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unflavored oolong

Huang Guan Yin/Harney and Sons – Ashmanra –

Huang Guan Yin goes by several names. The tea plant is a hybrid/cross of a Tie Guan Yin cultivar and a Huang Jin Gui cultivar. The name literally translates as “Yellow Goddess of Mercy.” It is sometimes also called No. 105 or simply Yellow Goddess. It is a fairly new cultivar.

This particular one from Harney and Sons is very light. There is none of the roasty toasty or smokey flavor found in many TGY or Wuyi oolongs. No Tung Ting nuttiness. I think some companies do sell this processed a little more roasty if their descriptions are accurate.

The scent cup revealed floral aroma reminiscent of baby powder – that light magnolia or osmanthus scent, and a baked sugary treat smell that made me think of cream filled dougnuts. Then a herbaceous savory note rises.

It was prepared gongfu style. The liquor is yellow. There is quite a mix of flavor here. The floral scents are still there, but there is a savory note overlaid on all the sweetness. Sipping the tea, I taste the floral aspects first and then the savory nips in at the aftertaste like vegetable liquor from leafy greens, like tender greens (popular in the South where I live) or perhaps bok choy, perhaps more well known.

The leaves held up for steep after steep, delivering a lot of flavor. It was a very interesting tea to try. I wouldn’t want to waste this one by drinking it with a meal. I prefer to enjoy it on it own to tease out all the flavors.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons 


This is a light Oolong from the Wuyishan area of northern Fujian Province. We have been buying from Mr. Chao for many years. This Spring we stopped by and saw him and his wife. This is one of the 3 teas that we bought from them. This is a cross blend between Ti Quan Yin and Huang Jin Gui, so you have nice floral notes and a bit of sweetness.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

**this tea was purchased and not gifted in exchange for a review**

Fire Roasted Oolong / Esteemed Tea Collective

Tea packaged in a plastic bag is a big no-no for me. Wasn’t expecting much from this tea because of that but this is one of those times when one enjoys being wrong. This is a hidden gem. One of those teas that could easily be messed up at any point in the brewing process or ruined by eating while drinking. And yet… it’s such an easy tea to brew as long as you stick by it and savor every minute of it.  My nose is thoroughly perplexed by the dry leaf aroma. It smelled like men’s cologne and it’s really messing with my senses. Maybe I touched something? I have no idea… So the aroma is off for me but the flavor is exceptional. The leaves are exceptional. Tightly wrapped leaves.

So far in this tasting journey it has been tasted every 20-30 seconds after the first minute. The best flavor is experienced within the first 1-2 minutes. The clear and very slightly ambered broth looks as if it would carry no taste but it has this amazing sweetness to it. A slight astringency but it’s almost not worth noting.

The website is impressive. Sleek and stylish but also somewhat Japanese in the way that everything is simple. For a purist like myself I truly love companies like these because they focus on single origin and single batch teas. No blends, just straight up tea, like it’s meant to be.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Esteemed Tea Collective

Tasting notes: Fresh flavor with a touch of roasted barley, full-bodied with a sweet long aftertaste. This tea has been lightly roasted to preserve the taste and freshness.

Mood/Benefits: A great choice after a meal to clear up your palate and aid digestion, or as a Five o’clock tea to freshen yourself up after the exhausting day. Contains high theine content (tea caffeine), vitamins and minerals.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Siam Ruby Oolong / Great Tea Road

What a truly wonderful oolong.

It is like life, so quick and fleeting. The aroma and the taste are wonderfully silky and light. This seems to be a medium oxidized oolong.

One can tell due to the color of the tightly curled leaf and slightly dark amber color of the liquid. When steeped too long it almost reminds me of a grapefruit. Perhaps that is where the ruby comes from?

Ruby red grapefruit. It has a bitter, metallic twang (only when steeped too long) that is unlike anything in a tea I’ve had before. So strange even the aroma on the aroma cup is so unique. Sweet, almost like candy. This was the second infusion.

We will try one final third infusion. Lost a bit to the over steeping but it still retains the floral qualities in the flavor. Floral mainly but I am also noticing some unique mineral notes. Truly a unique oolong.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Great Tea Road

From a high elevation mountain of Thailand. The steeped tea has a golden color. The aroma of dry tea is more like spinach but when brew its floral aroma is released. Smooth, complex and rich flavor. It has a notes of toasted hazelnut.
BREWING DIRECTIONS: 1 Tea spoon | 7oz Water | 2-3 Minutes | 195 F  ​| Multiple infuses.
ORIGIN: Thailand

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Tipped Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf. . .

This tea is like an academic who hikes then comes home to write an academic paper on his worn leather couch. The flavor here is earthy, but sophisticated. There’s that sharp, deep flavor that calls forth dark tweed blazers with patched elbows.

The description on Simple Loose Leaf’s site indicates a “nutty” flavor, but I’m not sure I’m getting that. Believe me, I’ve spent several minutes trying to find it. I’ve been swishing the tea around in my mouth. My teeth are yellower for it.

That said, I’m good without the nutty flavor. The flavor that is here is a winner. It’s a tongue-lingerer, which means I get to keep it for a while.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf 

White Tipped Oolong is an open leaf full body oolong that has a smooth taste. When brewing look for earthy notes along with slight a nuttiness from this oolong. Like many oolongs, White Tipped Oolong will evolve over the course of the tea’s temperature changes – so let the cup of tea cool as you drink to to experience the changing flavor profile.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

King Dragon from Wendigo Tea

With a name like King Dragon…this Oolong was set-up for GREATNESS!

Dry, this loose leaf oolong smells like a damp forest with wet wood and stone. After infusing this one it smells more like stone and a little less like wood. However, the aftertaste, especially when chilled, the tea-itself, is fairly woodsy! The aroma and flavors flap back and forth like a dragons MIGHTY WINGS!

This tea ‘brews up’ pretty dark for an Oolong and does well with multiple infusions. The darkness lightens up with each follow-up infusion but the woodsy/earthiness flavor is still present.

If you are a fan of Red Robes you will enjoy this one, as well!

I salute you – King Dragon from Wendigo Tea! You are a warrior!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Wendigo Tea

All arise for I am King Dragon, an ancient and illustrious oolong tea. I smell of exquisite honey, leather, orchids, and wet stone. My taste is of ripe peaches, earth, and smoke with a smooth lingering sweetness.

As reverence for my exalted nature for millennia I was simply known as “The King of Tea”. I also have been called an Imperial Da Hong Pao Wuyi Rock Oolong or Royal Red Robe, but all you need to know is that if you are to unleash my all-powerful leaves into the water, all other teas must bow before me.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!