Thyolo Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Creamy, Cranberry, Dark Wood, Hay, Meat, Oak, Raisins, Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Malt
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Scheherazade
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 oz / 100 ml

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7 Tasting Notes

12469 tasting notes

Gonfu Sipdown (702)!

Sipped down this older Thyolo Oolong sample – I know I’ve had this tea for a long(!) but I can’t remember exactly when I got it. I think it was from Liquid Proust!? It was alright; nothing special but nothing awful either – tasted like crunchy leaves and lemon peel…

The shiboridashi I sipped it down in actually the much cooler part! I’ve been helping a coworker in our education/training department who is currently going through the process of getting her Tea Sommelier certification from TAC. We’ve been doing weekly tea tastings together of straight teas to build/develop her tea palate. It’s actually been incredibly fun for me, and it’s also been incredible watching the growth of her tasting abilities!

Well, this Monday she surprised me with a gift to thank me for helping her! I was shocked, but then even more shocked when I opened up the bag and saw this STUNNING shiboridashi with a matte, speckled turquoise glaze! It looks kind of like a dragon egg, and it’s BEAUTIFUL! Turns out she’d gone to our hardgoods department and reached out to one of the buyers to see if they could hook her up with a one of a kind piece of teaware for me as a thank you! So, this stunning shibo was picked out especially for me, and I guess another one just like it doesn’t exist!? It’s so damn pretty!

But like – you can’t just hit someone up at 9AM on a Monday morning with one of a kind teaware and not expect an emotional response!

So here’s some photos of the tea (but also the shibo):

Song Pairing:

EDIT: Looks like this tea was 2014!? And also definitely from LP. Damn, didn’t realize it was that old – definite tea hoarding problems…


That’s a pretty thang.


And a good song.

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509 tasting notes

Backlog. Sipdown.

Another tea from the Liquid Proust Oolong Group buy. I liked this tea as it was an amber oolong. It was creamy. And not much else.

Flavors: Creamy

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2238 tasting notes


I’m drinking the 2014 harvest, from the Regional Group Buy. Hot, it’s not a particularly striking tea. It’s malty, for sure, but seems totally lacking in any other flavour. I was pretty disappointed, to be honest, until I came back to the cooling dregs of my cup and suddenly found that it tasted of chocolate. It’s smooth, sweet milk chocolate, with a strong backbone of malt and a light floral undertone.

I’ve drank oolongs that have been more impressive from first sip, but this one’s a real contender if you’re patient enough to wait for it (and don’t mind drinking lukewarm tea…)

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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521 tasting notes

This is from 2014. I drank this side-by-side with a 2012 thyolo.

The leaves are slightly crushed, and they offer an aroma of dark wood, hay, raisin, and dried cranberries. I warmed up my gaiwan and began my brewing. The warmed leaf gives off a strong savory aroma of roast beef and other meaty scents along with some dry wood. I washed the leaves once and steeped away. The taste was nice and smooth with agave and oak tastes. The tea was a bit odd with desert blossoms coming off the cup along with sawdust, but it was enjoyable. The tea gave a very nice thick and sweet aftertaste. I liked this tea.

Flavors: Cranberry, Dark Wood, Hay, Meat, Oak, Raisins

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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371 tasting notes

From the Regional Group Buy. I had difficulty experimenting with this, especially getting the temperature right. I should have divided the leaf better. I first brewed 5g gongfu-style in a ceramic gaiwan and then the other 5g semi-Western in a glass test tube steeper.

The dry leaf smells woody, sweet and herbal. Letting the leaf rest in the pre-heated gaiwan brings out fruity notes. The fruits are much stronger in the wet leaf aroma. I couldn’t pick out any specific fruits – I smelled nondescript jams, but they were very sweet.

The liquor is the color of apple juice and and has a medium body for both sessions.

No rinse. Steeping times: 30, 20, 40; 1 minute, 2, 6. The first infusion is sour and fruity. Urgh. Thankfully, the sourness disappears after that. The second and third infusions resemble Bai Hao in that they have similar sweet and fruity notes. Four, five and six also resemble Bai Hao and have an additional malty, astringent flavor that I usually taste in lighter Assams. There is also a consistent sweet aftertaste.

Steeping times: 1 minute, 1.5, 2.5, 5. Kind of disastrous. It wasn’t until too late that there were a lot of broken leaves in this batch. Basically, the liquor tastes tannic, sweet, and sour all at once throughout the session.

If I had another shot at this oolong, I’d experiment with the gaiwan again. Still, as much as it tasted better then, it was only OK for me. (I do think that I had problems with leaf amount. I find myself at wits end when it comes to not brewing teas with a non-gongfu approach, Japanese greens excepted.)

175 °F / 79 °C

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239 tasting notes

The brew smells floral, but I’m not getting a lot of that in the flavor, thankfully. It’s one of those “half black, half oolong” teas that makes me wonder if the tea isn’t having some sort of identity crisis. Since I like blacks and oolongs though, this tea is ideal for me. It’s like a black plus.

The tea is on the malty side, with a bit of bitterness an astringency, but not much. There is some tannic as well. Clearly this is the black side of the tea.

But there is also a hint of floral, which reminds me of heather—the flower, not the person. It has that darker oolong kind of flavor with a creamy mouthfeel. Pretty nice for the morning.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Malt

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