I’ve had a pretty hectic week and didn’t have quality time to spend with my Oolong sampler until now. This is the third in the sampler, and it is quite lovely. The dry leaves are the greenest of the four Oolong samples (not surprising given the reference to jade in the name) and are in fact a color that isn’t far from jade green (the “darker” jade green). It’s less toasty smelling than the fine grade or the amber. Though that note is still present, there’s a greener, earthier smell to it that makes the toasty note regress some.

The color is a pretty, clear light golden yellow with the smallest touch of green. The infused aroma, too, has a greener smell to it than the others. It deepened and became more “tawny” and floral on the second and third infusion, and by the third it was downright buttery with a twinge of something that seemed almost vanilla.

The flavor is delicate and sweet, and it changes fairly obviously from infusion to infusion, getting creamier through at least the third (steeped five minutes) and fourth (steeped six minutes). These were my favorites, though I went for five. The leaves had expanded in the filter so much by the fifth that I moved to a larger cup, and that likely made a difference, or perhaps the flavor was just naturally tapering off by then.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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