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Thank you so much tea ave for the samples for review!
I love jasmine green tea so I was very excited to see this one in my sample pack. I’ve never had a jasmine oolong before! I thought jasmine and green tea were perfect together, but jasmine and creamy butter oolong might be even better. The jasmine lasted through all my steeps (I used a gaiwan) and I was sad when this tea finally faded away. The aroma cup experience with this tea was incredible. With steeps #2 and #3 I got a toffee/burt sugar aroma! Pretty glorious stuff here if sweet buttery sweet green oolong and jasmine appeals to you!
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Thank you Tea Ave for the wonderful samples, and I look forward to the launch of your online store! First, I must comment on the packaging of the sample packaging I received, which has a wonderful labeling of information that is sure to please even the most tea aficionado by listing: tea name and description, origin, growing altitude, roasting level, cultivar, oxidation level and brewing instructions for gaiwan, tea bag, tea pot and cold brew! Most companies don’t even have this much information on their website, much less on the package. It is much appreciated and graphically well done to convey lots of information in a clean and simple design.
I have been tasting a wide variety of oolongs this past year, and this DongDing by Tea Ave is one of the very top three of this type that I have had the pleasure of tasting. I brewed mine in my gaiwan, as per the instructions on the packet of 8gr/130ml for 1 minute, adding time for multiple steeps. It has a wonderful silky texture or mouthfeel as I believe gmathis’ review noted. Definite aroma of dried fruits, light amber color and held up well through 6 steeps. It has a nice light roast and med/light oxidation level that is approachable and suitable for drinking alone, with a snack or after dinner. Very, very pleasant! Not too bold, not too subtle, not too complex, not too simple. Just right!
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Nutty, Roasted Barley
I served this to a tea newbie guest last night. I like sharing tea samples because I want to increase the exposure of products for the tea companies who share with us, and I don’t try to influence anyone, nor will I claim to like something I don’t.
We used the aroma cup set and my friend said she thought the tea was delicate and tasty, and she could detect the floral notes but couldn’t specify exactly what flowers it reminded her of. Neither of us are familiar with ginger lily, but I would love to find one someday and see how the scent compares with the scent of the tea.
I would love for her to try their Dong Ding someday, because she seems to be a roasted oolong kind of gal! She did like this one, though.
They are not kidding when they say this is a light oolong. It is very light indeed compared to Magnolia Oolong. I drank this tonight with hubby. He even put forth an unusual amount of effort…for him, you know! He jokes that he can only say TEA GOOD! or TEA BAD! Last night he said the magnolia oolong was TEA GOOD!
His extra effort tonight was…“is this a…vegetal and nutty…tea?” Yes, dear, but only a hint, a ghost!, a smidgen of walnut. And not leafy greens vegetal, but rather “early springtime view of a hillside” vegetal.
The dry leaf kept its aroma a much closer secret than the magnolia did. I had to really dig in to get an idea of what we were in for. The liquor is pale, the scent is light. There is no biting ginger here. If you want ginger’s heat, look elsewhere. Her sweetness alone will be found in this cup.
I found this to be immediately creamy, while Magnolia developed her creaminess on the third and subsequent steeps.
I pulled some of the wet leaves out and found beautiful examples of the classic two leaves and bud and on impulse I popped a big leaf in my mouth and ate it. Not the first time I have ever done that and usually there is a slight bitterness to a wet leaf. This time, however, the spent wet leaf was very sweet and quite delicious. I even ate another.
If you like a light, sweet oolong, here you go! And you can get a serving of greens out of it when you are done steeping. :)
Thank you, Tea Ave. I am having a grand time with the aroma cup and loving the tray set. I hope to buy some more for guests to use when you open next month!
Tea provided by Tea Ave for review
Wrapping up my sample reviews for Tea Ave, I saved the Osmanthus Oolong tea for last. Sometimes I either really love or dislike flavoured teas. So I went into this tea session with much curiosity.
Sniffing the aroma cup, there is a nice scent of warm, sweet honey and butter. Tasting the liquor, the flavour of osmanthus is hard to ignore. It’s somewhat peachy in flavour and sweet. The oolong tea base has a much bolder flavour than the two previous samples I tried (Oriental Beauty and Li Shan). Together, the osmanthus and oolong are paired fairly well, it didn’t seem like either one was overpowering the other.
Osmanthus Oolong remained a consistent steeper up til my final fifth cup. I could have probably resteeped it more if I wanted to. That being said, I couldn’t really get into the osmanthus flavour. The tea flavour was ok, but my taste buds are still on the fence with osmanthus.
Overall I enjoyed this floral oolong more than I thought I would. But I do not enjoy the taste of osmanthus as much as I enjoy the scent of it. Sometimes I prefer a bold flavoured tea, but the pairing of bold oolong and strong floral taste was too much for me. This is the sort of tea I’d recommend for those that prefer a stronger tea. It has a good strong flavour that you don’t have to concentrate on to taste. Perfect for sipping while doing other tasks (homework, browsing the internet, etc).
Steeped as suggested on package 1m, 1m30s, 2m, 2m30s, 3m
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Honey, Osmanthus, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal
Thank you so much, Tea Ave, for sending this sample (along with all the other goodies…really, you outdid yourselves!) to me. Honestly, it felt like my birthday opening up the samples from this company, and after today’s tea session with this oolong, I think Tea Ave will be a company I return to. :)
This is one gorgeous tea. The leaves are beautiful (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them), and the taste is pure honey sweetness. With a golden liquor and a floral hint, this tea is delicate, never crossing into a territory of astringency. I lost count of my steeps, actually, but every time I found a delightful cup sitting in front of me. The aroma cup provided gave me the opportunity to pick up hints that I know would otherwise go undetected, not mention make me feel like this was a special moment between this leaf and myself (really, we got to know each other pretty well, and I’m liking where this relationship is going….).
Thank you so much, Tea Ave. :)))
Flavors: Citrusy, Cucumber, Floral, Honey
Alishan…. need I say more? OK, how about the addition of a light scent of Jasmine? So yeah, this is really good. Except, man I can’t go with their steeping directions. 8g for 130ml. That might work for some of you. I went 4g for 90ml.
The first cup was excellent. It was lightly jasmine followed by the wonderful sweet florals of the high mountain oolong. I had flashes of citrus bouncing between orange and lemon.
By the second cup all that leaf had filled my tiny gaiwan and I did not like this cup. Just too much. It was like a cup of geraniums. Maybe this would work with flash steeps but at 1m 15s I was overwhelmed.
I moved the leaf over to my glass teapot and used 10oz of water for cup three. Yeah, this is much more the way I like my tea. Lovely oolong florals. Just a touch of jasmine. This drifted into a good mineral with spice. The aftertaste was sweet, lingering, oolong.
Jasmine and oolong make a great pairing. Not sure why this is the first time I have seen it. Anyway, thanks Tea Ave. and great start to my samples.
First off thank you very much Tea Ave for the wonderful sample set! I finally got it on Valentines day which was an awesome surprise. I decided to try this first because I absolutely love Dong Dings and I am happily not disappointed! Roasty, nutty and sweet this is a delicious Dong Ding. I’m looking forward to trying my other samples
Flavors: Nutty, Roast nuts, Sweet
Yesterday was a little bit tough, last night more so, this morning…well, I was feeling pretty stressed. There is plenty that needs to be done, but instead I distracted myself with electronics until my brain said, “Enough! Do something you REALLY want to do!”
I had just read Tea Ave’s new blog post and that left me longing for my last little teaspoon of magnolia oolong, by candlelight, with soft music.
My experience with this tea was very different tonight, and it remains my favorite of all I have tasted so far from Tea Ave. I have two samples on the way from a Steepster friend so I can taste them before finalizing my order. But this one HAS to be on the list!
The aroma cup has brought me more enjoyment that I would have believed possible. I am using it with oolongs and puerhs. Tonight it was like an aromatherapy spa treatment, for the cup smelled heavenly, and didn’t stop smelling heavenly. This is the most floral I have experienced this tea so far, perhaps I steeped it differently but I am not timing anything tonight.
There is the scent of burnt sugar, and flowers, and rich cream or unseated butter. After three steeps I am still picking up the cup and inhaling deeply and I am drinking in the aroma of white flowers. As it cools and softens, I smell the soft scent of baby powder with its sharpness, side by side with middle tones of exotic flowers, deep and mysterious. The oolong has weight and thickness now.
I held up the little white cup in this dark room as I refilled it, and the candle was right behind it. The flame shone through the cup and the soft yellow tea, and illuminated the steam dancing sinuously upward. Beautiful. I wondered if this is why the Chinese revere dragons – the breath of the dragon rising from the magnificent cup of peace…
If I could, I would scent my sheets with this aroma and float off into sweet dreams. I would dot it behind my ear and on my neck, to bless those I embrace. I am seriously infatuated with this tea.
Thank you, Tea Ave.
I revisited this tea today with my best friend. I am aware that the scents I got from this tea are not mentioned in the description, but I really do initially smell chocolate, milk chocolate specifically, which is also true of Da Hong Pao for me. Then I smelled vanilla, and then I smelled cake. Not a bready, sensible cake but a sweet and fluffy bakery cake.
I was somewhat justified I think today when I had my friend smell the aroma cup. I asked her if she smelled chocolate and she said, “No, honey. Maybe because I had honey this morning earlier it is on my mind, but it smells like good honey.” That made sense, and it hit me that I also detected butter. When asked to sniff again she said she got butter also. Ah ha! Thus the impression of cake! What could be more cake-y than honey and butter and the sweetness of the magnolia?
Bottom line, today’s snow day from school turned into a really nice visit with a friend who agreed that this is a tea for enjoyment, for real inspection, for paying attention to, and not a tea that you steep in a mug and sip while you work or watch tv.
Tea Ave was so generous with their sample packages! I am so thankful to have been part of this sampling for their opening, and I believe they will be successful if they maintain this quality in their products and service. I would not hesitate to say if I didn’t like a tea. What you will get here is my honest evaluation of the tea I had tonight.
I invited hubby to join me tonight to taste this. He was very fond of a Li Shan not long ago so I thought this would appeal to him. We used the aroma cup to experience the tea to the fullest.
First we smelled the aroma of the dry leaf, which was very true to the steeped tea. It was sweet, with chocolate and vanilla overtones more than floral ones to me. It smells incredibly fresh. These are not flavors mentioned by the comoany but I consistently smelled milk chocolate and real vanilla in the aroma cup, the dry leaf, and even some steeps of the tea.
I made about seven ounces of tea at a time, pouring into a fair cup first and then quickly filling the aroma cup. The first aroma was quite sweet and reminded me of delicious cake more than of flowers. The liquor is pale yellow. The leaves unfurled to tremendous size and were deep green.
The taste – first steep was so sweet and still reminded of a cake, really delicious cake.
Second steep went a bit longer and had that edge that immediately makes a sweet aftertaste spring out. Second steep was hubby’s favorite but then, he has always been fond of second steeps!
Steep three was still sweet but now I am tasting more oolong and less cake, and the flowers are beginning to become more evident. At no time was this tea overly floral. Hubby even mentioned that he doesn’t care for very floral tea, and he was glad that the level of this one was just right for him.
Steeps four and five had an increase in the creaminess of the liquor. There is the taste of green oolong with very light floral undertones.
In short, this tea is making me vow that I will keep fresh – truly fresh – oolong on hand. There is nothing else quite like it.
A thousand thanks, Tea Ave, for the generous gift!
Tea provided by Tea Ave for review
Trying the second of three samples provided by Tea Ave today. Using half the sample to try their suggested steeping method (see my steep time notes at the bottom), and saving the other half for experimenting.
Comparing the aroma cup and first steep, there is a a buttery, floral scent with a bit of cinnamon. The tea liquor tastes very delicate and has subtle flavours. I tasted the expected light oolong base, floral, buttery and vegetal characteristics. There was also a delightful zesty peach flavour there as well.
Steeping through the other five cups, the intensity of the tea remained consistent. It peaked on the fourth and fifth cups, but it didn’t taste too bland or light on the cups leading up to it or on the last cup. The zesty peach flavour was present in all the steepings, and it lingered on in the aftertaste with the delicate oolong tea base. One thing I noticed is that each steeping was very smooth, so there was no bitterness, off putting aroma, or over-roasted flavour.
Overall I enjoyed Li Shan oolong tea. It met my expectations; it is a sold resteeper, a good representative of it’s type, and didn’t bring any off putting aromas to the table.
I’d recommend this tea to those that prefer delicate, subtle oolongs. It is a very satisfying tea when I slow down and give my attention and focus to each steeping, taking in the delicate flavours. For someone that prefers bold teas, this just wouldn’t meet your expectations.
Steeped as suggested on package: 1m, 1m20s, 1m40s, 2m, 2m30s, 3m
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Floral, Peach, Vegetal
Received this delightful sample from Tea Ave. This oolong feels very fresh, very on the green side of the oolong spectrum. Dry, it smells like spinach and chard, and I still get some of that once the leaves are steeped, but then they also become strongly floral. The tea has only a lightly floral taste though, a touch of sweetness against the deeper vegetal notes. There’s a little milky flavor, but mostly the tea just feels so smooth going down. Very nice.
Delicious. I did a terrible thing and used my travel mug for my first taste of this tea, but I don’t regret it, because even then, it was really quite tasty. I’d love to try this one with short infusions, so hopefully will have the time to… eventually. Anyhow, flavourwise it’s very creamy and incredibly fresh-tasting. Reminiscent of spring, if that’s possible. Again, I drank it a couple days ago and didn’t write anything down, I just really enjoyed it. The second infusion was okay, but not as magical as the first (and I’ll give it at least one more).
Also, a huge huge huge thanks to Tea Ave for sending this free sample my way! And I have to note the excellence of their tea packaging – samples in resealable, scent-proof plastic pouches, with incredibly detailed tea info on the front, including roasting and oxidation level, which I find very interesting! Looking forward to seeing their website up and running, and making an eventual purchase!
Out of the tea samples I got from TeaAve (which included Magnolia Oolong and Alishan Jin Xuan), this is my favourite!
I’ve steeped it gongfu style in my gaiwan as well as Western style (90C ish water for 3.5mins)
This tea is delicious both ways!
Western style, it has a slightly stronger nutty flavour (which comes out lightly in some of the gongfu steeps), as well as the taste of very rich fruit! I get peach and plum a lot. Like, stewed peaches and plums. Mm.
In the gaiwan the flavour is similar – its a joy to drink. Its not overly strong but its not overly light, its just perfect, and delicious. Its sweet with that rich fruity taste (peaches n plums!) and some steeps get a nice nutty roastyness to them. It has a silky smooth feel in the mouth though leaves a dry finish thats kid of fun, not unpleasant at all!
I’ve steeped it gong fu in my gaiwan twice now.. and… Each time it made me incredibly sleepy! I felt so relaxed and drowsy, like I could melt right then and there and go to sleep. Is that what it is to be tea drunk? If so its pretty great.
Flavors: Fruity, Nuts, Nutty, Peach, Plums, Roasted, Roasted nuts
Another gongfu session with Equusfell today, this time with my new bamboo draining tea tray. My tea pets can get some love now, yay!
I felt pretty much the same abou tthis as the first time I had it. Roasty to the point of almost bitter charcoal, vegetal, a bit nutty. The first steep had some elements of sweetness to it, but it faded pretty quickly. Got a bit boring in the later steeps.
So, this falls outside of my taste-through-the-cupboard, but I wanted to have a gongfu today (it’s been forever since I’ve done one), and I have the samples I just got from Tea Ave to try. Plus I was going to play with the aroma cup, so it made sense.
Anyway, this is a bit roastier than I usually prefer my TGYs. I found their gaiwan instructions kind of confusing because besides the volume, the steeping instructions seem to be the same as the western style. So I did about 6g in a 6oz gaiwan, steeping a few seconds to start and going up from there.
The aroma cup was fun. I really got the florals in that, moreso than in the tea itself. They had a rich, orchid note, especially in the early steeps. Also a hint of charcoal and leafiness.
The tea itself is roasted to the point of edging toward bitter; not bitter as in the tea steeped too long, but bitter in a burned charcoal-y way. I got it in all the steeps, really. The flavor is nutty with a bit of vegetal notes.
This seems to be a pretty nice roasted oolong with some charcoal notes, which is not my favorite type of oolong, but I still had a nice session with it today.
I’m not sure that its appropriate for a heavy-handed, cheapster, black tea-loving amateur to provide the initial review for such a fine and lovely oolong, but with mine in place, there’s nowhere to go but up, yes?
One of the things that a very good quality oolong impresses upon me is its texture. This slides across your tongue like soft, heavy silk. I feel like I just put on lip gloss. At the recommended 1-minute mark, it’s the color of champagne. So the sensory impact of this one is significant.
I don’t feel as vocabulary-equipped to address the flavor. “Roasted” is an adjective used in Tea Ave’s vendor description, but I’d call it very lightly roasted on its way to the fruity-floral spectrum. If you break a twig off a tree in very early spring to see the pale insides—-this tastes like what that looks like. How’s that?
Label says this will take multiple steeps with ease. Next time I’m going to dredge it a little longer to see if I can kick up the roast a notch.
Equally impressive is the presentation and sincerity with which Tea Ave has presented their samples —my very sincere thanks!
Thank you Tea Ave for the samples! The presentation was top notch. I very much enjoyed the aroma cup experience. It really does help concentrate and focus the aromas so you can fully appreciate the oolong! The rose was definitely not overpowering. This type of high mountain oolong can have some floral overtones anyway so the rose just seemed to fit right in. Very creamy buttery oolong, with a little hint of a vegetal taste. Quite complex and tasty. Really looking forward to trying the other 2 oolong samples I was given, the Jasmine and Magnolia.
I left this sample as last to review because—well because jasmine is an old favourite but I’ve grown a bit away from it. Of course, I’ve never had a jasmine oolong but have had plenty of jasmine green teas. Pouring a cup of jasmine tea is pretty much like putting on a favourite old pair of jeans. Well let me tell you—this tea blew me away! I’ve never had a jasmine tea like this one before.
My first hint I was in for a real treat was smelling the jasmine as the dry leaves sat in the warmed up gaiwan. Intoxicating floral jasmine. Mmmmmmm.
I didn’t use boiling water like Tea Ave recommended. It just seemed like such a high temperature for the oolong (Although now that I’ve brewed this tea, I can see it could take really high temperatures) I used 205F. First infusion was amazing. From the aroma cup I could smell jasmine, vanilla & honeysuckle. I think my interpretation of honeysuckle was just the jasmine and milky notes combining to create what my brain was getting as honeysuckle . When I tried the tea, I slurped it down so fast. More floral jasmine, honeysuckle, buttery , creamy, vanilla. It is soooooo good. Every time I smell it, I feel like a bee intoxicated by a flower. I’ve made it to the 6th brew so far and notes and flavour are still amazing (but are a little bit fainter only on the 6th).
I like what Tea Ave says in their description “Get ready to breathe more deeply than you have in a while.” Ha! I can’t stop breathing, sniffing, and slurping. I am in tea heaven.
I will definitely have to buy this tea when their store is open. I am rating this tea at 100. It’s been ages since I’ve rated a tea that high.
For anyone who loves buttery & floral you will love this tea.
Edited: Just wanted to add I’ve got up to 10 or 11 infusions with this tea because I loved it so much. The intoxicating aroma dropped off but it was still a good creamy jasmine oolong cup.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Vanilla
I finished off my sample of this and got quite a few steepings from it. Beautiful jasmine aroma and buttery oolong, which I enjoyed. I also gave a cup to my husband who initially said ‘mmm good’ after taking a sip but then after drinking the cup said he didn’t care for it so much as it reminded him of ‘olive leaves or something’. :)
I put the leftover brewed leaves in a jar with water in the fridge overnight and was treated with a gorgeous glass of iced tea the next day. The color of this brew struck me as so beautiful – it was such a perfectly clear golden yellow and simply lovely to look at. The flavor was perfect as well; crisp and floral without a hint of bitterness.
(Note:) I originally wrote this review on April 25th but hadn’t posted it at the time, and ten days later my husband had to return to hospital after our short time back home. Although we hoped he would be returning home again that never happened. And despite everything, he took his last breath November, 2015.
Over the past months I have read this saved review many times and have recalled this moment, and am now sharing it here. To remember this moment spent with my beautiful husband, so brave, so loving. Always my sweet angel, always my love.
This is a very fragrant tea! The jasmine is full and crisply fresh, and blends beautifully with the milky oolong. Smooth and creamy to sip with a breathtaking aroma.
Quite outstanding, and anyone who is a fan of jasmine will certainly love this.
Thanks so much to Tea Ave for sending this sample to try!