drank Golden Oolong Tea by Trader Joe's
612 tasting notes

Finally, there’s real tea to be found in grocery stores! I almost never reach for bottled teas because I find the majority of them too sweet and weird tasting. The one exception however are the unsweetened bottled teas sold at Asian grocery stores. I am partial to Ito-En’s Golden Oolong so I was excited to spot this at Trader Joe’s which looks suspiciously similar to Ito-En.

This tea is very clean tasting and refreshing. It has a full yet delicate peach flavor balanced with a slight bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and silky. There’s definitely some flavor differences between this and the Ito-En Golden Oolong. I remember the latter being stronger with sandalwood tones and spice. The Ito-En bottle notes that it’s made from Tieguanyin and Huan jin guei . However this one doesn’t say what variety of oolong is used leaving one to speculate. My guess is it’s a dan cong due to the peachiness and light body. Those who enjoy darker teas may prefer the Ito-En. But as a green oolong aficionado, I liked the Trader Joe’s variety better.

This bottled tea really exceeded my expectations. At $1.19 a pop, it’s a good value and about a $1 cheaper than Asian grocery stores. I hope Trader Joe’s keeps this around as it’s a great on the go option and hopefully will help introduce the masses to quality tea.

Flavors: Floral, Peach

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky



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