Colored Species Oolong Tea An Xi Ben Shan

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Garret
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 oz / 236 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This was a free sample that was included with the order hubby had me place for Christmas! Thank you, *Garret!* We had a busy day. I was up before six to take the foster puppy outside to...” Read full tasting note
    ashmanra 1798 tasting notes
  • “I have been cleaning my house lately which is why I have been away from Steepster. My family has the propensity towards collecting randomness. Holiday items, curtains, tools and apparently tea...” Read full tasting note
    88
    graceatblb 92 tasting notes
  • “Had this last night hunkered down pre-ice storm (my husband had just learned today would be a snow day, yay!). This was a totally unexpected gift from Dexter3657, so generous! Thank you. (: ...” Read full tasting note
    ifjuly 612 tasting notes
  • “This was a sample sent to me from Dexter3657 - thank you! Holy leaf expansion! This is the first time that I have tried an oolong with a hint of floral in it. Took me by surprise, I was...” Read full tasting note
    78
    scribbles 200 tasting notes

From Mandala Tea

Colored Species is a bright emerald colored oolong tea. It has a light, floral flavor with a sweet lingering finish that makes for a very pleasing everyday experience.

Our Colored Species comes from the Fujian Province in China, an area that has been famous for centuries for producing very high quality oolong teas. This variety of oolong is more lightly oxidized as you can see in its bright green color. It is tightly rolled which enables you to steep this leaf numerous times maintaining flavor throughout.

About Mandala Tea View company

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12 Tasting Notes

1798 tasting notes

This was a free sample that was included with the order hubby had me place for Christmas! Thank you, Garret!

We had a busy day. I was up before six to take the foster puppy outside to piddle, in the rain, barefoot. Fortunately it has been rather warm here. Then school with youngest daughter and more rain piddles. Just after lunch hubby came home and we went to Raleigh to pick up a few things and drop something off at my eldest daughter’s apartment.

Now I am so tired I can hardly wait to go to bed! As my mother used to say, “No one will have to rock me to sleep tonight!”

But I really need a late night libation, something special to drink before nodding off. I poked through my sample basket and found this, and apparently I am the first to log it!

Middle daughter just ground some wheat and made chocolate chip cookies and of course I had to grab one or three to much on while I made this tea! Thus, my tasting of the tea may not be perfectly accurate since I began with cookie.

What it does tell me is that I enjoy this tea with food. The tiny pellets expanded magnificently into bright green leaves that filled the little pot. The liquor of the first few steeps carried a sharp, root vegetable scent, but the taste was not sharp. I find it somewhat mineral, which always tastes very fresh to me, lightly floral, and green. It is not astringent or drying.

I am now on steep four and it is smoother and sweeter than ever. The taste is now lingering long, warm and pleasant. There is a taste of delicate green vegetables more so now, but it is a very delicate green taste, not grassy, sour, or harsh. This was a very nice “night night” cup, and I have enough sample left to do this a couple more times!

Thank you again, Garret!

JC

That sounds great. I have a Ben Shan that its my favorite rolled Oolong! I like it because it has a strong mineral but fresh taste, Great notes!

K S

4 cups for a night cap…. this might belong under you know might be addicted to tea when… ;)

ashmanra

Oh dear! You are so right, K S!

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88
92 tasting notes

I have been cleaning my house lately which is why I have been away from Steepster. My family has the propensity towards collecting randomness. Holiday items, curtains, tools and apparently tea sets. Squirreled away in a box of randomness was a tea set from Japan and a saki set. I am completely estimating but I think they are from the 40s or 50s because my Uncle was stationed in Japan around that time. It’s all gold and prettified. The tea set has a Foreign mark with a globe-like symbol—the saki set is a mystery because I can’t read Japanese…or anything but English. I have become completely obsessed with it. I had the brief thought of asking my aunts if they wanted it but I guess that’s impossible considering I am hoarding it like Gollum hoarded the One Ring.

Garret is officially my Tea Superhero. Like Batman only better. I have been on a serious green kick lately. Green oolongs, sheng pu’ers, green tea…all of it. But I had so little because that is usually not my schtick. Garret sent this one along with many other greenish teas in my last order. Happy dance!

This one started out very floral in a jasmine kind of way. Jasmine with a light honey sweetness. Surprisingly, I really loved it. The first steeps were dominated by floral notes but as the steep times got longer it veered more toward fruity notes…mainly peach. The honey stayed consistent with varying intensity.

I really liked this one quite a bit. It’s not my favorite green oolong. I think that is a tie between Alishan Oolong and Milk Oolong. But it’s pretty darn close. I’ll probably order some more of this and cold steep the last bit of this because I think it would be lovely iced.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Claire

Garret really is a superhero. I’ve been grooving on Mandala’s Valley Peak green lately.

mrmopar

+1 Claire.

graceatblb

It’s like Garret has some super special powers and…just knows. Cause I swear I have most of the tea he sent on my to buy list.

Valley Peak is on my list. It’s a never-ending list. I am currently sipping Torch Festival green and it’s so yummy.

Garret

OKAy, I officially wanna party with all three of ya’s! You should know that I am a huge fan of each of you, too! Truly. Inspiring me in so many ways. I am a grateful man. And I so appreciate how you are helping to grow our labor of love with your kind words, your sharing of our product, your reviews. I am humbled.

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612 tasting notes

Had this last night hunkered down pre-ice storm (my husband had just learned today would be a snow day, yay!).

This was a totally unexpected gift from Dexter3657, so generous! Thank you. (: It’d been on my mind to try in that ideal-for-swapping way where I was curious but not obsessed so it’s likely I never would’ve actually gotten around to ordering it myself even though I want to. Perfect!

It fit nicely with the pattern I had going earlier with the Da Yu Ling and Tsui Yu Jade oolongs in that it’s a lightly oxidized, more floral and fresh type of oolong (and unlike me in general who usually prefers darker roastier flavors, I seem to usually prefer lighter type oolongs over the more oxidized Wuyi ones). Maybe this is the wrong time of year for such notes, but I find weirdly I like things topsy turvy, at least in winter, as a respite from the coldness and darkness. A little vacation to spring in a cup.

I got to try this out in my new tasting set from Taiwan Tea Crafts (that sale was pretty great!) which was fun and really shows off the aroma and color of the finished tea. I find it strange that typically I hate floral flavored black teas, or perfume-y flowering teas, but when a tea just naturally has floral elements I tend not to mind, even love it. This is true even for jasmine notes, which I’ve always loathed when added/scented but enjoyed here. Hm. It probably helps that this is such a bright tea, which prevents floral aromas from seeming musty. Further steeps lead to a sort of sparkling fruity note, like a dry but fruity wine kind of. The smell has that mysterious, unnervingly sexy flower-musk thing going on that the spring tieguanyin from Verdant possessed. Very enjoyable.

The very first steep had all the floral aroma and character I describe and mostly expected from a light oolong, but the initial sip was a little intense, almost bitter. I’m seeing now others steeped this at a lower temperature, and given the light end of the spectrum for this oolong I think next time (Dexter3657 kindly gave me enough for multiple next times!!) I will lower the temp.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

I’ve been curious about this tea! And I’m also hunkered down in this ice/snow storm :)

Dexter

I thought this was crazy floral…I seem to remember writing about fields of clover.

Kaylee

I don’t think I’ve seen a tea described as “unnervingly sexy” before. Love the word choice!

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78
200 tasting notes

This was a sample sent to me from Dexter3657 – thank you!

Holy leaf expansion!

This is the first time that I have tried an oolong with a hint of floral in it. Took me by surprise, I was expecting the usual mineral taste from this one. The floral note is not so overpowering that it detracts from the enjoyment of this tea.

I’m only on the first steep and am looking forward to the different flavour profiles. So far I’m enjoying what I’m sipping.

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95
699 tasting notes

Wow, I’m having a tea moment…………
I went through a phase where I was seeking oolongs. At that time I hadn’t really determined yet that I like the ones that are more oxidized. I was buying pretty much anything I could get my hands on. As I was trying them, I decided that the green ones really weren’t to my taste. Because of this process, I have MOUNTAINS of oolong in my house.
I brought this to work today, need to be drinking down my oolong stock.
OMG!!! This is nothing like what I was expecting. This changes everything that I thought I knew about green oolongs.
First steep – smelled really floral and sweet. The taste was less floral than it smelled. It tastes like a light oolong, some woody, really sweet, but not grassy at all. Hard to wrap my head around this.
Second steep – took the lid off my infuser and CLOVER – wow it was like I was transported into a field of flowering clover. This steep is sweeter (if that’s possible) and a little veggie ish, but still not grassy.
This tea stood up to a solid 5 steeps, each a little different than the others. I can’t really describe what it’s like. There are honey notes, maybe even a little honeysuckle – woody, honey, tiny bit earthy. Just amazing.
This tea will never be my go to tea on a daily basis, but it could defiantly be something I would choose on those days when you want something lighter. This is by far the best green oolong that I’ve tried – I have some of Mandala’s Milk Oolong, could it possibly be better than this?

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90
152 tasting notes

The little bundled up leaves look neat in the bag, a contrast between bright green and dark. Smells very fresh and floral while steeping, the leaves really expand while they warm up. Taste wise this is pretty floral, leaning towards lavender for me. This is one of the better “green” or lightly oxidized oolong teas I have tried thus far; drinking it is an enjoyable experience.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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96
37 tasting notes

This tea is amazing. The first time I enjoyed this tea, the aroma shot me straight back to my childhood, spending time at my grandparents house, surrounded by their lilac bushes.

The aroma if this tea is like being surrounded by lilacs and honeysuckle. The taste is sweet and clean and lingers on the tongue nicely. I highly recommend this tea.

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91
141 tasting notes

What in the wild world of sports is this? I do like an assertive tea, and this is pushy. Yep, a big, pushy…bouquet of violets and daffodils and twigs. My OCD streak wants to know if this counts as a ‘classic’ green oolong? I just haven’t got my oolongs sorted enough yet to know that. Whatever. Shut up, OCD streak, I’m keeping this tea, whether I know what to call it or not.

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95
352 tasting notes

Mandala olongs…Ooh, la, la…

I’ve decided that Colored Species is my favourite…well today it is. Yesterday, it was Milk Oolong. Tomorrow, it will be Golden Turtle. Yes, they do Oolong pretty well.

It’s a soft oolong. Not very sweet and buttery like so many others of this type, but lighter, more floral.

Lilac and orchid, I even pick up so jasmine in later steeps. But it’s not overly perfumy. In fact, it’s not over the top anything, it’s just one of the most well balanced green oolong I have ever had.

It reminds me of Da Yu Ling oolong, the taste of mountainous climate.

My mouth feels so fresh after each sip…forget gum or any type of freshener, drink more of this and you’ll have the breath of an angel I guaranty it :-)

This is just the most exquisite afternoon tea…and I just reordered, taking advantage of Mandala’s sale, cause I can’t ever run out of this one. Ever.

Cheri

This one sounds really good, too. I see that once I’m allowing myself to buy tea again, I definitely need to place an order for Mandala oolongs……..

TheTeaFairy

Yes Cheri, it’s all about self control…something I was born without!

Cheri

I figure if I can get through the rest of the month, I should be okay buying tea. Maybe. Last month’s credit card bill was more than twice what it normally is. This moth has featured two car accidents. (Neither was my fault, no one was hurt. But still.)

TheTeaFairy

Oh yes, I remember reading your note about the cats and the accident…so terrible. What an ordeal, two accidents in such a short period of time.

Cheri

It could have been way worse. No one was hurt, and insurance is covering most of it.

Terri HarpLady

self control? What is that?
I guess it’s the thing that’s been keeping me away from the Mandala website…probably for far too long!

donkeytiara

Cheri, we’re thinking about getting a dash cam (like the ones they use in those scary russian videos on youtube) because I was road-raged this week and have the damage on my car to prove it, but he drove off, feeling righteous. It’s crazy out there!

Cheri

It is crazy out there, donkeytiara, but neither of mine were like that. One was just distracted driving on the interstate, and the other was someone in a parking lot, couldn’t see around the SUV he was parked next to and he backed out way too fast. I hope the damage on your car isn’t too bad, and that your insurance will take care of it for you.

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89
846 tasting notes

Thank you Garret for including a sample of this with my recent order :)

Wow this is a nice green oolong! It has a sweet greenness that reminds me a bit of sencha, and a lovely floral (lilac?) aftertaste. Not as sweet or creamy as milk oolong but special and charming in its own way. I’m really digging the floral element and mineral notes!

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Garret

Super happy that you are enjoying this one! I can’t remember if you have tried the Golden Turtle oolong? We source it from the son of the grower who also gets us the Colored Species oolong. It is also a great green oolong. Thanks for writing up your thoughts on it, my friend!!

Stephanie

Yes! I had a sample of the Golden Turtle from Dinosara once and it may have been my first taste of one of your teas! Very good oolong, too :)

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