Oollo Tea

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93

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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drank Alishan by Oollo Tea
1546 tasting notes

Check it out. I not only brewed a cup of tea, I added it to the database, whilst and at the same time writing my first blog post in a couple weeks. And now a review on Steepster. Go Me!

So, this Alishan oolong dry keeps its secrets to itself, with only a slight dried field scent with some corn notes also present. Once steeped the leaves try to convince this is a roasted oolong but it is definitely not. The cup is clear yellow-gold with a hint of green. The first sip while hot is a touch spicy. It is both icy and hot. That quickly disappears, followed by light floral. The floral present here is not an overwhelming presence. What you get is a solid flavor with out an assault. I noticed the aftertaste lasted a good long time.

There is no bitterness – though I never expected there would be, and no latex type taste late in the sip as many oolongs can have. The colder it got the more I personally liked it.


Unrelated – have you tried the Lemon Bar Frappuccino at Starbucks? There is no tea (or coffee) in it so I won’t add it to the database here. I really must try to make this at home. It is way too expensive for my wallet. It is lemon aid, milk, vanilla, and tons of sugary syrup. I had mine with 2% milk and sugar free vanilla syrup. I left off the whipped cream and sprinkles. Anyway so very fun, decadent, and delicious. Two thumbs up on taste. Two thumbs down on $4.25 for a 16 oz drink.

Sil

woot woot! go you!

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drank Red Jade Black Tea by Oollo Tea
1546 tasting notes

I have been pacing myself today. It is hard because I actually feel like me.

So, Oollo Tea, they are new to me. They specialize in Taiwan teas and are located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This one is a black tea. It smells pretty tasty upon opening. Immediately malt. Then at first I think grape? I agree with Oollo that it is really more raisin and plum. Regardless it is fruity and delicious smelling. I also catch a baked bread aroma.

The taste is pretty much similar to the scent except there is a bite or spicy note late in the sip. Zero bitterness. Very easy to drink. Now, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have caught this had I not read the description, but a few times late in the sip I caught light traces of cinnamon and peppermint flavor. Not the spice like bite but more the candy disk like presence.

Christina

Sounds tasty!

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Marco Polo TTB

Soo… It’s a black tea… no, it’s an oolong! What?

Definitely “honey scented”, although I wonder if that is because of flavoring or bug bites.

It was just ‘ok’ when I thought it was a black tea, but judging from the profile of an oolong it’s actually quite nice!

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80

Tea of the morning! This one came from Dexter’s big box of tea love. The leaves are somewhat chaotic-looking – some of them are long and twisty, some fold back upon themselves, and some are almost rolled up. There are also stems mixed in. Dry scent is whole wheat crackers and honey.

The steeped tea smells rich with strong honey, bread, and dried fruit aromas. The taste is surprisingly bready and creamy. There’s definitely honey, especially near the end, and there’s a nice bottom note of concentrated dried fruit flavor. I’m also tasting a hint of some kind of savory spice, dill perhaps? It goes nicely with the bread flavor. The aftertaste is all honey and oats with the lightest touch of floral. Overall, pretty tasty!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Dill, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Malt, Oats

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank Red Jade Black Tea by Oollo Tea
390 tasting notes

Thiiiis I like. The smell is deep, syrupy drop fruit; plummy. The taste is chocolate, caramelly, darkly fruity. It’s malty and a bit astringent, but definitely not bitter. It’s a very fragrant tea, and definitely an assam varietal (Burma).

Actually, I get what they mean by mint too. I thought it was a bit odd when I went back and read that, but there’s a sort of vegetable menthol flavour (definitely not the artificial kind).

While I was in the popup shop that sold these teas (the company sparked my interest enough for a Tea Adventure—they’re currently sold in a popup shop off Robson’s), the owner of the brand was working there and let me try an icecream that was made specifically from this tea. It was /delicious/ by the way. I wanted to buy a freakn’ tub of it, but there were only about three tubs made (very small-batch), so they were only selling by the scoop.

Edit: Second steep (four minutes) is chewy, bakey malt. Less fruit, little less sweet but still with a faint cocoa.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Honey Scented Black Tea by Oollo Tea
390 tasting notes

When I see “honey” I usually connect it to “Ceylon-like”, because it’s usually true. It’s got very long, twisting leaves, a bit like a strip oolong; the taste is bright, honey oak (again, very like a ceylon). I get a caramel note if I sort’ve just let it sit on my tongue a bit, but otherwise it’s a little too “bright” for caramel, I think. Smooth, barely even astringent.
Edit: Second steep (also three minutes) is sweeter, I think. Though there’s still that bright oaky honey ceylon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I still have a hard time not associating plain tea with iced tea. This may be my first oolong? 1st steep reminded me of hot iced tea but a little roasted, 2nd and 3rd steep I got more of the honey with it.

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79

Backlog:

The leaves look a bit more like a dark Oolong than a black tea, which comes as no surprise since this tea comes from an Oolong varietal, but it is apparently fermented longer like a black tea. It tastes more like an Oolong than a black tea too, it doesn’t really have that dark, deep flavor of a black tea. It has that lighter, smoother flavor of an Oolong.

Not a bad thing, though, as I do enjoy honey Oolong teas. Smooth, very little astringency, honey notes, and a crisp, clean flavor. Nice, I enjoyed it.

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I’m not even going to rate this tea as I didn’t even get a chance to try it. I got a good deal to try the Amoda box and this was one of the blends we received. Hubby found this one and that was it… gone in a couple of days… Vamoosh… !!

I did manage one sip of his one evening.. the last cup, and only because I caught him. He rarely adds sugar and didn’t with this one. It smell of black tea and honey, tasted like a rich black tea and I didn’t get much honey but probably because I associate honey w/sweetness.

He said he likes the way this smells and tastes of honey. To me honey is exceptional sweetness… I get the flavor is there w/o the sweetness, but to get the honey flavor, I would find myself adding sugar I’m sure.

I’m glad he enjoyed this one.. but completely surprised he drank the whole thing w/o offering me a sip! He knows I like to try at least a tiny sample of most everything. Guess he didn’t want to share this one… :)

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75

I found myself craving black tea this morning. I don’t actually have much black tea in my collection anymore, since I’m not really supposed to be drinking it. I got this one from an Amoda box. It’s not bad, but it didn’t really hit the spot either. This definitely has honey notes. It has a savory note that I always think of as mushroomy. I’m not picking up on any other flavors though. This is a decent black, but it’s not as robust and complex as I was hoping. Ah well. At least it didn’t make my stomach hurt much.

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79
drank Honey Scented Black Tea by Oollo Tea
6338 tasting notes

dexter sent this one my way as a surprise so i figured i should try it out this weekend as i’m puttering around trying to get ready for games night! This one is pretty tasty, but there’s a weird after taste to it that i’m not a fan of. It smells delicious and the brew is a smooth cup of tea. there are some honey notes to this, though not as much as some of the taiwanese blacks that i’ve had from stacy or TTC. It would be great, if not for the after taste. Thanks for letting me try this one dex!

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77

I really enjoyed this one. It has the cooling wet-stone feeling that I’m coming to really enjoy in dark oolongs, but also a lot of sweet honey flavor. It starts soft, but opens up on the tongue, then lingers after the sip. Overall, it’s really smooth and quite pleasant.

I don’t know if I’d purchase this particular one myself, but it’s a good example of this type of oolong, and I’d definitely drink it again.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

Cooling wet-stone is an interesting description. :)

moraiwe

I don’t really know how else to explain it, haha. It’s the same sensation in my mouth as wet stones have in my palm!

Courtney

I think it sounds neat haha.

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I had this last night. Really enjoyed this one; one of the best Amoda offerings I’ve tried so far along with the Butikis. Makes sense—I’m a huge fan of the honey oolongs-so-dark-they’re-practically-blacks like Honey Orchid and…I forget the other couple I’ve tried, but yeah (one was disappointingly weak IIRC but I don’t remember where it came from). I like how relatively soft but full of sweet honey aroma and flavor they are, a nice break from brisk breakfast blends and the usual malt and sweet potato of many Chinese black teas. If I didn’t already have plenty of Honey Orchid I’d consider looking into purchasing more of this. It’s a nice specimen of a tea type I love.

Cavocorax

I’m happy you enjoyed it! I was looking at my Amoda box yesterday and I wasn’t sure how excited I felt about the selection, but this makes me smile a bit more. :D

ifjuly

it’s getting mehhhh reviews, and god knows my tastes don’t seem to often align with most of steepster for some headscrstching reason (maybe i’m a weirdo, ha), so take it all with a grain of salt! but i do like it, yes! and thanks for mentioning amoda and describing it in some detail on the boards a while back—it helped me go through with subscribing when they announced the holiday butikis. (:

Cavocorax

Oh good! I’m happy you’re enjoying it!

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47

Not thrilled by this tea, unfortunately. I was expecting something along the lines of Butiki’s Mi Xian black, but I really wasn’t getting any leafhopper flavour here. IMHO, it wasn’t even a great example of a straight black tea. Just, not much flavour. Very boring. I may have understeeped, at 2 minutes, so I’ll give it another shot later, but for now I’d pass on having it again.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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this is OKAY…not great nor bad…180ml Ru ware pot 8g tea…

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