Organic Makaibari Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea
Flavors
Dry Grass, Floral, Hay, Malt, Dust, Lemon Zest, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Vegetal
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Fair Trade, Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by Teatotaler
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 oz / 235 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is the second Arbor Teas sample in a row I’ve tried which has a noticeable natural sweetness to it. There aren’t many teas I’ve found this quality in (most notably CTG’s competition grade Tie...” Read full tasting note
    85
  • “This is a great tasting oolong! It’s woodsy and vegetal but not overly-so either way. There is an interesting lemony type taste. Not juicy lemon per say more like a lemon zest would be more my...” Read full tasting note
    93
  • “Steep Information: Amount: 9.9g Water: 1200ml at 195°F Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL Steep Time: 2 minutes Served: Hot Tasting Notes: Dry Leaf Smell: sweet floral vegetal, a little...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “This is a really lovely Oolong. The liquor infuses to a lovely amber color. The aroma is somewhat woodsy and vegetative to me. The flavor has a beautiful underlying sweetness to it, I can taste...” Read full tasting note
    85

From Arbor Teas

This organic, Fair Trade Certified oolong tea represents a departure from our other oolong offerings. Biodynamically farmed at the Makaibari estate in India’s Darjeeling district, this oolong exhibits many of the same qualities as the black teas this region is known for. The medium- to dark-green leaves and sliver buds of this oolong produce a light amber infusion with a punchy astringency that diminishes quickly. It also exhibits slight lemony, vegetal and earthy qualities akin to other Darjeeling teas, while maintaining a classic oolong finish. Established in 1859, Markaibari is the oldest estate in Darjeeling, where a strong commitment to sustainable farming prevails.

Sustainability is a cornerstone of Arbor Teas’ business philosophy. In addition to offering an exclusively organic selection of teas, they recently became the first tea company to offer their whole catalog in 100% backyard compostable packaging. They’ve also carbon-offset the entire supply chain of their products, from origin to the customer, making Arbor Teas the greenest option for Earth-conscious tea drinkers, and one of few tea companies recognized by Green America.

About Arbor Teas View company

We’re tea enthusiasts with a lot of passion. Passion for top quality tea, the environment, fair trade, and our community. We started Arbor Teas in Ann Arbor, Michigan, intent on creating a tea company as passionate as we are. Our passion is reflected in every aspect of Arbor Teas. You’ll certainly notice it in the exceptional collection of teas we offer - one of the largest catalogs of USDA certified organic teas around, nearly three-quarters of which are Fair Trade Certified®.

12 Tasting Notes

85
237 tasting notes

This is the second Arbor Teas sample in a row I’ve tried which has a noticeable natural sweetness to it. There aren’t many teas I’ve found this quality in (most notably CTG’s competition grade Tie Guan Yin), but when I do I find it really enjoyable.

This oolong does a great job of walking the line between green and black characteristics, showing vegetal notes along with some roastiness and tannins. It’s got a very rich mouth feel, with a great juicy quality to it. In addition to the typical tea flavors, I’m getting hints of fruit and spice, making it an interesting tea for sipping and trying to figure out. Really nice cup of tea. Didn’t have time to do multiple infusions this time, but will next time.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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93
6768 tasting notes

This is a great tasting oolong! It’s woodsy and vegetal but not overly-so either way. There is an interesting lemony type taste. Not juicy lemon per say more like a lemon zest would be more my guess as a taste comparison. It’s unlike any hint I have tasted in a tea let alone an oolong! This is lovely!

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80
723 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 9.9g
Water: 1200ml at 195°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: sweet floral vegetal, a little nutty
Leaves: green and silver thin twisted strands about an inch long each
Steeped Tea Smell: lemon, citrus, black tea scent
Flavor: slightly astringent, crisp black tea, very clean and light
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: sweet citrus floral notes
Liquor: translucent light red-brown

This was a very nice crisp tea for sipping in the afternoon while browsing the internet. It is not a strong tea to kick you awake in the morning, but more one to be sipped and savored. I very much enjoy this tea, I enjoy when a company strives to be organic and fair trade so long as it is not at the cost of the tea. This tea shows that they are able to provide a high quality tea while striving to help tea farmers and the environment. It does however lack anything completely unique to make it a 4/4 leaves tea (a WOW) that i must keep stocked at all times.

Arbor Teas sent me this sample for free in order for me to review it and get the word out about their teas in October as it is Fair Trade Month. It arrived USPS Priority mail, but had to wait a few days at the post office for me to pick it up. The compostable packages are opaque and have listed suggested steeping parameters and a stapled on paper tag with the specific tea information. They include a note about re-packaging your tea into opaque air-tight containers for longer shelf lives.

From http://www.arborteas.com/the-environment.html
“Our dedication to protecting the environment pre-dates our love of tea, which is why we’ve taken every step we can think of to reduce the environmental footprint of Arbor Teas.

Never ones to rest on our laurels, we’re always looking for further opportunities to “green-up” our company, giving back to the planet whenever we can. Here’s just a quick summary of the measures we take at Arbor Teas to reduce the environmental impact of our business:
• Our entire catalog of teas is certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program.
• We are the first and only tea company to deliver its full line of organic loose teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging. In doing so, we’ve significantly reduced both the carbon emissions and waste stream associated with our products."

And from their letter to me “every tea in out catalog is certified organic, and nearly two-thirds are Fair Trade certified.”

Find Steepster reviews of the tea here.

Resteep 2: 1,200ml 195°F 3min a bit too bitter + sugar = OK
Resteep 3: 1,000ml 195°F 2min brisk w/sugar, nice and refreshing + sugar = good
Resteep 4: 1,000ml 195°F 2-2:30min weak, added 30 sec and got nice light crisp tea + sugar = good
Resteep 5: 1,000ml 195°F 3-3:30min weak, added 30 sec and got nice light crisp tea + sugar = good
Resteep 6: 1,000ml 195°F 4-5min weak, added 60 sec and still weak, stopped re-steeping added to iced tea and didn’t drink

Cold:I took the first hot steep and put it in the refrigerator as it was a hot day. I then added the leftovers of each brew. It was a nice light refreshing black iced tea, it needed a bit of sugar. I used raspberry torani, MilitiaJim used Kiwi. Delicious. I think I enjoyed this as an iced tea better than hot.

images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/10/arbor-teas-loose-leaf-oolong-tea.html

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85
4843 tasting notes

This is a really lovely Oolong. The liquor infuses to a lovely amber color. The aroma is somewhat woodsy and vegetative to me. The flavor has a beautiful underlying sweetness to it, I can taste an apple-ish quality to the tea. It has a deep woodsy undertone to it. Some earthiness and just a hint of vegetative quality to the taste – the fragrance of the tea is more vegetative than the actual taste.

A very nice Oolong!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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190 tasting notes

The dry leaves are pretty, and have some dark green, brown and silver tips visible.The dry leaf has a sweet floral scent, that pairs with a vegetal, more nutty scent that reminds me of peanut butter. The steeped tea smells lightly like nectarines and lemons, but overall has that traditional black tea scent. Upon first sip, this tea is crisp, and delicious.

check out a more in depth review at my tea blog: http://bit.ly/aRmqaR

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93
59 tasting notes

This is a very interesting oolong! I agree with the description – it certainly has some lemon notes to it, and a short-lived astringency that is actually quite refreshing. This is a surprisingly sweet oolong. It has the depth and base taste of a good quality non-green oolong, but with that surprisingly lemony twist.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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48 tasting notes

I’m new to Oolong tea, had a sampler once & I really liked it, but I would love to know how is the traditional way to drink it? Have you added any sweeteners? or milk?

thanks a lot!

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65
135 tasting notes

Brewed Western-style, this is quite grassy – almost hay-like – with an underlying taste that is reminiscent of Darjeeling black teas, but not exactly like them. The aftertaste is very recognizably oolong, and mildly floral. It has an astringent feeling in the mouth, but I don’t taste much astringency.

Brewed in a gaiwan, it has an additional malty note, but isn’t hugely different otherwise. Overall, an interesting tea, but not mind-blowing for me.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Floral, Hay, Malt

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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67
14 tasting notes

I’ve waited a while to review this – never felt like I was getting the brew just right based on other’s feedback. Today, think I nailed it, partly because I let a 62% humidipack sit in with this. Should preface by saying I live in the desert, so relative humidity is very low here.

Western style – hot taste and smell of barley and faint raw pistachios. Flavor follows along on the same notes with a thin mouthfeel that becomes more astringent as it cools. Lemon zest notes that others have mentioned come forward as it cools, as does a general vegetal taste and a dry dustiness and hay. About a halfway through the cup I’m a bit bored.

Flavors: Dust, Hay, Lemon Zest, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
DrowningMySorrows

Nice to see someone else is using humidifier packets in their tea. It’s not quite desert here but the relative humidity stays around 20-25% in my house. I added Boveda packs to my tea boxes about a year ago and I think it’s helping my tea stay delicious. I put in Boveda Butler hygrometers too so I can easily check if I need new packs or to air out the boxes for a while or anything.

Chris Blanton

This is the kind of hard-hitting tea knowledge that gets me moist! I’ve been using Boveda packs for cigars and cannabis for a long time now and have humidity levels from 62-72. Going to play around with what works best for what teas but I think I’m going high humid in the puer and lighter in other stuff to start. I think the salt-based chem of these is perfect for tea – I’ve never noticed any taste effect from the packs but I give almost every tea a quick bath before steeping as well. ShuPu gets more bath time.

Chris Blanton

One more thing – you can revive Boveda packs in a ziplock with a paper towel soaked in distilled water. This trick works indefinitely.

derk

I’m repeating myself here since I just this evening commented on another Steepster’s storage:

I’m too lazy to bother with humidity packs and techno-hygrometers. My smaller crocks are airtight, the large ones meant for kraut are covered with loose-fitting terracotta saucers that I keep damp with distilled water, monitored with a basic hygrometer-thermometer. My storage isn’t intended to age sheng pu’er, but to keep it at adequate moisture levels during our long, dry summers.

Chris Blanton

Oh man I’m too lazy for all that terra cotta business and my crocks are busy w the sourdoughs but that sounds medium-pimpin

DrowningMySorrows

I have the big 65% packs in my pu-erh and pressed white tea boxes but my humidity readings are usually a bit lower than that. I don’t think my Sterilite storage bins with gasket in the lid are completely airtight so that might be why it’s usually closer to 60%. I haven’t noticed that the packs leave any taste on the teas either but I don’t have them in direct contact with the tea leaves. I haven’t had to revive a pack yet but good to know it works.

derk

It’s simple for me since I keep my large crocks stacked at the foot of my bed. Basically when I put clean sheets on the bed, I touch the terracotta. Dry? Pull out the gallon from under the bed and splash.

Guh, sourdough, drool. Haven’t tended to that in a while. Ever ferment teff for injera?

Chris Blanton

DrowningMySorrows – that seems like a good humidity to me! Cheers and happy brewin!

Chris Blanton

derk – love me some sourdough bread, I’m eating some toast n eggs right now with a fantastic cup of Ancient Green Tuo from Arbor. I nailed this brew and am getting some incredible returning sweetness. Cannot wait (he said mistakenly) for my first order of W2T to get in!!

derk

Have fun exploring white2tea! His teas’ character seem to draw out my inner writer. Looking forward to your experiences :)

Chris Blanton

Holy crap me also!! I get the feeling like it’s going to be a while, or maybe I convinced myself of that, but in any case I hedged my bets with two sheng cakes from Crimson Lotus’ Seattle inventory to ‘hold me over’. :D

DrowningMySorrows

Chris – both of my White2Tea orders took about a month to arrive. Not sure when you ordered or how much Chinese New Year is slowing things down this year but it might not take too long for your teas to arrive. My Yunnan Sourcing orders took much longer, 2-3 months I think…it felt like forever.
Which teas did you get from Crimson Lotus? I haven’t tried any of their stuff yet but I’ve been contemplating an order.

Chris Blanton

DMS – I ordered right at the end of Jan and figured the New Year was probably going to be a month-long holiday but who knows? I will continue to wait ‘patiently’. ;) Two-three months is pretty bananas.
From CLT I ended up getting 2019 Low Rider and 2019 Radio KXQM. Oolong Owl’s write up of Low Rider being an oolong-lover’s sheng sold me and derk’s review of the 2018 KXQM sounded really intriguing. Honestly, probably could have tried anything in their Seattle stock and loved it. :)

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