Red Blossom’s site has some interesting info about Phoenix Oolongs and how they are from single groves grown to emulate the flavor or fragrance of a particular fruit or flower. This one is “almond,” and so of course I was looking for the almond fragrance when I stuck my nose into the freshly opened packet.

And yeah, it’s there. It’s in and around the roasty-toasty, sharp, dark oolong dry leaf fragrance and to some extent overpowered by that aspect, but it’s there. The leaves are dark brown, twisty, and after a rinse look a little like birds nest material.

Gaiwan. 195F. Rinse. 15 seconds + 5 for each subsequent steep.

The tea is a light amber color and clear. It definitely has an almond note in the aroma and the flavor, which fascinates me. Having had a lot of almond flavored teas, that a tea can have this sort of flavor naturally is really cool.

The tea is fairly mild compared to what I was expecting from the sharp note of the dry leaves. That sharpness is filed off in the flavor, leaving a smooth roastiness.

I’m finding it a comforting tea for a winter morning. It didn’t change for me over four steeps, other than to become a bit stronger and rounder in flavor after the first steep, but the almond note sets is apart from other darker oolongs I’ve had. It makes me want to try the other Phoenix oolongs on Red Blossom’s site and see if they all do justice to the fruits or flowers they are meant to emulate.

Flavors: Almond, Roasted, Toast

195 °F / 90 °C

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer