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sweet oolong tea

Vietnam Gui Fei Oolong from What Cha. . . .

I may have gone a bit overboard this past Black Friday. I was splurging on tea orders right, left, and center. Normally those orders would be for flavored teas but a friend of mine was ordering from websites that have huge selections of straight teas and I decided to join in on her orders. One such site was What-Cha. I have had several of their straight teas thanks to others sharing samples with me and I’ve always been impressed.

More than just straight teas, I decided to go wild when it came to the oolong sections of these sites. In hindsight this was a weird choice for me since up until recently I wouldn’t even try a flavored oolong tea, let alone a straight one. I guess as time goes on, your tastes change and my tastes are moving towards oolongs. What Cha must have sensed that because this tea, Vietnam Gui Fei Oolong Tea, arrived as the sample in our order.

This tea has a really nice honey sweetness. That is what stands out sip after sip. As I continue to drink it does become a bit more nuanced with the honey giving way to a touch of signature oolong toastiness. The more I focus, the more I can taste. In addition to the honey, the sweetness has a slight taste of stonefruit and raisin and a little citrus zip intermingled with the toastiness. Also, floating about is a touch of rose/floral that could be present because I expect that in an oolong more than because its actually there.

What is nice about this tea is that the sweetness gives it some body and that body reads almost like a caramel / malt making this come off like a dessert tea despite it having no dessert flavorings. It is light and rich at the same time which makes it easy to drink again and again.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  What Cha
Description

A highly aromatic oolong with a wonderfully sweet honey aroma and taste accompanied by citrus fruit notes of orange blossoms and peach.

Gui Fei is notable as it requires the leaf to be nibbled by leafhoppers just like Oriental Beauty. The tea plant responds by releasing more polyphenols into the leaves, resulting in added sweetness and complexity in the tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Long Life Oolong from DAVIDsTea. . .

I had to go to work early today, so I decided I needed a little afternoon pick-me-up. I’d bought Long Life Oolong on a whim to help a friend get to $50 (free shipping! we’re cheap!), plus, I’m a huge fan of its ingredients (oolong! nuts! fruits!).

This tea is… I daresay… a peach! It has peaches and apricots, which are like 99% of the experience.

I can taste the oolong a tiny bit (sort of a light flavor, verging on the black end of the oolong spectrum), but it’s in the background.

I’m not sure I can taste the almond slices or orange peel, but they’re not touted as major features. I might have also gotten a spoonful that didn’t happen to have those ingredients. Sometimes teas taste different cup-to-cup, which is sort of confusing and frustrating, especially for a reviewer who’s trying to give an honest overview.

I enjoyed this tea hot, but there’s a little sticker on the site’s image that says “try me iced!” I bet this would be a really great iced tea summer pick. Or, I guess, hot-day-in-fall pick. Or anytime-at-all pick if you live in the South. I prefer my tea iced when it’s hot out, but what does one do when it’s ALWAYS hot out? (When) do Southerners enjoy warm tea? They must, right? If you’re from the South, speak up on your hot-vs-cold preferences.

This blend tastes a bit like Happy Kombucha , also a David’s Tea oolong with fruit. I think if you have one, you might not need the other, but if you have neither, this could definitely fill a hole in your heart. Or stomach. Or any part, really. It’s yummy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy:  DAVIDsTea
Description

A hydrating peach oolong with sweet apricots and crunchy almond slices.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom from BlendBee

 

My family made a lot of strawberry rhubarb pies in the summertime, and each time I was tasked with washing and chopping the rhubarb from our garden. I was warned that the leaves were poisonous, and only the stems were okay to go in the pie. That dietary fact always made the bowl of chopped rhubarb and eggs and sugar all bubbling together seem like some questionable witches brew. But the resulting pie was always worth the danger, especially with all the pink strawberries in the mix.

Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom from Blend Bee works to recreate this strawberry rhubarb combination. The dry leaf smells strong and sweet, a bit like artificial strawberry candy. A good dose of hibiscus ensures that this tea brews up bright pink, and brings a blast of tart, fruity flavors. Beneath all the sweet and sour, there is a gentle green, vegetal note, perhaps from the rhubarb or the oolong, and it adds a nice freshness to the tea.
Depending on your love of strawberries, you might really enjoy this tea for the berry sweetness. For me, the strawberry flavoring is very forward, so I would to argue for more rhubarb next time. Though, to be fair, I’m not sure that I would want a full-on rhubarb-only tea.  Rhubarb is achingly sour on its own, and needs strawberries and sugar to truly be palatable. There’s a reason rhubarb and strawberries are so often paired together and this tea is true to that classic strawberry rhubarb pie flavor.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Blend Bee
Description:

Juicy and refreshing, this blend has just a hint of sweetness and is rounded out with bold red fruit flavors. You will long for Sir Rhuberry Oolongbottom.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Oo’Peppermint from Harlow Tea Co

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Harlow Tea Co

Tea Description:

Do you love peppermint, well I hope so! This tea gives a kick of peppermint that lingers long after that last sip is taken! Oolong has long, pun intended, been known as an all around pleasing tea for those who may find green tea too bitter and black tea too strong. Love both, then oolong is a perfect combination of the two!

Oo’ Peppermint offers hints of almond and is balanced with pieces of vanilla bean. You may even see some vanilla bean seeds in your tea!

Ingredients:
Oolong tea, peppermint leaf, almond pieces, tulsi leaf, and vanilla bean.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Earlier in the month, I discovered Harlow Tea Co, an Etsy Tea shop.  So far, I have been incredibly impressed by their attention to crisp, defined, well blended teas.

Oo’ Peppermint is a blended oolong, peppermint, almond, and vanilla flavors.  I can’t say I’ve ever had an oolong flavored tea like this one before.

Brewed up by the parameters provided on the package, I was anxious to check this oolong out.  First sip in and this tea hit the spot!  This journey starts off with fresh crisp peppermint notes followed up with a nutty sweetness that does an excellent job of providing a touch of complexity to the tea.  Simple subtle oolong hints are noticeable but really just lay the ground work for the rest of the flavors to play with.

Rich and full of flavor is how I would describe this blend.  This tea is simple but so robust. I’m three infusions in and still loving the uniqueness this blend is offering.  I’m really digging this combo of flavors.  Another winner from Harlow Tea Co!

 

Oriental Beauty from Sanne Tea

OrientalBeautyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Sanne Tea

Tea Description:

Oriental Beauty is also known as Bai Hao (white tips) Oolong, or Champagne Oolong. The beautiful name, many people believe, is from Queen Victoria. When brewed, the leaves generally spread in water, like a graceful lady dancing with gorgeous finery.

To make Oriental Beauty, farmers have to grow tea trees without pesticides, so Jacobiasca formosana, a type of green leafhopper insect, can feed on the leaves, stems, and buds. This leads to the tea plant’s production of monoterpene diol and hotrienol which gives the tea its unique flavor. Tea leaves bitten by the green leafhopper insect lose their green color and appear bronzed or washed out, eventually becoming atrophic and curly. It is why the high quality Oriental Beauty shows five different colors: white, red, yellow, green and brown.

The tea leaves are only harvested and made in summer, when the green leafhopper insects are most active. What makes Oriental Beauty more precious is that the unique sweetness is produced when the leaves only bitten by Jacobiasca formosana. Tea leaves, infested with other insects, like Ectropis oblique and Toxoptera aurantii, won’t produce honey flavor. This uncontrollable eco system makes Oriental Beauty one of the rarest teas in the world.

The tea comes from Cuku, Pinglin Dist, near Feitsui Reservoir area. All tea leaves have to be handpicked to ensure that each leaf has been bitten by Jacobiasca formosana. Because of the difficulty involved in harvesting this tea, a professional tea picker can only harvest 0.7 to 1kgs each day.

This tea has natural ripe fruit and honey flavors with a smooth texture and multiplayer floral finish. When brewed, the tea liquor has a clean and bright golden color. The full-bodied, mellow, and aromatic flavors will bring you ultimate luxury experience

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a tea I’ve heard stories about and I couldn’t wait to try it. I’ve heard rave reviews from Sanne Tea and when I was able to take the opportunity to try out their teas, I jumped on it!

After being sick for almost the last month, my taste buds are slowly coming back to me.  Being a tea blogger and not having your taste buds in check isn’t a fun experience. But slowly but surely, I started feeling better to the point where I was ready to try this tea out and find out what the excitement is about.

The description paints a gorgeous pictures of what the tea is supposed to taste like an I have to say. . . it is dead on!

This tea does have this amazing honey like flavor that I am just devouring and loving. Full-bodied, smooth, and just plain delicious, this tea delivers on everything the description states. First you get this lush honey sweet flavor, then a note or two of a ripe fruit (I swear I was picking up fresh strawberries!), followed by a unique floral finish. Gorgeous from the start. You really can’t go wrong with this tea. I can’t wait to try the rest of their offerings and steep up more of this beauty!