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loose leaf oolong

Autumn Reserve Tieguanyin/Verdant Tea . . . . . .

Not gonna lie to you, Sisters: these past few weeks have been QUITE STRESSFUL for me. So I’ve been in Treat Yo’self mode: cookies. cheese. trashy pop music. trips to the zoo. leisurely walks on the treadmill instead of strenuous weight lifting.

And tea. ALWAYS TEA.

Today I decided to try one of the samples I’ve been looking forward to: Autumn Tieguanyin from Verdant Tea. Oolongs are my current favorite, and frankly, I deserve fineries.

This tea is a creamy walk through a spring meadow filled with fluttering buttercups. It’s so light and dainty. If it were an garment, it would be a pastel mint-colored tutu. If it were a voice, it’d be Ingrid Michaelson’s.

The tasting notes I’m picking up are mostly flowery, sweet vegetal, and slightly creamy. The description on Verdant Tea’s site says “pound cake,” which I’m not sure I’m getting. This may be, in part, due to my profound unclassiness. I may not have enough fae in my blood to be able to pick up on everything. But I’m getting the idea, and I’m adoring it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Description

Master Zhang has worked for over four decades continuing his family’s craft growing true Tieguanyin varietal tea high above Daping village in Anxi. He is working to bring back the original habitat of the region by clearing mountainsides and planting trees, bringing back wildlife and biodiversity, for better tea and a better future. He has won awards across China and has been recognized as one of the leading teachers and craftsman in Anxi for his unique approach to grading teas and processing for flavor. Instead of grading solely by elevation or tree age, Master Zhang holds the “Reserve” designation for the few teas that meet his strict criteria of lingering intensive aftertaste, pervasive sweetness, and thick creamy body. This means that only the leaves whose weather, position in the field and processing come together perfectly can be offered as Master Zhang’s reserve. This reserve grade Tieguanyin was hand-picked and hand finished with an exhaustive fluffing and turning process to bring out deep intense florals and creamy texture.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Moongold Oolong from Tin Roof Teas. . . .

One of my coworkers brought this to work specifically for me to try! What a blessing of a day!

This blend, from Tin Roof Teas, contains “sweet, succulent golden orange apricots and a floral green oolong.” It’s the perfect compliment to the day.

Like, wow: this pops. It’s juicy and green and vibrant. Like you’re just gobbling your way straight through an orchard.

Peaches, oranges, and berries are done all the time, but an apricot is kind of rare to me. I love the flavor of apricot. When I was a kid, my mom used to give me apricot-flavored baby food until WAY too late for me to be eating it*, because it was one of the few healthy things I’d eat.**

* (I’m talking teenage years.)

** (I have been told this is gross. I don’t think it’s gross. Baby food is just fruits in a blender. It’s a smoothie.)

So this tea brings me back to our kitchen table with a crack in it. There are cross-stitches on the wall. I’m picking at lunch. My family’s around. It’s warm there.

But now, in the present, I’m a sophisticated adult. I don’t eat baby food. Instead, I drink teas like this.

Nobody will ever know my secrets.

Except, perhaps, the entire internet, now that I’ve posted this.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tin Roof Teas
Description

Our Moongold Oolong is a delightful paring of sweet, succulent golden orange apricots and a floral green oolong.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Imperial Ti Kwan Yin from Enjoying Tea. . . .

Oolong is such a delicate tea.

If you eat or drink anything heavy before some, like this one, you’ll often find that some of the intricate flavors are hidden. I find it best to cleanse my palette with a few small cups (maybe 4-5 tablespoons worth) and then begin to decipher flavors after that.

This seems like your typical Ti Kwan Yin. Some orchid notes in both flavor and aroma along with slight marine and grassy notes. A shorter steeping time reveals sweeter characteristics with stronger floral emphasis while a longer steep will, like most teas, bring out more tannins.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea
Description

This Oolong comes from the province of Fujian and is great when brewed Gongfu Style. This tea is named after the Iron Goddess of Mercy. When brewed, this tea offers a smooth taste, nutty flavor, and a sweet lingering aftertaste. This tea is also great served chilled.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sweet Peaches from Blooming With Joy. . . .

We drink a lot of water, but when we are craving flavor we turn to iced tea. Soda bubbles don’t offer the thirst quenching, deep draws from a glass.

The first cold brew iced tea I ever tried tasted as a friend put it like “restaurant tea”. I grew up on sweet tea but have since given up sugar in my hot tea and greatly reduced it in iced tea, with some blends getting no sugar at all.

Making iced tea couldn’t be easier than with these pre-measured pouches. I filled a half gallon (two quart) mason jar with water, threw in a pouch, and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning I had a beautifully clear, deep amber tea that smelled like ripe, juicy peaches. The flavor is light and refreshing. I love the Taiwanese oolong base. I find it “wetter” and smooth going down when you want to guzzle a glass. This is my batch.

Hubby wants his tea sweet and we all know that sugar never dissolves quite right in tea that is already cold. For his batch, I put a little sugar in a jar and added an equal amount of nearly boiling water and stirred like mad. You can as easily add simple syrup, which we generally keep on hand. Then I topped up the jar with cold water and popped in a large sachet. The next day he had his beloved sweet tea on ice. The kids helped him drink it up.

So many flavors to choose from, I don’t know where to start!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Blooming With Joy
Description

Cold Brew Iced Tea is the perfect way to enjoy a cool, refreshing beverage on a warm day. Available in many of your favorite varieties. Cold Brew Iced Tea is easy to make simply pop one pouch in your pitcher, and it will brews cold in your fridge! All it takes is 4-6 hours. Pop in in before bed and awake to find a tea rich in flavor and aroma. You can leave the pouches in for up to 24 hours.  Additionally, you can make sun tea by placing the Cold Brew Iced Tea pouch in your sun tea container, it will brew on your porch.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raja Oolong Chai/Adagio Teas

As a chai, I expected strong cinnamon but didn’t know what to expect with a chai based around an oolong base. What I ended up with was a well-balanced blend which is a flavorful reminder of the fall.

When I opened this package, there was an immediate smell of cinnamon and chicory. I’m always waiting for fall to come back, not for the pumpkin spice, but because I’m waiting for the chicory to come back! The chicory and cinnamon balance in this cup is beautiful. My cup did have some flavor that settled to the bottom of the cup; so, if you’re not a speedy drinker, have a spoon ready to keep the tea mixed and the flavor evenly distributed. In addition to the cinnamon and chicory that I’m in love with, there are also hints of ginger and cardamom that blend to create the chai that anyone who enjoys Indian chai will recognize. These flavors are milder in the raja oolong when compared with an Indian chai, but this is a great compliment to those flavors.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong/Chai
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description

A blend fit for royalty, this Indian inspired chai is a cinnamon lover’s dream. The rich complexity of oolong tea lays a smooth foundation for a majestic cup, packed with savory spice notes and hypnotic aroma. Elements of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, chicory and cocoa nibs harmoniously blend together creating an exciting, yet truly satisfying chai that is sure to tickle your taste buds.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!