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drank Alishan by Oollo Tea
50 tasting notes

This has been my transition tea the last 2 weeks between the morning and late afternoon and I’ve really enjoyed it, like all of the other Oollo teas I’ve tried. It’s namesake is Alishan Mountain in Taiwan. This high mountain tea has a lovely crisp grassy flavour and elegant flowery aromas. I’m reminded of spring buds blossoming with each sip, a nice image on this chilly day here.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Grass

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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This is a very nice oolong tea. I love the appearance of the tightly wrapped ooloong spheres before they are brewed up. How much unfurling goes on whilst it steeps is pretty remarkable. The transformation is so pretty afterwards when I look at the leaves expanded and transformed. Each oolong I try from Oollo has a unique flavour even with no added ingredients. Oollo describes this tea as having “elegant lilac and vanilla fragrances while developing delicate sweet, floral notes” There is a lovely flowery and grassy flavour that blends with a natural creaminess. A very nice late morning/early afternoon tea before I switch to herbal and rooibos teas. The more I drink oolongs, the more I value that transition tea from the morning black and mates to the late afternoon/evening herbals.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Grass

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

Ooh, lilac!

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Received a small sample of this tea at last year’s Tea Festival in Vancouver which I finally got to today (sadly I’m failing miserably at my goal of consuming tea within 12 months of purchase for most of my cupboard stock). The appearance of the leaves are quite pretty with both greenish and brown hues. Oollo describes the appearance of their blend as “five colour dancing leaves”. Some of the leaves almost have a twig-like appearance with their rust colouring. Brewed up, there is a lovely earthy aroma that has a crisp and clean woodsy flavour. I didn’t detect the apricot, peach, orchid, muscat grape or apple flavours that Oollo notes but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Maybe those accents have faded with time or weren’t as prominent in my sample. I’m really enjoying all of the oolongs I’ve tried from Oollo so far.

Flavors: Earth, Grass, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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Free sample. I’m not a huge fan of it because I am REALLY picky with roasted oolongs now, but it’s a decent tieguanyin. There’s a little bit of complexity in the taste and it’s bready overall. The fructose sweetness does not develop until later. Otherwise mediocre.

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This was a nice tea. It took a while to develop, but it did. Vegetal and green, but not overly so because of how light it was. There were definite creamy notes of vanilla and some fruitiness, but vanilla, florals, and fresh greens were the tastes overall. Three western steeps. My main complaint was the price and the lightness of the tea.

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The revisit as promised.

To really notice the natural flavor of this one, I drank it side by side with a heavily flavored milk oolong from Dragon Tea House, which will be now known as the B.S. tea.

This was done using water at 190 degrees, a tea spoon of leaves, and 3-4 ounces of water- which is sooo specific.

Like I reviewed before, this is a very subtle tea, and to really hone in what I should look for, I had to remind myself that this was a natural Ali Shan tea. Every single Li Shan and A Lishan has been drastically different for me though their profile is very, very similar. There have been Li Shan’s that were fruitier and creamier than the Ali Shan’s I’ve had, and there have been Ali Shans that were sweeter and again a bit fruitier than other Li Shan’s I’ve had. This dilemma of hit or miss also applies to Jin Xuans in terms of their fruity taste.

Jin Xuan’s are always creamy in texture with a smooth buttered spinach taste. Florals and fruitiness in the tea differ, but I always hope for something lemony, coconut like, or pineapple like. Taking into account that this is an Alishan as well, this tea might be more vegetal, floral, and subtle than I want.

So after two minutes and a half in the first steep, I get the same thing that I wrote in the previous long review but I appreciate more. This tea tastes like a smooth, nutty, and creamy oolong with a highly spinachy yet low aroma floral body with very minimal fruity hints. And when I say low scent floral-I mean it literally tastes like eating flowers with a narrow what-ya-ma-call-it grassiness.

Based on my recently extended experience with Jin Xuans, I’d call this a good standard, but a very standard Jin Xuan. A lot of more experienced drinkers would enjoy it for its subtlety and consistent quality, but the very light array of flavors that this has pales to other natural JIn Xuans.

I can see why people might prefer this to a flavored one. I’ve always had a slight understanding of flavored Milk Oolongs being so flavored that they are fake tasting, but I did not realize that even decent flavoring can also overwhelm the slightest of qualities. Good Jin Xuan’s to me normally have a fruity aftertaste that is close to something lemony or tropical. The b.s. oolong had it during specific brew times and temperatures. The natural tea flavors were otherwise muddled and more possibly with larger leaves. This oolong had the tropical flavor too, but it was there more because I was looking for it in the tea.

I’m still a bit partial to some flavored teas, but the natural taste to this is to be appreciated. This sample will probably end up in my consolidation sale.

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I had to drink this tea thinking this was a Golden Lily. I expected it to be flavored last time which distracted me. Now, I can focus on the subtle profiles.

There was a lot of little things going on with this tea. It was primarily green and vegetal to me, but a fresh green like celery that Amanda describes. I’m not getting the creamy sweetness that other reviews have described, but a spinachy sweetness if that makes sense following a floral sweetness. Osmanthus was the note that screamed at me the most. There were very light tropical qualities like coconut and pineapple skin reminding me of Whispering Pines Golden Lily, but this tea was not nearly as sweet.

I’ll experiment more to get sweeter flavors, but what I got was a solid Golden Lily with very subtle Alishan taste qualities. I think a purist would enjoy this tea, but the notes were way to subdued for me personally. This tea does taste good cold, though. It would probably be a good cold brew.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Lighter steep, and more flavor was drawn out, but incredibly subtle flavor. Definitely needs a revisit.

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I need to try this tea again. There was no smell dry leaf, and the wet leaf had a nice coconuty scent. The taste was bland. I could have oversteeped it, but all I got was a highly vegetal and flat Jin Xuan.

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I’ve been looking forward to this one because I’ve always wanted to try a Cui Ruan Lishan. Here’s what I got so far.

I tried a rinse, and it was faint. Had to do the two full recommended minutes. This kind of deterred me. But the dry leaf earlier had the nice spicebush and floral peony smell, so I kept my hopes up.

Vegetal, green, and very floral. But oddly complex. At 200 F, it was more vegetal than anything else. Yet as it cooled down, the sweeter floral notes were much more noticeable and incredibly pleasant making the liquor creamier. The smell actually reminded me of cooked marshmallows. More later…

Steep two, more floral, a little bit of sugar cane sweetness that was barely present until the tea cooled down.

More spicebush, vegetals, and florals later.

This was quite enjoyable and had some staying power western, but I was hoping for the tea to be one I could Gong Fu. it reminded me of a Tie Guan Yin in its florals, and tasted like a better Li Shan overall. My expectations of fruitier and sweeter notes left me a bit disappointed. The tea was good and complex enough to change with temperature, but not worth the price I paid. I have higher hopes for the others then.

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Had a sample of this Oollo tea from the Vancouver Tea Festival that I brewed up today. It has a really nice earthy aroma to it, and a very clean and crisp flavour. It’s aptly named as the liquor is a lovely reddish hue. Although I’m usually more partial to flavoured black teas, this was quite pleasant without any added ingredients. I didn’t detect the cinnamon, date or peppermint flourishes myself, but they are listed in the description for the tea. Quite a nice way to appreciate the elegant flavour profile of a black tea without the complicating added ingredients I’m used to. I think I have a new respect for it.

Flavors: Earth, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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drank Baozhong Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
44 tasting notes

Deep dark green twisted leaves. very heady floral aromas. I need to sniff flowers more because I never know what is what. but definitely detect lilac.
Also some celery.
Palate is very light and again very floral with a touch of spiciness at the end.
think nutmeg and a wee drop of aniseed.

slightest grip on the finish in the throat

overall, extremely delicate and floral tea. Thank you, Taiwan

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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drank Alishan by Oollo Tea
44 tasting notes

It’s been far too long since I’ve sat down with a Taiwanese wulong. So I began digging through my teas and was fortunate to find this one.
Lovely floral bouquet that gave me flashbacks of dewy spring mornings. Initial vegetal aromas lead to an almond skin nuttiness. Bit of hair perm solution
Later was getting more of a buttery roasted coconut smell
Fairly light in body with a pleasant astringency.

I miss Taiwan

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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drank Red Jade Black Tea by Oollo Tea
2196 tasting notes

Smells SOOOOO good!

I saw a talk about oolong teas by Jenny Lo yesterday, and had to pick up a couple teas to try. They had some 10g sample sizes, which made me really happy… although I possibly should have bought more of this one. It smells SO GOOD!

I’m steeping in my ~120-ish ml kyusu (of course), and used about 1/3 of the packet. The rest of it will be going to a friend.

I’m just steeping till it “looks right”, so the first was about 30 seconds or so.

My frog army is enjoying the taste as well. ;) https://www.instagram.com/p/-ZRPqyx5Cs/

This tea is delicious. It’s not quite as sweet or honey like as I was expecting, but it is a really solid tea. At 30 seconds you get some sweetness, the maltiness, a touch of astringency. Yum.

The only cure for a tea hangover is more tea.


The third steep I accidentally steeped a bit longer, and I totally see what they mean about the minty finish. So tasty.


sounds delicious


Om nom tea.

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drank Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
1696 tasting notes

I have a forest full of cicada noises inside my head. My head and ear hurt. I am a big baby when I don’t feel good. I thought tea would make me feel better. It helped but really this tea deserves a better review than it is about to get.

I grabbed this for the tea sap sucking leaf hopper vampire connection. Seemed appropriate. The leaf, despite the vampire bites, are beautiful. They are brown, cinnamon, green, white, with touches of yellow. It is composed of leaves and buds on stems. I don’t detect a lot of aroma from the leaf, except some faint peony blossoms.

The steep leaf scent is honey and fruit. The liquor is honey/caramel in color.

To me, if I didn’t know this was a Taiwanese oolong, I would have believed it to be a Nepalese black tea. It tastes of raisin drifting into muscat grapes. It also has a nutty, deep woods presence to it. Late in the sip I sense it opening up with floral notes. that seem again like peony blossoms. Very good.


Hope you feel better soon!

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drank Baozhong Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
7975 tasting notes

Another tea from VariaTEA always nice trying new teas…even if they are green oolongs! This has a fabulous aroma to it, though it ands squarely in that oolong range that i don’t love. However, ignoring that, i can see this being a nice vegetal oolong for those that like that taste.


Haha I don’t remember owning half of these teas


well that’s ok :) I’m enjoying them haha

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drank Baozhong Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
1696 tasting notes

So it is upper 70’s today and will top out around 80 F. It has been 90+ all month until today. We could really use rain but it keeps passing us by. But it is beautiful outside, so cause for celebration and some of the first hot tea I have prepared this month! Yes I’ve been living off a combination of cold milk/matcha lattes, Diet Mt Dew (purely for the caffeine rush), and Lipton Diet Citrus Green Tea. Don’t judge.

I’ve had Baozhong before. That’s what I told myself, until I opened this sample. I literally said, “Oh, Wow!” when the aroma hit me. I can’t paint a word picture as beautifully as Amanda, but this smells so wonderful. Lilacs! After reading Amanda’s review, I agree on peonies as well. Really, I could almost use this as potpourri and be happy. I brewed it instead.

The cup looks like liquid gold. It glimmers in the light.

The taste is softer than I expected. Once I tuned in to it this really opened up. The front of the taste is very much like the aroma. The mid sip I get what to me is a spice quality about it that reminds me of very mild custard and nutmeg. At least that is how my brain interprets it. The aftertaste is a classic Taiwan green oolong vegetal.

A wonderful light cup.


Local forecast for Saturday - 69!


Same here. July yesterday, September today, October Saturday. Someone put the brakes on!


You are having Winter already…. :P


We have had a lot of thunderstorms over here and it has been very hot until this week. I’m hoping the rain will go away.

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I have a confession, a secret I have harbored for years: I hate reference books at the library!! So many times there has been a book I want to use for some point of research that the library had, it would inevitably be perfect, but noooo I don’t get to take it home for my research. I would have to sit at a table, in a usually uncomfortable chair, frantically taking notes in hope I don’t miss anything…rather than letting me take it home so I can focus and cross reference with the usual large pile of notes. Granted, I understand the need to do this with rare and super expensive books, but some of the things that get stuffed into the reference section without an in circulation copy baffle me at times. If curious, this current state of rage is induced by my desire to read a book on symbolism in Chinese porcelain that is only at the reference section at the downtown library, ughhh, I will probably just buy it next time I buy a book since used I think it is like $17. Insert lots of grumbling…and rage.

So, enough of my book related angst, it is time for tea! Not that books and tea do not go wonderfully together of course, but tea and angst not so much, though it is my go to cure for it…anyway…today is the last of the tea samples from Oollo Tea, their Milky Jinxuan Oolong! Well hello there Nai Xiang (it means milky fragrance) as soon as I open the bag I am greeted with milky sweetness. Notes of creme brulee, condensed milk, and a gentle toastiness blends with underlying notes of osmanthus and lily flowers. The flowers give an extra level of sweetness to the creamy goodness, like flower nectar and sweet cream, I have to admit, the aroma is mouthwatering.

Into my Xi Shi teapot the leaves go, waiting for their bath and eventual unfurling. Once steeped, wow, it is like creamy food! Notes of custard’s milky sweetness blend with flowers, it is like sniffing a fresh bowl of custard while sitting next to a bouquet of lilies. Very sweet and creamy. The liquid is a blend of creme brulee and flowers, with a touch of toastiness and gentle caramel notes at the finish.

The first steep starts with a round mouthfeel with a delicate taste. Starting with sweet notes of sugar cane and rich cream, this transitions to delicate osmanthus and lily flowers, and a finish of very mild celery greenness. A very sweet start!

Second steeping time! The aroma is still going strong with that sweet cream and custard notes, definitely condensed milk as well, with a touch of flowers. The mouthfeel is more smooth this time around, starting with notes of condensed milk sweetness that really coats the mouth. This moves on to spicebush and osmanthus flowers and a touch of fresh vegetation, the finish is sweet cream. The aftertaste is a delicate floral note that lingers for a short while.

The aroma of the third steeping has a stronger floral note this time around, osmanthus and lily are joined by spicebush and almost, but not quite, drown out the sweet cream notes. The first sip hit my mouth with a small explosion of cane sugar and milk, not so much cream, but straight up milk, first time I have had a milk oolong taste like legit milk instead of cream, which is fascinating to me! The midtaste is a nice burst of flowers and vegetation, giving a green note to the tea, and the finish rounds out the classic notes with a gentle wet slate, mineral note. The aftertaste is cane sugar and it lingers happily. Oollo Tea’s samples impressed me, I foresee myself picking up some samples of the others teas in the future, especially the Aged Bao Zhong, that sounds fascinating to me!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/08/oollo-tea-milky-jinxuan-oolong-tea.html

Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Green, Milk, Osmanthus, Sugarcane


Is it bad to admit that in University I started scanning or taking photos of all the reference books (seriously, many chapters!) because it was easier than staying to read them?


I did the same thing :P conveniently my mom worked at the library so she would scan and print stuff off for me, but after she stopped working there and started going to college (hehe, we went to school together, it was awesome) I lost my connection…and the librarians really frowned on me doing it :(

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Boo, I lack anything interesting to say, still waiting to move and waiting to stop being sick. So, I shall instead talk about comics, I recently discovered a youtube channel called Comicstorian, it is all about, you guessed it, comics! I am reminded how infuriating Hush’s story is, I prefer my head canon where Hush is actually a Mummy detective, solving crimes and finding a way to get to the Afterlife because clearly someone cursed him…if he could only remember who…I should totally write this. Anyway, Hush is really lame, I wish that he didn’t exist, or that his story would not have ended so incredibly stupidly, it just makes me angry!

Today is an Oolong day, Oollo Tea’s Iron Buddha Oolong. Hello tea that is a gift from Guan Yin, this tea, fun fact, years ago was the type of Oolong that got me hooked on Oolongs and taught me tea could be something more than just a drink, that it could be something that is art. That was a different Iron Buddha from Taiwan, since that was over a decade ago! Anyway, nostalgia aside, this tea is wonderful, that distinct aroma of a roasted Tie Guan Yin, blending toast, roasted chestnut, hazelnuts, baking bread, and just a delicate note of char. This is not a charcoal roasted oolong, so the roasted notes are more like toast than fire, at the finish (after I have been sniffing this tea for a while) is a delicate note of plum.

Brewing the tea in my roasted Oolong Yixing teapot, like I do, the aroma is delightfully toasted. Notes of roasted notes (chestnut and walnut shell) and toasted bread mix with mineral, sweet cocoa, and even a note of roasted coffee. It is really robust! The liquid is a blend of roasted walnuts and chestnuts, a hint of hazelnuts and a tiny bit of toasted bread at the finish.

The first steep is smooth and fairly mellow, starting out with a note of mineral and toasted nuts. Next the taste moves to walnut shells and hazelnuts, with a touch of toasted bread. This moves on to a sweet finish of stone fruit and a tiny touch of char.

After savoring the toasty, mineral goodness of the first steep I obviously had to have more, so on to steep two. The aroma of this steep is nicely roasted, with notes of sweet honey and roasted nuts, with just a touch of grainy bread. The taste is nicely robust, rich roasted nuts and grains, toast, sesame seeds, chestnut, walnuts, and even a touch of oats. There is a tiny hint of mineral at the finish, along with a slight sourness like unripe plums, but that fades pretty quickly to sweet plums at the aftertaste.

For the third steep, the aroma is toasted and not much else, it is toasted grains and bread, with a hint of walnuts. The taste is delicate this time around, roasted notes of walnuts and a finish of honey make up the bulk of this steep. It is nice, but a ghost compared to the previous steep, but being haunted by honey sweetness and walnuts is not a terrible fate!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/07/oollo-tea-iron-buddha-oolong-tea-review.html

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drank Alishan by Oollo Tea
911 tasting notes

Things never go as planned, that is what I have learned from life, no matter how hard you try to stick to them they frequently go poof! Turns out I won’t be moving til the first of next week at the earliest, probably closer to August 1st, which makes sense but it annoying because as soon as I packed up almost all my tea gear I was given this news. At least by the time I move this super annoying summer cold (really they are the worst) and the nasty heat advisory will be over, trust me on this, I have moved over a dozen times in my almost 30 years, moving during a stupid hot day with a cold is a nightmare! But hey, life is change and it is best to just go with the flow and things will happen as they should, no need to stress…I just really hate summer colds.

So, it is Oolong time! Specifically Oollo Tea’s Alishan High Mountain Oolong, yes, time for some Taiwanese Oolong from over 2,000 meters above sea level on the Alishan Mountain range, lots of fog, mist, and cool temperatures to make for an awesome tea. I have had several Alishan Oolongs and all of them I loved, but when do I not at the very least enjoy an Oolong? So, aroma, the nice, tightly balled leaves starts off with gently toasted notes and a touch of something starchy, like a blend between cooked rice and tapioca. This moves to sweet cream and then a touch of gentle floral notes, it smells delicious, a bit faint, but delicious.

Into the bat gaiwan the leaves go for a nice happy steeping. The aroma of the wet leaves is a powerhouse of yum! Notes of spicebush flowers, lilies, toasted sesame seeds and a sweet starchy note that to most people smells like baking bread and a touch of rice (to me it smells like destroying angel mushrooms but I am a weird fungophile who goes around sniffing mushrooms, and no, I never eat them because mushrooms are best as photos and study subjects) the starchy notes mixed with the floral notes really are killer, I just love them mixed together, it is why I enjoy Alishan so much. The liquid is so floral! Only a touch of sesame and starch notes remain, now it is mostly lily, hyacinth, orchid, and honeysuckle, it smells like a conservatory in my cha hai.

Ah, that is creamy, so very creamy! Spicy too, that delicate floral and spicy note of spicebush blend with hyacinth (which is also a little spicy) and dianthus (which is like spicebush but not as musky) blend really well with the creamy notes from the initial sip. The finish is a tiny touch of sesame seeds and rice pudding. This might be one of the best first steeps I have had in a while, very full bodied and sweet!

The aroma of the second steep is a blend of flowers and gentle toast, a bit of sesame seed blended with a bouquet of spring flowers, lots of lilies, hyacinths, and spicebush. The mouthfeel matches the initial sip, creamy! Sweet cream and flowers kinda explode in my mouth, more definite floral than spicy floral this time, lilies and honeysuckle with a touch of hyacinth. The finish is a gentle touch of sesame seeds and rice, not so sweet as the first steep, with a lightly green vegetation aftertaste.

Third steep’s aroma has a hint of vegetation, growing things and crushed leaves along with flowers. Hyacinth, honeysuckle and lily, with also a touch of orchid, no real sesame notes or spicebush in this steep’s aroma. The taste takes its cues from the aroma, the first note that shows up in my mouth is gentle vegetation, crushed leaves and a touch of lettuce. It tastes like tea leaves but without that slight bitterness that the unprocessed leaves have. This moves to gentle floral notes and a nice finish of mineral with a lingering floral aftertaste.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/07/oollo-tea-alishan-high-mountain-oolong.html


Hope you feel better soon!

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There is a problem in Ramble’s Nether. Do you all remember Ramble? The crazy mountain (back when extreme hills were kinda rare) seed on the 360 that was my first seed? Oh the many deaths I had, well, until I realized I could switch over to playing creative and then the wild building frenzy happened. I have had other creative seeds but none of them have brought me as much joy as that one, recently I went back to it, when the update that brought jungles happened a year or so ago all the biomes got screwy and I in turn got very frustrated at how things looked…but I am getting off track. The Nether! I am currently building there and I have an inundation of Blazes! I have destroyed all the spawners but they just keep coming, since I am in creative they just kinda hover around, but oh man do they get in the way! Clearly they are trying to take over!!

Yes, Minecraft has been hardcore in my mind as of late…blame the recent update and my xbox being fixed, but there is always the ever present tea on my mind as well, and as much as this blog is tea and geekery, it is primarily tea, so let’s get to it! Today we are looking at Baozhong Oolong from Oollo Tea, from the mountainous regions of Wenshan in Pinglin, Taiwan, Baozhong (or Pouchong as it is also frequently called) is the greenest of the green oolongs. Long and twisted like a Yancha, but vibrantly green, this tea is frequently only oxidized up to 12%, so yeah, super green. The aroma of the leaves is a blend of very floral and green notes. Starting with sweet notes of lily, orchid, lilac, and hyacinth, these floral notes transition to green vegetation, a touch of sage, and a bit of broken fresh leaves. The green notes are not the notes of vegetables, but of spring growth, this tea smells like springtime!

The tea wished to be brewed in my Baozhong teapot, because lots of teas request the joys of a yixing pot (really this is why I have so many, I swear.) The aroma of the now doused leaves is very sweet, with almost creamy floral notes of hyacinth, orchid, and that delightfully slightly spicy floral note of Asiatic Lily. There is also a bit of fresh growth and crushed vegetation, like walking off the path in a garden. The liquid is sweet and light, dancing notes of Asiatic Lily and hyacinth, with a hint of lilac at the finish, it is ethereal.

The first steep has a great mouthfeel, very creamy and smooth. The taste starts out with a sweet and light blend of flower nectar and as soon as it hits the midtaste WOW explosion of flowers! It is a veritable bouquet of orchids, peony, lilies, hyacinth, lilac…someone made springtime in my mouth and I am totally ok with that. Reminds me so much of visiting the local gardens during the spring bloom, so heady and sweet.

On we go to the second steep! The aroma is still very sweet and floral, but also quite light with Asiatic lilies and hyacinth, the subtle spicy notes I find very appealing. This steep is more green, the floral notes are still pretty intense and sweet, but there is also a fresh green note of vegetation and a touch of leafy vegetable. Like kale but without the bitter taste associated with kale and a touch of Boston butter lettuce at the finish.

Third steeping time, the aroma is so intensely floral! Not only is there Asiatic lily, there is also hyacinth and orchid, it is super heady and sweet. The taste is exactly like the aroma, a massive explosion of heady spring flowers in my mouth with honey sweetness and a touch of sweet cream at the finish. There was an utter lack of green this time around, just intense floral sweetness.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/07/oollo-tea-baozhong-oolong-tea-review.html

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The weather yesterday was absolutely bonkers! A few miles from my house a tornado touched down, the sirens were going off like crazy, and the best of all, I finally got to photograph a tornado. Ok only kinda, I was able to get a good look at a wall cloud and it had a funnel starting to form, there was some glorious rotation and vortices starting to drop, but it zipped back up into the clouds, this happened a few times. One of those times it did not go back into the clouds but it drifted out of my line of site…and became the confirmed tornado touch down. I thought at first that maybe it was a scud cloud, but the definite rotation told me nope, I think the most eerie thing about it was the silence, lack of wind and rain, and lack of lightning. The sky was chaos, but down on the ground (at least where I was at) it was peaceful. Even watching the live footage of the tornado (because I am weird like that) it seemed unusually silent, but it made it more obvious…rain wrapped tornadoes scare the pants off of me!

And it looks like we are about to get even more storms! But enough about my obsession with storms, it is time for some tea! Today’s tea comes from Oollo Tea, their Red Jade Black Tea, a black tea from Nantou, Taiwan, and one of my favorite teas. I say that it is one of my favorites because it is just so unique in its flavor and aroma profile. Opening my sample I was greeted with beautiful curly dark leaves and a blast of unusual aroma. It manages to blend notes of fresh tomatoes (and a touch of tomato leaves) toasted peanuts, cocoa, menthol, pinto beans, and sassafras wood in a heavy, heady dance. In theory those notes together would smell off, but somehow this tea makes it work beautifully. Red Jade is immensely fascinating to me.

Brewing the tea is my green gaiwan really makes the leaves pop in contrast! The aroma of the wet leaves really pumps up the sassafras and menthol, along with cocoa and peanuts, with a touch of malt. It is unusual, the aroma is menthol, but not mint, it imparts that sharp tingle of mint without the actual ‘minty’ smell. The aroma of the liquid is fairly delicate, sweet notes of sassafras and tomato mixed with roasted peanuts and cocoa drift up with the steam.

The first steep is so weird but so good! It starts off a bit malty and brisk, the texture is smooth but there is a slight menthol like tingle. The taste starts off with notes of sassafrass and raisins, this moves to a slightly woody, cocoa, malt, with a finish of slightly sweet yams and a cooling menthol aftertaste.

The second steeping really sees the leaves unfurling to their full size, which is impressive! The aroma is strong with sassafras and roasted peanuts, with accents of menthol cooling and brisk malt, and a finishing hint of cherry. The taste is a powerhouse of flavor again, similar to the first steep with a smooth yet brisk mouthfeel, and a tingly menthol quality. It starts off with cocoa and sassafras woody sweetness, this transitions to yams and roasted peanuts, and the finish is a stewed fruit (primarily stone fruit) sweetness with a lingering menthol coolness.

The third steep is still going strong, the aroma is sassafras and roasted peanuts, the menthol notes are a bit lessened and the fruity notes are a bit more prominent. At the finish is a bit of malt and a hint of cocoa. The taste is still pretty intense, less smooth, more brisk, with an intense menthol tingle. The taste is almost all sassafras and fruit, sweet and woody, with a lingering coolness. I got a couple more steeps out of this tea, I wanted to get as much out of it as I could!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/07/oollo-tea-red-jade-black-tea-tea-review.html

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Dry, this smells like malt and baked cocoa. The dry leaf is as dark as charcoal, with cinnamon buds. The cup color is bright sunshiny orange. The taste is much like the dry scent. There is zero bitterness. It has a slight bite up front, yet I find the astringent dryness to be pretty minimal. There is a touch of malt, baked cocoa, and honey present. A woodsy essence is present throughout, and a nice floral touch in the aftertaste. Reminds me of Fujian black but from memory this seems smoother. You don’t have to look to find the flavor here, but it is not an assertive tea like a breakfast tea. Good afternoon choice.

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