Today’s gonna be an oolong day, folks. I can feel it. So here’s oolong #1. This was a free sample that Temple Road gave out to the first 100 people who signed up.

At first I was really surprised by the steeping parameters on this one (95°C for 6 minutes), but I followed the instructions on the label. I was expecting something very dark by the end of the steep, but the liquor was surprisingly light and mellow-looking. I even steeped it for a minute longer than recommended (I was too focused on my breakfast and book to notice), and this didn’t affect it any.

Most of the oolongs I’ve had in the past have been on the green/floral end of the spectrum, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with a darker, more roasted oolong. This was a satisfying cup! Roasty, toasty, malty, and very soothing/relaxing. There’s also a surprisingly green, grassy aftertaste, which I really like .

I have a lot of oolongs in the cupboard right now (most of them sample-size, luckily), but when I sip them down, I think this one will definitely go on the restock list.

EDIT: I’ve resteeped this and the second infusion is a lot less malty, and more grassy/astringent, similar to the aftertaste of the first infusion. This is still pleasant, but I think it might be best as a one-steep tea.

Flavors: Grass, Malt, Roasted Barley

200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Updated February 2014:

I’m a writer and editor who’s fallen for loose-leaf tea hard. Within a year of joining Steepster, I’ve spent at least $500 on tea, and gotten a whole bunch in swaps! At this point I’ve got a better handle on what I like and dislike, but I’m sure that there will always be more to discover.

Likes: Green tea, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger, Ceylons, Chinese blacks.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender.

Things I’m on the fence about: Oolong, vanilla (I prefer it mixed with black teas or rooibos rather than green tea), white teas.

Still need to do my research on: pu’er teas.

I rarely score teas anymore, but if I do, here’s the system I follow:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada



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