Fragrant Golden Branch Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Creamy, Floral, Orchid, Sweet, Vegetal, Flowers, Nutty, Perfume, Smooth
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Edit tea info Last updated by TheTeaFairy
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 45 sec 4 g 9 oz / 260 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This tea order was not eco friendly…The boxes reserved for parcels at the stand where I get my mail delivered are always full (welcome holiday season!!!) So I end up getting a notice card, drive 30...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thank you TeaFairy for this lovely tea surprise! Oh how I delight in my tea friends! TeaFairy sent me a Holiday gift with little notes and fabric flowers attached to brighten my day. What care in...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thank you Evol! Well, I’ve had this tea before. I was enamored with it the first time I tried it. I’m still impressed with this teas endurance to heat and over steeping. The orchid sweet cream is...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is an interesting tea. I got it on sale from Zen Tea when they had a big sale a few months back. It’s pretty weird looking – five or so leaves on long branches. I used 4g and 195F water in...” Read full tasting note

From Zen Tea

The rarest Oolong tea with visually striking brown branches. Extremely soft taste with nutty and fragrant orchid-like flavor.It is best described as being reminiscent of JinXuan oolong and Tieguanyin. Enjoy the very impressive fragrance left behind in your teacup after finishing your tea.

- Origin: Fujian, China
- Preparation(1 cup): 2 teaspoon, 90C water
- First infusion: 3-4 minutes
- Second infusion: 4-5 minutes

About Zen Tea View company

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13 Tasting Notes

359 tasting notes

This tea order was not eco friendly…The boxes reserved for parcels at the stand where I get my mail delivered are always full (welcome holiday season!!!)

So I end up getting a notice card, drive 30 min. to go pick it up and therefore ditch I don’t know how much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not proud of myself.

To my small town, I say this: please invest in more mailboxes, I want «greener» tea supplies!!!! (end of rant)

Zen Tea is not very present here on Steepster but it’s a company I like more and more. They don’t carry the biggest variety, but what they have is good at a very decent price. Plus they send 3 generous samples. I could have asked for my own sample choice, but decided, hey surprise me! I appreciate the fact that they have chosen samples according to the tastes expressed by my orders with them. I got some breakfast blend, earl grey and oolong. Now that shows attention to details, thank you very much for that!

I love Oolongs and I lost count of how many I have tried…It never cease to amaze me, how different they are from one another, in taste and in shape.

Tie guan yin will transport you to a rich and luxuriant garden, invading your senses with the mysterious and attractive floral scent of orchid, coating your mouth with silk and butter. She’s a Seductress.

Roasted aged oolong will take charge of your taste buds in a more assertive fashion, almost assaulting your ability to identify its notes. It’s a chameleon, transforming even before you can grasp its true essence. It’s roasty, it’s nutty, its sweet yet slightly bitter, it feels simultaneously cool and warm. He’s a Player.

There’s Baozhong Pouchong , looking so much different from the previous mentioned. Instead of little rolled nuggets, this beautiful tea is crafted in long twisted strands. Almost considered a green tea, the taste is very delicate, floral and sophisticated, and it’s one the most elegant looking of them all… He’s a polished Dandy.

So where I am going with all this you ask? Wiki-oolong or something?

I think, hey, I have seen oolong in any way, shape or form.

And then there’s this fragrant branch thing and I’m baffled. What is this?

I admit, I don’t know what to do with it, I’m intimidated… No one else has reviewed it, so I have to be the first to experiment here. How do I brew this, heck, how do I measure it? I decide I’m going to spend a lot of time with it cause it deserves a traditional Gongfu brew and I opt for the scale, 5g. For a 8oz Gaiwan. I have a feeling it will expend quite a lot.

First and foremost, it visually is stunning, looks like one of those intricate asian artsy tree paintings. It is obvious that the leaf is rolled while still attached to the little branch and I can’t help thinking how tedious this job must be…

I did not research it, so I have no clue what kind a benefit the branch portion will add to the brew.

First steep and the leaves are already unfurling. It’s light and fresh, the smell is a lot stronger than the taste, floral and woodsy bark aroma.

I get floral sweet notes, but in a lot more subtle way than with a tie guan yin.

I feel there’s a light citrus astringency in the background that is waiting to emerge in the later steeps, and that’s exactly how this tea evolves. At the fifth infusion, the floral notes are almost gone and I get that fresh citrus along with musky and more earthy bark vibe. That’s where the branch portion becomes game changer. They have tripled in size and the gaiwan feels overwhelmed now, not much room to breathe! The twigs are no longer wrinkled, having soaked all the water they needed. The leaves are perfectly shaped, not damaged at all, really a beautifully crafted tea

I will be able to sip on this for at least 4 or 5 more infusions I think.

This oolong is a showstopper and it knows it. It enjoys spreading its splendour before your eyes in all its glory. He’s a Peacock.

Writing about tea is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, isn’t is? Sorry for this way too long review!!!! My curiosity and amazement got carried away…

P.S. I wonder if these guys are on Steepster…I think they are the cutest, I love the way they review together :-)


Don’t beat yourself up for having to drive to get your parcel! That is what I hate about my hometown being in the middle of nowhere. Whenever I go home to visit, I have to drive everywhere because everything is quite remote.

I like Zen Tea too much I wish they would offer a wider variety of teas.


Thanks Incendiare for your support, glad to know I’m not alone! don’t you just hate it when it’s for such a small parcel that fits perfectly in the regular box?? Rroarrrr!!!

yes, zen tea needs to upgrade a little with variety. It’s not that bad cause I always go back to restock on favourites, but it would make things more exciting if they had more blends cause they do them really well. Heck, they made me like a flavoured puehr! I usually like straight puerh only, but their mint blend is super tasty!


Wow what a review. I like your descriptions of each oolong!
And you are right zen tea is a great company!


Yeah, I have my favourites too but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough to justify another order. Let’s hope they’re reading this and maybe they’ll whip up some new stuff in the future!


Thank you tigress :-)
Incendiare, unfortunately, I doubt they will ever read this thread…have you ever seen them posting on Steepster? Too bad, if I was a small retailer, I would not underestimate the Power of Steepster! I think this place is the best publicity one can ever get and it’s FREE!!!


Beautiful tea! Thank you for sharing pictures!


Thanks Bonnie, it has become a real hobby of mine!
Of all the people here, maybe you have seen this type of tea before? Isn’t it unusual?


What a superb review. I love the characterisation and the sheer life you breathed into your words. The tea sounds pretty good too.


Nope, have not seen that tea! I will show the picture to Eric and My other tea friends who’ve been or lived in China. Cool stuff!


Awww, Roughage what a nice thing to say, you really made my day :-) I’m always self-conscious about my English, especially when I want to express things in a more serious way…doesn’t always flow the way it would in French :-)

Bonnie, please let me know what they say… I can’t seem to find any information on it and I’m curious to find out if it’s a new harvest method or an ancient one.


that’s why my reviews are so short. Sometimes I don’t feel like I can manage to express cleverly thing in English as I would in French so I finally express less things. You’re lucky to live n a country using both languages, this is really great.


Ysaurella, I know your prose would be much different in French, however, I’ve come to really like and appreciate your english reviews just the way they are, candid and unpretentious :-)
(I’m self-concious cause I learned by my myself, not at school, so I know I make mistakes!!! But it doesn’t keep me from writing cause I like it too much)


I just came across your review- I actually emailed Zen about this tea because I was so intrigued when I saw it. Kenneth, whom I assume to be the owner, has always been very helpful when I’ve emailed them. I had a shipping problem and a damaged gaiwan and he remedied both issues with haste. I’ve also asked him about other teas and I got detailed replies, which is awesome. He says this in regards to this tea:
“Oolong-Fragrant Golden Branch is new kind of Oolong from Fujian, China. In China, it doesn’t have fixed name yet as I know. Some producer call it ‘Fragrant leaves Golden branch(XiangyeJinzhi)’, and I thought that name will be the most suitable for this Oolong. It is a little similar to Tieguanyin flavour at first, but I think it is smoother than Tieguanyin. Also after smell is really fragrant and mild.”

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676 tasting notes

Thank you TeaFairy for this lovely tea surprise!

Oh how I delight in my tea friends!

TeaFairy sent me a Holiday gift with little notes and fabric flowers attached to brighten my day. What care in packaging! I feel special indeed.

In my delight…I took this tea especially to share with Eric at the tea house, wondering if he had seen any like it before.

He commented, “Why did they leave the oolong on the stem? Usually they pay someone to take it off.”

Ah, I thought…the oolong comes this way and when curled up is removed? So why did they leave it on the stem?

None of us could come up with a ‘tea’ logical answer for ‘why’ but agreed that the stems with the oolong tea did look rather stunning in the gaiwan (which was interesting).

As much as tea is TASTE, it is also EXPERIENCE. Taste, aroma, and visual input…contribute to one’s appreciation of tea.

I expected the taste to be stronger and earthier with the stems attached, but the tea was light and delicate. Gentle with a hint of floral and no bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is light and thin. Cooling changes little in the thickness of this tea.

I’m reminded of sweet water with cuttings floating on top in early Spring. The edge of a field with low hanging trees and mountain water. New bulbs flowering nearby and scenting the air.

Thank you TeaFairy for such a lovely gift!


I’m just looking out for you, Bonnie Chérie :-)
So glad you enjoyed this with your dear friends at Lucky’s…


I had some more too this week. Will write about it. Thank you!


Ok, can’t wait to find out what you think about it :-)

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1244 tasting notes

Thank you Evol!

Well, I’ve had this tea before. I was enamored with it the first time I tried it. I’m still impressed with this teas endurance to heat and over steeping. The orchid sweet cream is as strong as ever. It feels kinda weird though. I taste the same thing that I did the first time, but I am not as much of a fan of the florals as I used to be. This is what happens after trying great Taiwan jade oolongs.

In short, great for its mega florals, but also detracting for its mega florals. And warning: this tea will DETOX you and make you pee. Or it at least happened to my friend. She was exercising her demons out when we saw Crimson Peak. Still funny how she complained about not seeing enough of Tom Hiddleston’s ivory moon while another exclaimed: “It was everything I ever wanted and even more!”


“warning: this tea will DETOX you and make you pee.”


i find all teas do this to mwe

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485 tasting notes

This is an interesting tea. I got it on sale from Zen Tea when they had a big sale a few months back. It’s pretty weird looking – five or so leaves on long branches. I used 4g and 195F water in a 100mL gaiwan. I didn’t quite know what to make of the aroma – I kind of got maybe some creaminess, fruitiness…or maltiness? I couldn’t really tell.

The taste started out light and vegetal, with a bit of a creamy texture. After that, it moved to a more floral note – I think it might have been orchid. I see a lot of teas that say they taste like orchid specifically. This was mentioned on the bag. To me this was a floral taste that was a little different and wonky than what I usually get from teas that taste floral – so maybe that’s orchid. We’ll go with that for now. The floral sweetness mixed with some nice creaminess for a few really enjoyable steeps. At one point, I thought I got some creamy fruitiness – it reminded me of banana for a second.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with this tea’s longevity. I got maybe 7 good steeps from it. The flavors were decently interesting, but nothing to write home about either. It’s certainly unique. It was described as being like a mix between a Jin Xuan (which I like) and a Tie Guan Yin (which I generally am not a fan of). I guess I could kind of see that. It had some creamy texture along with some pretty intense floral notes like a really green Tie Guan Yin might have. I’m glad I bought a sample, but would not buy more of this tea.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Orchid, Sweet, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I have a small sample of it and need to try it eventually.

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505 tasting notes

Very floral tea. Soft with orchid notes this time, not lilac. Enjoyed this tea more today.

Flavors: Floral

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892 tasting notes

Aaaaand it’s gone… I actually really liked this tea. It was a nice oolong to have around when I wanted something more traditional tasting. It’s sweet and floral with soft nutty notes. It will be dearly missed :(

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736 tasting notes

This tea neverrrr gets olddd! Nor does it ever get bitter. :P
Took it with me yesterday during the family outting…which really wasn’t so much fun overall. I am not close to my dad, pretty much at all anymore. And since my sister returned home our relationship has gotten even worse…Which I guess isn’t surprising since she was the one that made it bad in the first place.
But still….being around my dad and sister in any circumstance is not fun at all, I tend to avoid it because it just makes everything in my own life worse. So yeah, Father’s Day was depressing…like everyone was just saying how much they loved their dads and all, which is great, don’t get me wrong. I’ve just not had a fantastic one.
Especially since recently finding out that he doesn’t think my severe health issues effect how I act and feel at all…that really just…I don’t know how to say it. He has knee and back problems so he assumes we are the same, even though we are entirely different. He assumes that since his issues don’t effect anything in his life, I shouldn’t let them effect things in mine, even though I can’t stop them from doing that at this point. I guess him being really arrogant about that on top of everything else just made me lose so so much more respect for him. And yeah…yesterday was just hard. really really hard. Really didn’t wanna be out. Was just a depressing day for me.
This tea was really a highlight though. It pulled me through the lunch we had at this Asian place that didn’t have any dipping sauce at all, so I didn’t eat anything. I usually would just eat rice, but I physically can’t eat rice thanks to that super tight wrap around my throat. :(
Anyway about the tea.
I love how I can just throw some leaves at the bottom of a tumbler and then just fill it with hot water and can let it steep g-pa style, and have it not get bitter at all. I wish it weren’t so expensive because this is the perfect tea for on the go! Seriously just never gets old. Still love it!
An oolong is always my go to, comfort tea for sucky times. They help tide me over! Definitely my favorite type of tea, hands down!


I never had a great relationship with my Dad but it definitely improved after I moved out of the house. lol


im not too close to my dad either.

but you should find a sheng puehr you love and drink that too :)


TeaBrat yeah…I think distance would help a whole lot more. But I can’t leave the house now when my health issues keep getting more and more severe. I’m pretty much screwed. XD

Kirkoneill1988 I have a crap load more teas to try before I get to any puehr. But one day I’ll be there and find one that I love hopefully :P


No, I do not. But based on the description, it doesn’t sound like a kind of tea I’d like :P


did you read my reviews? i figured you would and that it may help you decide :)


Treasure them while you have them. It is much harder after they are gone.

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218 tasting notes

This just might be the fanciest looking tea I’ve ever seen. Curly, thin, twigs of reddish-salmon-pink hue with vividly green tea leaves attached to them. So lovely.

I was hoping this would taste similar to Fragrant Yellow Bud, also from Zen Tea, but it is more similar to a TGY, pretty vegetal in both aroma and flavor. The twigs seem to add a bit of underlying bitterness. I steeped it twice and both times the tea was flavorful and tasty.

I don’t think I would buy it again any time soon, but I am glad I got to try it. It is definitely unique and special!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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