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