Ginseng Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Butter, Floral, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 6 oz / 168 ml

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7 Tasting Notes

292 tasting notes

The dry leaves in the warm gaiwan smell somewhat like golden raisins, and of course… ginseng. The wet leaves smell really sweet and fruity like berries, floral, and with a faint hint of pond and prairie grass aroma. The liquor smells creamy and somewhat like sunflowers and is pale yellow.

The taste of the first infusion is of sunflower seeds, a bit floral, and a touch bitter. The aftertaste is very sugary and lingers in my mouth for a long time.

The second infusion is quite a bit bitter and drying with a bit of tanginess and still with a lingering sweetness, though it is diminished this time by the lingering dryness as well.

Third infusion has a scent of osmanthus flowers, tastes a little bit like the first couple infusions, still a little sweet, but still a little bitter and drying too. I’m going to end here with this tea.

I’m under the impression that, generally speaking, many scented oolong teas are made from relatively low quality oolong. They usually open up much more quickly than high quality ones and put out a much stronger flavor, often to the point of being cloying, drying, or bitter. There wasn’t much to enjoy in this tea. Tasted low quality to me.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I am not a fan of ginseng oolongs in general. Have you had any you’ve liked?


There was one long ago from Berylleb King Tea that I received as a sample. I still have one left of it that I’ve been holding on to for when I’m in the mood because I actually liked that one. Other than that, I can’t recall any that I have liked.


they all taste bitter to me…

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4847 tasting notes


I’m not a huge fan of Ginseng. I don’t really hate it, but I don’t love it either. It’s kind of like chamomile. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it … but it’s certainly not a favorite tea/tisane ingredient.

However, I did enjoy this Ginseng Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf. Of the various Ginseng Oolong teas that I’ve tried during my career as a Tea Reviewer (I’ve been doing this for quite a while now!) … this one might be the best of the Ginseng Oolong teas that I’ve tried. What’s best about it? I tasted more Oolong than Ginseng. Bonus points.

Here’s my full-length review:

Sweet, buttery, earthy, woodsy, creamy with some “green” notes.

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4541 tasting notes

Sipdown (123/130)!

Thank you Cameron B. for the sample! I’ve only had one other Ginseng Oolong prior to this one, so I was definitely excited about the opportunity to try another one and compare. Additionally, I believe this is my first Simple Loose Leaf blend, so that’s kinda exciting too.

This was prepped in my timolino and steeped very carefully; I did not want to burn the leaves. At work, I shared some of this with Bobbi and she made a face; not her cup of tea I suppose (awful pun somewhat intended). Personally, I didn’t think it was awful. Certainly it was drinkable; however somewhat to my surprise I think I liked the DT version better – that one just seems like it was more flavourful overall.

And additionally, I think this one took advantage of a green base oolong, and I’m not so heavily a green tea or green oolong person, so I suppose that contributed to not enjoying this as much. I mean, the ginseng was sweet, natural and relatively woody and that was good – but the base just wasn’t as agreeable to me.

Oh well. I’m still glad for the comparison, and like I said this was not bad; just not as good.

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921 tasting notes

In the past I have had mixed experiences with Ginseng Oolong, usually I run into it as little green nuggets of oolong coated with a paste of ginseng dust. It is not bad but it has been far from my favorite way to sip oolong. I was so pleased when I saw this was just normal ol’ rolled oolong leaves. The aroma of the dry leaves is really sweet and a tiny bit toasted, it has notes of toasted bread, honey, orchids, and a touch of sesame. At the end of the sniff is a bit of an herbaceous zing, I can only assume it is from the ginseng. Once I give the leaves a good steeping in my gaiwan the aroma that wafts out is still really sweet, but also a lot more floral with notes of honeysuckle and orchid. There are also notes of honey, sesame seeds, and that same herbaceous greenness at the finish.

The aroma of the first steep is unsurprisingly quite sweet and a little creamy. The aroma is honestly like a milk oolong that has been roasted and given a nice sprinkling of ginseng. It smells delicious, I am not going to lie, my mouth is totally watering while waiting for the tea to cool enough to sip it. On first sip, well, I was right to have a watering mouth because this tea is delicious. It mixes the sweet honey, fresh floral, and gently toasted notes with a finish of ginseng. It is like nectar and herbs in one mouthful, ginseng is great, it has a gentle sweetness (like VERY mild licorice) a touch of hay, and an herbal taste. I really like it, as long as it is used in moderation.

The aroma of the second steep is much more floral, less creamy sweet, and more ‘nature’ with a touch of fresh vegetation and stems and a note of herbaceous. The taste takes its cues from t. The aroma, there is still honey sweetness, but it is very much so the honey sweetness of flower nectar. There are also the notes of roasted sesame seeds and fresh vegetation. The ginseng taste is a bit stronger this time as well, instead of being at the finish it shows up at the middle and lingers as an aftertaste. You can probably tell that I really liked this tea, but you all know me and my love of oolongs.

For photos and Blog:

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360 tasting notes

I brewed this two ways: hot-brewed via Western style and cold-brewed.

The dry leaf mostly smells of ginseng (at least I think it does – I have never had ginseng before but it would seem obvious considering), with floral and seaweed notes peaking out from underneath. First infusion (3 mins) produces a very lightly flavored liquor, but by the second infusion (4 mins), when the leaves are even more unrolled, the ginseng flavor, too unrolls. It’s quite strong. I’m not sure if I like ginseng; it’s a new taste for me, so it’s probably neutral at best for the time being. I like third infusion (5 mins) the most. The ginseng calms down, allowing itself to be balanced with the floral note. The tea tastes like an average lightly oxidized oolong but with something extra.

A cold-brew (2 tsp, 16 oz, ~14 hours) yields a much different liquor. Besides having the same ginseng and floral notes – both of which are in perfect balance and taste not too weak and not took strong – it is thick, buttery, full-bodied, and most refreshing.


I love cold brewing oolong. I don’t do it nearly enough.


Do you have a preference for a certain level of oxidation? Lighter oolongs seem to work best with cold water.


I have only tried a few oolongs cold brewed, mostly more green.

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1231 tasting notes

I hate ginseng oolongs, but this one is okay. This ginseng oolong has a rolled appearance instead of the dust chunks. I made it iced, but found it to be mild on the elements I dislike with ginseng oolong – weird licorice notes and sweet. It’s a buttery, clean, vegetal oolong with little floral. This oolong made for some good iced tea with multiple western style infusions.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl


I can’t stand ginseng. It tastes like rocks and licorice.

Oolong Owl

I feel like it should be a tea I’d like (oolong and ginseng) but most of them I feel like I want to sandpaper my tongue to get the flavor out.


hahaha that sounds about right!!

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972 tasting notes

From Simple Loose Leaf’s July box. I expected this to be covered in powder, like other ginseng oolongs I’ve seen online, but there’s no trace of powder at all. It looks like a dark yellow-green rolled oolong. It smells quite grassy and sweet, and for some reason like peanuts in the shell? Lol. The package suggested 3-5 minutes, so I did 4.

I’m always amazed by how big oolong leaves get when steeped. It’s like magic! :D I’ve only tried one green oolong, but this smells similar to how I remember it. It’s rather sweet-smelling, with fruity (peach?) and floral notes. There’s also a vegetal scent similar to sencha. This is an extremely light-tasting tea. All of the flavors are subtle and I found them a little hard to pick out individually. But here goes! I could definitely taste a light vegetal note, but it was so mild that I can’t really be specific. The tea is lightly sweet in an almost fruity way, and I taste a mild and fresh floral note, especially in the aftertaste. And it’s really quite buttery which is nice. :)

I’m not going to rate this because I’m not sure I’m getting all the nuances here. I may try this again with more leaf or a longer steep but for now, I wouldn’t purchase it.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Hey, no fair! My box didn’t arrive yet! LOL. I love oolongs, so I am really looking forward to this one. :)

Cameron B.

It was a bit mild for me, but I think trying more tea or a longer steep would help. :)


Duly noted. I like stronger teas, so I’ll use more and let it go a little longer when it arrives!

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