Oollo TeaEdit Company
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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!
Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Green, Milk, Osmanthus, Sugarcane
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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… :)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.