes. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I think I fell in love with this Baozhong Oolong Tea from Oollo Tea at first whiff!  The aroma is so sweet and wonderfully floral – just as the description suggests, I smell lilac!  I appreciate that while it has a strong floral aroma, it doesn’t come across as perfume-y.  It smells more like the air that has been lightly scented by a gentle breeze that filters through a lilac bush.  It smells so beautiful!

The brewed tea has a more subdued fragrance with warm vanilla notes and mere hints of the flower that I experienced with the dry leaf.  The scent is still captivating.  It invites me to take a sip – and I think I’ll do that!

LOVE!  The flavor has delicate notes of flower and a strong top note of creamy vanilla.  It’s so creamy and sweet – vaguely reminiscent of a milk Oolong but with a lighter taste and texture.  This doesn’t feel overwhelmingly creamy the way a milk Oolong can.  It’s light and refreshing as it washes over the palate.BaozhongOolong

In no time at all, my first cup (infusions 1 and 2) disappeared.  Time to resteep!

With this second cup (infusions 3 and 4) I’m tasting a stronger floral presence than I experienced with the first cup.  It’s still what I’d call a subtle flavor and it marries with the vanilla notes quite harmoniously.  In the distance, I pick up on soft notes of vegetation – very soft! Like a whisper of a slightly earthy, grassy tone.

As I continue to sip, I pick up on some woody notes.  Again, these are very subtle and they meld with the previously mentioned vegetal notes to create a somewhat “earthy” taste that offers a contrast to the creamy notes of vanilla and the sweet floral tones.

And just like the previous cup, this cup disappeared quickly – so I resteeped the leaves again to create my third cup (infusions 5 and 6) and I think that this cup might be my favorite of the three!  The delectable vanilla notes have softened somewhat, allowing for more of the floral notes to be explored.

The tea remains subtle yet richly flavored and I think the reason I favor this cup over the other two is that the complexity here is much more profound.  I can taste the layers of flavor because the vanilla notes have muted just enough so that these layers can actually be discovered.  I still get that delicious vanilla flavor but now I’m tasting other notes too.  I taste more of those woodsy notes and I love how these earthier notes marry with the notes of vanilla and the flowery tones.

An exceptional tea, this!

Everything about this tea is soft.  The texture is soft and silky.  The flavor is soft and it seems to lull you into this tremendous sense of comfort and luxury.  Nothing aggressive or sharp to the taste of this tea.

I highly recommend this to all those who appreciate a beautiful, gently nuanced Oolong!  You’re going to LOVE this tea!

Summer Garden Citrus Mint Blend from Verdant Tea

summer-garden-citrus-mintTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green & Oolong Teas

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

Summer calls for a blend that’s crisp, sweet, and tangy enough to be a showstopping iced tea. We wanted to do something a little different to celebrate the season, so we sourced a beautiful Wenshan Baozhong Taiwanese oolong tea as the base of our recipe. Wenshan Baozhong is an extremely green oolong, full of grassy notes, but with floral and creamy aftertastes. Mixed with a dash of Yunnan Jingshan Green to round out the body, we think this makes the perfect green base for summer.

To bring out the fruity and floral notes naturally present in Wenshan Baozhong, we picked out creamy and sweet orange peel, rich lemongrass and a juicy bergamot. We use roasted dandelion root and licorice root to draw out the sweetness and help you make a satisfying iced tea- no sugar necessary! Finally, we make it crisp and refreshing with a dash of lavender and spearmint. Enjoy!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  This tea really is the perfect summer refreshment.  This summer has been so hot and uncomfortably muggy that there have been times when I couldn’t bear to brew a pot of hot tea because even though I know that hot tea tends to be more cooling than a cold drink, I couldn’t bring myself to brewing something hot to drink.  Thank goodness I had a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge for times like that.

This!  This tea would make a perfect iced tea.  I’m drinking it hot right now, and even served hot, it’s incredibly refreshing.  The base of Yunnan Jinshan Green and Wenshan Baozhong Oolong makes for a wonderful sweet and light flavor with a lovely creamy texture.  It’s lightly vegetal with just the right buttery note.

The lemon grass, orange peel and touch of bergamot adds a bright citrus note.  The bergamot does not give this an Earl Grey-ish sort of flavor, but instead just enhances the sunny citrus flavors with it’s zesty character.  I don’t know that I necessarily taste the dandelion root, although I do taste a toasty, nutty flavor which may be the presence of the roasted dandelion root.  I also don’t taste a lot of licorice.  But I do get a nice sweetness here – it’s pleasantly sweet without the addition of sweetener.

But the real star of this cup is the spearmint.  It adds just the right touch of crisp, cool minty flavor without getting too aggressive.  It doesn’t overpower … everything tastes very harmonious.  This tea is named perfectly:  Summer Garden Citrus Mint Blend.  I taste fresh leafy notes, citrus, mint.  It’s a beautifully smooth and enjoyable cup.

I can’t wait to be drinking this one chilled tomorrow!  YUM!

Wen Shan Pouchong Oolong Tea from Yezi Tea

PouchongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong

Where to Buy:  Yezi Tea

Tea Description:

This delicate oolong is so light in flavor that it frequently causes many a Chinese tea connoisseur to compare it to a green tea. Baozhong has been grown on the mountain slopes of the rural Pinglin District of Taipei since the eighteenth century. Yezi’s Baozhong is brought to you by local tea farmer Gao Xiu Chen. Needless to say, after over two hundred years of cultivating and harvesting it, the tea farmers of Pinglin do an excellent job with their Baozhong.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh, this Wen Shan Pouchong Oolong Tea from Yezi Tea is so deliciously light and delicate in flavor.  But, even in it’s delicateness, it’s so full of flavor.  It almost seems a contradiction to say that, but if you were to taste this tea, you might better understand what I mean.

With each sip, the palate is covered with a soft, silky, creamy texture that fills the taste buds with a subtle vegetative quality and a beautiful sweetness.  The vegetative notes do not last long, they soon make way for the emergence of an exotic floral taste.  Orchid.  Lovely!

The description on the Yezi website suggests notes of lemon … and with the first few sips up until mid-cup, I wouldn’t have agreed with that.  But, after taking a few moments in between sips, I notice a bright lemon-y note in the aftertaste.  Not a sour, pucker-y lemon, more like a sweet, creamy, lemon curd type of lemon note.  This note emerges more as I continue to sip now, and appears close to the finish.

This pouchong can be enjoyed through several infusions.  The flavor is very soft and gentle for through the first three infusions, and then by the fourth infusion, I notice the flavors become a little stronger.  By the sixth infusion, the flavors begin to subside a little bit … but it’s only a minor shift in flavor and there are still a few more infusions to be enjoyed.  My personal favorite infusions were the second and the fourth … so it is definitely worth taking this tea through it’s paces to get as much out of each measurement of leaves that you can!

Yet another wonderful tea from Yezi Tea!