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Qingxin

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!

Lishan Tian Fu Oolong Tea from T-Oolong Tea

LiShanTianFuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  T-Oolong Tea

Tea Description:

This high quality Lishan Tian Fu Oolong is handpicked, handcrafted and produced from Qingxin Oolong varietal grown in the mountain areas of Li Mountain. The aroma and taste of the tea are intensely floral, sweet, fruity and rich with honeysuckle-like flavors. The aftertaste is very sweet and long lasting, and this tea stands up very well to multiple infusions. It is very rich, smooth and delectable with almost no bitterness and astringency.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

There are few tea times more enjoyable than when I brew myself a cup of LiShan Oolong tea!  And this LiShan Tian Fu Oolong Tea from T-Oolong Tea is so amazing!

I combined five infusions in one Yixing mug, and the combination of the infusions produces a sublime flavor of sweet, exotic tasting flower with hints of fruit.  It is an intensely flavored cup.  The most prominent note is that of the floral tones, which is reminiscent of the essence I would experience from the springtime air at my gramma’s house when I was young.

You see, she had a very prolific honeysuckle vine on the rear corner of her house, right next to one of the bedroom windows.  And when the weather was warm during those later spring days, the window would be open, and the breezes from the Santa Ana winds would filter through the honeysuckle plant and then the breeze would enter the window.  That’s what I’m experiencing as I sip this tea!  I just love how tea brings these fond memories to life.

Beneath the sweet and floral honeysuckle-esque notes I taste faint vegetative notes that have a slight buttery intonation to them.  There is some creaminess to this cup, but it isn’t a strong creamy note, nor does it seem to build or intensify as I continue to sip.  It’s a subtle creamy taste and texture that melds with the vegetal tones.

Toward the end of the sip, a hint of fruit emerges … just faintly.  It is a sweet note that reminds me of a crunchy apple, but without the tartness that I usually associate with an apple.  As mentioned in the above review, I notice no bitterness, and no astringency.

And while this particular tea is not currently in stock on T-Oolong Tea’s website, I think it would be worth the effort to keep checking in occasionally to find out when this tea will be restocked.  It’s a LOVELY tea, and if you love Oolong, it’s one you should try!

Honey Beauty Oolong Tea from T-Oolong Tea

HoneyOolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  T-Oolong Tea

Tea Description:

This Honey Beauty Oolong is all natural, handpicked, handcrafted and produced from Qingxin Dapa varietals, the tea leaves often used to produce Oriental Beauty oolong. This tea tastes similar to Oriental beauty but not quite the same. The taste and aroma of the tea are honey sweet, rich, and pleasant with a long lasting honey sweet aftertaste. This tea stands up well to multiple infusions, and has the complexities of an oolong in taste and aroma, but the appearance and strength of a black tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love a good Oriental Beauty Oolong, and when I read the name of this Honey Beauty Oolong Tea from T-Oolong Tea, I was intrigued … I was curious to find out how similar to an Oriental Beauty it would be.

The dry leaf appearance IS indeed very similar, with its dark chocolate colored leaves.  The aroma is sweet, reminding me a bit more of the smell of molasses than of honey.  It’s a very pleasant fragrance … sort of like walking into a kitchen when my gramma would make pecan pie.  It smells a bit like that sweet, molasses-y filling of a pecan pie (but not so much like the actual pecans!)  The brewed tea offers a different scent with notes of fruit, flower and yes, even a hint of honey.

The first cup (containing infusions #1 and 2 following a quick 15 second rinse) is very delicately flavored, and I noticed that it took a few sips for the flavors to begin to develop on my palate.  By mid-cup, I was noticing a lovely honey-esque tone start to emerge.  Notes of stone fruit … somewhere between nectarine and plum.  It is sweet but there is a hint of contrasting sour there too.

The second cup (infusions #3 and 4) offered a stronger flavor than the first, and was my favorite cup of the three cups that I enjoyed of this tea.  I noticed a stronger fruit note, and the honey notes are more profound with this cup.  It’s sweet … and indeed beautiful!  Honey Beauty Oolong seems an appropriate name for this tea.

With the third cup (infusions #5 and 6), I noticed the flavors becoming …  not really “softer” but more unified.  The honey note was not quite as focused, and the fruit note was less distinct.  It tasted more like … well, imagine a combination of nectarines and plums that have been roasted to concentrate the flavor and bring out the sweetness of the fruit, and then drizzling this roasted fruit medley with sweet honey.  That’s what I taste!  YUM!

This tea is definitely a treat for Oolong aficionados!

Shanlinxi Zhu Wan Oolong from T-Oolong Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  T-Oolong Tea

Tea Description:

This high quality Shanlinxi Zhu Wan Oolong Tea is handpicked, handcrafted and produced from Qingxin Oolong varietal grown in the mountain areas of Zhu Wan district in Shanlinxi area. The aroma and taste of the tea are intensely floral and sweet, very rich, complex and delectable with almost no bitterness and astringency. This tea also comes with a very sweet and long lasting aftertaste, and stands up very well to multiple infusions. It is a very enjoyable Shanlinxi tea we highly recommend.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve often stated that Ali Shan Oolong teas are my favorite type of Oolong, however, I must admit that after trying a few of the Shanlinxi Oolong teas from T-Oolong Tea … the Shanlinxi are offering up some stiff competition to my beloved Ali Shan!  This Shanlinxi Zhu Wan is amazing!

It is so sweet and there is a light creaminess to it, but it is also light and crisp, like the sweet, clean taste of mountain air.  It has a pleasant floral tone – not sharp or intrusive, it is a very smooth, sweet floral note.  The creaminess adds a richness to the texture and taste, but, it isn’t heavy tasting nor does it feel heavy on the palate.  It tastes and feels very refreshing and clean.

And as with any Oolong of high quality such as this, this Oolong is ready and eager for multiple infusions.   Subsequent infusions delivered a more unified flavor, very smooth and harmonious, with the floral notes and sweet, creamy tones melding in a very seamless way.  The floral notes are stronger now and rest on the back of the palate.  Still not heavy in any way, the flavor is stronger, but it flows more smoothly across the palate.

If you like Ali Shan, you should do yourself a favor and also try Shanlinxi Oolong teas – they are similar enough that I think fans of Ali Shan can enjoy the Shanlinxi teas too, but they also offer some intriguing differences that are really quite refreshing.

Shanlinxi Long Feng Xia Oolong Tea from T-Oolong Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  T-Oolong Tea

Tea Description:

This high quality Long Feng Xia Oolong tea is handpicked, handcrafted and produced from Qingxin Oolong varietal grown in Long Feng Xia district. The aroma and taste of the tea are very floral and sweet. This tea has honeysuckle-like flavors and a sweet long lasting aftertaste, and it stands up well to multiple infusions. It is rich, smooth and delectable with almost no bitterness and astringency. Absolutely a very wonderful oolong we highly recommend.

Learn more about this Oolong here.

Taster’s Review:

I realize that I previously reviewed this tea, but that was last year’s harvest, and this is a whole new harvest!   With new harvests come a whole new opportunity to explore new tastes within the tea!

This is so smooth and beautiful!  It has a strong floral essence, with foreground notes of honeysuckle that remind me of my gramma’s house when I was younger.  She had a honeysuckle bush that grew just outside the window of the bedroom where I would sleep, and on the warm days when the Santa Ana winds would blow, I would be treated to the most amazing honeysuckle essence that not only filled the olfactory nerves but also seemed to tantalize the palate.  I also taste a hint of orchid in the distant background.

Like I said, a strong floral essence, but, what I’m liking here is that the taste and texture is so smooth that the floral notes do not taste sharp.  They meld into the tea, allowing the other flavors to come forth.  The creaminess is not as strong as I remember from the previous harvest, this is more like a rich smoothness rather than a thick creaminess.  Fruit notes begin to emerge toward the end of my first cup (which is the combination of the first two infusions), providing more of a sweetness than a real distinct fruit tone.

With subsequent infusions, I find that the floral notes begin to taper somewhat.  No… not really taper.  That’s not quite the word I’m looking for.   The flowery notes are softening, though.  They are still very present, but, the layer of floral notes becomes slightly more transparent, allowing for easier tasting of the layers of vegetative notes and a subtle touch of cream.  The fruit tones are emerging more now, almost tasting like something between a peach and a sweet grape.  It has a very thirst-quenching taste … very calm, very pleasant.

An amazing Oolong that is certainly worth checking out with every new harvest!