Oollo Tea

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79
drank Gongfu Honey by Oollo Tea
8720 tasting notes

Sipdown (594)!

Finished this one off on the way home from work, I believe. I made it in a travel mug to sip on during my commute home. It was pretty nice; definitely very full bodied but smooth with brisk malt and cocoa notes, and a bit of a creamy honey-like sweetness to the finish. I remember it being a little more nuanced when I drank it Gong Fu, but I think it’s totally fair and to be expected to lose some of those aspects when you make a tea literally marketed to be brewed Gong Fu in a travel mug Western style. So I’m cool with the drop off in nuance.

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79
drank Gongfu Honey by Oollo Tea
8720 tasting notes

Gong Fu! I mean, how can you not Gong Fu a tea when it’s literally in the name!?

This session was actually from a while ago, but I’ve been putting off writing the note for it. I don’t know why – it was nothing but lovely, both in atmosphere and in the flavour of the tea itself. It’s actually a blend of a few teas; black and oolong. However, it all comes together really seamlessly to create a very, very sweet and smooth full bodied profile. I don’t think you could come up with a descriptor any better than ‘honey’ because that’s the flavour that every single infusion radiated. Almost more of a creamed honey, though. Possibly because the tea itself had a strong malt to it, and slight notes of creamy chocolate as well.

Like many black blends, when it comes to Gong Fu this one doesn’t have the world’s longest staying power; I’d say the first five infusions were pretty solid and enjoyable but after infusion six the drop off was very sudden and by infusion eight the tea was so stripped of anything enjoyable. If I was redoing the session I would have stopped after five steeps and just enjoyed it for the short, but meaningful, profile it was able to produce for me.

My sample isn’t big enough for two Gong Fu sessions so I’ll actually have to finish this one off Western style eventually, despite the name, but I’m glad I got in one good session with this because it was a wonderful, vibrant flavour that completely nailed the ‘honey’ aspect!

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80

Ok, ok, so this morning I resteeped these tea leaves and wow. The aroma and flavour opened up to reveal a nice full bodied delicately spiced honey biscuit grounded with the black tea. This black tea is really oolong-ish with the crazy wiry long crumpled strands of leaf. Delicous. Here is a tea to sit with. I wish I had more time to sit with the next steep and the next but off to the naturopath I go.

Fjellrev

Yummeh.

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80

It is so nice, so very very nice, to have heat again. Today, I’ve just been relishing the warmth all around me and tea, a lot of tea.

Today has been all about warmth and cocooning. I even indulged my need for new socks by ordering some online. Good socks are hard to find. Does anyone have any leads?

This one reminds me of DT’s Honey Black. Identical to my mind. I have only had one steep of this so far and it is too late to continue with caffeine for me, so I’ll get back to it when I have more to say.

Flavors: Caramel, Honey

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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84
drank Alishan by Oollo Tea
91 tasting notes

This has been my transition tea the last 2 weeks between the morning and late afternoon and I’ve really enjoyed it, like all of the other Oollo teas I’ve tried. It’s namesake is Alishan Mountain in Taiwan. This high mountain tea has a lovely crisp grassy flavour and elegant flowery aromas. I’m reminded of spring buds blossoming with each sip, a nice image on this chilly day here.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Grass

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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84

This is a very nice oolong tea. I love the appearance of the tightly wrapped ooloong spheres before they are brewed up. How much unfurling goes on whilst it steeps is pretty remarkable. The transformation is so pretty afterwards when I look at the leaves expanded and transformed. Each oolong I try from Oollo has a unique flavour even with no added ingredients. Oollo describes this tea as having “elegant lilac and vanilla fragrances while developing delicate sweet, floral notes” There is a lovely flowery and grassy flavour that blends with a natural creaminess. A very nice late morning/early afternoon tea before I switch to herbal and rooibos teas. The more I drink oolongs, the more I value that transition tea from the morning black and mates to the late afternoon/evening herbals.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Grass

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML
Fjellrev

Ooh, lilac!

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80

Received a small sample of this tea at last year’s Tea Festival in Vancouver which I finally got to today (sadly I’m failing miserably at my goal of consuming tea within 12 months of purchase for most of my cupboard stock). The appearance of the leaves are quite pretty with both greenish and brown hues. Oollo describes the appearance of their blend as “five colour dancing leaves”. Some of the leaves almost have a twig-like appearance with their rust colouring. Brewed up, there is a lovely earthy aroma that has a crisp and clean woodsy flavour. I didn’t detect the apricot, peach, orchid, muscat grape or apple flavours that Oollo notes but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Maybe those accents have faded with time or weren’t as prominent in my sample. I’m really enjoying all of the oolongs I’ve tried from Oollo so far.

Flavors: Earth, Grass, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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Free sample. I’m not a huge fan of it because I am REALLY picky with roasted oolongs now, but it’s a decent tieguanyin. There’s a little bit of complexity in the taste and it’s bready overall. The fructose sweetness does not develop until later. Otherwise mediocre.

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95

I have enjoyed this tea so much more over the extended time I’ve had it. The sugarcane and sweet pea notes have become stronger, but it is still creamy and incredibly floral in an entirely sweet tea. Gong fu is the way to go for this tea, and compared to Oollo’s other selections, this was my favorite.

I also liked it more than some Shanlinxi’s I’ve had…yes, THAT came out of my mouth. Or fingertips typing. But the Shan Lin Xi’s I’ve had have been overwhelmingly savory or vegetal. I like savory black teas, but I need more balance for my oolongs. This one has that balance with its orchid and hyacinth profile, but the green sugarcane taste is consistent.

It does become more grassy-floral and watery in the later steeps, but it is still a fine tea. I’m so glad this grew on me. Now for the What-Cha order I am incredibly obsessive over.

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95

This was a nice tea. It took a while to develop, but it did. Vegetal and green, but not overly so because of how light it was. There were definite creamy notes of vanilla and some fruitiness, but vanilla, florals, and fresh greens were the tastes overall. Three western steeps. My main complaint was the price and the lightness of the tea.

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80

Okay, not bad cold brewed. A little more grassy, still creamy and floral. Surprisingly thicker. Could have used sweetener like honey crystals.

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80

It’s been a while since I had this. There are about two cups left, so now was the right time for the revisit. I was craving something smooth and light and texture.

I do not know what I did, but the tea was lovely this time. There were strong notes of nuts, unsweetened coconut milk, and balanced butter all around. Some vegetal profiles transitioned smoothly in the floral background. That was in the first steep. Steep two was much the same but slightly sweeter and dryer. It had the honey taste that could be as a result of the very light roast that some leaves have. I seriously wonder if this tea tastes better because a roasted vanilla tie guan yin occupied the cup before. Oh well, you will find out when I finally getting to review Revival.

More than likely its the culprit, but this tea again does have a light roast on some leaves and does yield a naturally warm milk profile. I do like the flavored one I have more, but I definitely appreciate the natural quality of this Alishan a lot more than I previously did. Might cold brew the rest…

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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80

The revisit as promised.

To really notice the natural flavor of this one, I drank it side by side with a heavily flavored milk oolong from Dragon Tea House, which will be now known as the B.S. tea.

This was done using water at 190 degrees, a tea spoon of leaves, and 3-4 ounces of water- which is sooo specific.

Like I reviewed before, this is a very subtle tea, and to really hone in what I should look for, I had to remind myself that this was a natural Ali Shan tea. Every single Li Shan and A Lishan has been drastically different for me though their profile is very, very similar. There have been Li Shan’s that were fruitier and creamier than the Ali Shan’s I’ve had, and there have been Ali Shans that were sweeter and again a bit fruitier than other Li Shan’s I’ve had. This dilemma of hit or miss also applies to Jin Xuans in terms of their fruity taste.

Jin Xuan’s are always creamy in texture with a smooth buttered spinach taste. Florals and fruitiness in the tea differ, but I always hope for something lemony, coconut like, or pineapple like. Taking into account that this is an Alishan as well, this tea might be more vegetal, floral, and subtle than I want.

So after two minutes and a half in the first steep, I get the same thing that I wrote in the previous long review but I appreciate more. This tea tastes like a smooth, nutty, and creamy oolong with a highly spinachy yet low aroma floral body with very minimal fruity hints. And when I say low scent floral-I mean it literally tastes like eating flowers with a narrow what-ya-ma-call-it grassiness.

Based on my recently extended experience with Jin Xuans, I’d call this a good standard, but a very standard Jin Xuan. A lot of more experienced drinkers would enjoy it for its subtlety and consistent quality, but the very light array of flavors that this has pales to other natural JIn Xuans.

I can see why people might prefer this to a flavored one. I’ve always had a slight understanding of flavored Milk Oolongs being so flavored that they are fake tasting, but I did not realize that even decent flavoring can also overwhelm the slightest of qualities. Good Jin Xuan’s to me normally have a fruity aftertaste that is close to something lemony or tropical. The b.s. oolong had it during specific brew times and temperatures. The natural tea flavors were otherwise muddled and more possibly with larger leaves. This oolong had the tropical flavor too, but it was there more because I was looking for it in the tea.

I’m still a bit partial to some flavored teas, but the natural taste to this is to be appreciated. This sample will probably end up in my consolidation sale.

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80

I had to drink this tea thinking this was a Golden Lily. I expected it to be flavored last time which distracted me. Now, I can focus on the subtle profiles.

There was a lot of little things going on with this tea. It was primarily green and vegetal to me, but a fresh green like celery that Amanda describes. I’m not getting the creamy sweetness that other reviews have described, but a spinachy sweetness if that makes sense following a floral sweetness. Osmanthus was the note that screamed at me the most. There were very light tropical qualities like coconut and pineapple skin reminding me of Whispering Pines Golden Lily, but this tea was not nearly as sweet.

I’ll experiment more to get sweeter flavors, but what I got was a solid Golden Lily with very subtle Alishan taste qualities. I think a purist would enjoy this tea, but the notes were way to subdued for me personally. This tea does taste good cold, though. It would probably be a good cold brew.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Lighter steep, and more flavor was drawn out, but incredibly subtle flavor. Definitely needs a revisit.

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80

I need to try this tea again. There was no smell dry leaf, and the wet leaf had a nice coconuty scent. The taste was bland. I could have oversteeped it, but all I got was a highly vegetal and flat Jin Xuan.

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I’ve been looking forward to this one because I’ve always wanted to try a Cui Ruan Lishan. Here’s what I got so far.

I tried a rinse, and it was faint. Had to do the two full recommended minutes. This kind of deterred me. But the dry leaf earlier had the nice spicebush and floral peony smell, so I kept my hopes up.

Vegetal, green, and very floral. But oddly complex. At 200 F, it was more vegetal than anything else. Yet as it cooled down, the sweeter floral notes were much more noticeable and incredibly pleasant making the liquor creamier. The smell actually reminded me of cooked marshmallows. More later…

Steep two, more floral, a little bit of sugar cane sweetness that was barely present until the tea cooled down.

More spicebush, vegetals, and florals later.

This was quite enjoyable and had some staying power western, but I was hoping for the tea to be one I could Gong Fu. it reminded me of a Tie Guan Yin in its florals, and tasted like a better Li Shan overall. My expectations of fruitier and sweeter notes left me a bit disappointed. The tea was good and complex enough to change with temperature, but not worth the price I paid. I have higher hopes for the others then.

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86

Had a sample of this Oollo tea from the Vancouver Tea Festival that I brewed up today. It has a really nice earthy aroma to it, and a very clean and crisp flavour. It’s aptly named as the liquor is a lovely reddish hue. Although I’m usually more partial to flavoured black teas, this was quite pleasant without any added ingredients. I didn’t detect the cinnamon, date or peppermint flourishes myself, but they are listed in the description for the tea. Quite a nice way to appreciate the elegant flavour profile of a black tea without the complicating added ingredients I’m used to. I think I have a new respect for it.

Flavors: Earth, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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87
drank Baozhong Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
87 tasting notes

Deep dark green twisted leaves. very heady floral aromas. I need to sniff flowers more because I never know what is what. but definitely detect lilac.
Also some celery.
Palate is very light and again very floral with a touch of spiciness at the end.
think nutmeg and a wee drop of aniseed.

slightest grip on the finish in the throat

overall, extremely delicate and floral tea. Thank you, Taiwan

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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88
drank Alishan by Oollo Tea
87 tasting notes

It’s been far too long since I’ve sat down with a Taiwanese wulong. So I began digging through my teas and was fortunate to find this one.
Lovely floral bouquet that gave me flashbacks of dewy spring mornings. Initial vegetal aromas lead to an almond skin nuttiness. Bit of hair perm solution
Later was getting more of a buttery roasted coconut smell
Fairly light in body with a pleasant astringency.

I miss Taiwan

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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drank Red Jade Black Tea by Oollo Tea
2221 tasting notes

Smells SOOOOO good!

I saw a talk about oolong teas by Jenny Lo yesterday, and had to pick up a couple teas to try. They had some 10g sample sizes, which made me really happy… although I possibly should have bought more of this one. It smells SO GOOD!

I’m steeping in my ~120-ish ml kyusu (of course), and used about 1/3 of the packet. The rest of it will be going to a friend.

I’m just steeping till it “looks right”, so the first was about 30 seconds or so.

My frog army is enjoying the taste as well. ;) https://www.instagram.com/p/-ZRPqyx5Cs/

This tea is delicious. It’s not quite as sweet or honey like as I was expecting, but it is a really solid tea. At 30 seconds you get some sweetness, the maltiness, a touch of astringency. Yum.

The only cure for a tea hangover is more tea.

OMGsrsly

The third steep I accidentally steeped a bit longer, and I totally see what they mean about the minty finish. So tasty.

Sil

sounds delicious

OMGsrsly

Om nom tea.

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drank Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
1719 tasting notes

I have a forest full of cicada noises inside my head. My head and ear hurt. I am a big baby when I don’t feel good. I thought tea would make me feel better. It helped but really this tea deserves a better review than it is about to get.

I grabbed this for the tea sap sucking leaf hopper vampire connection. Seemed appropriate. The leaf, despite the vampire bites, are beautiful. They are brown, cinnamon, green, white, with touches of yellow. It is composed of leaves and buds on stems. I don’t detect a lot of aroma from the leaf, except some faint peony blossoms.

The steep leaf scent is honey and fruit. The liquor is honey/caramel in color.

To me, if I didn’t know this was a Taiwanese oolong, I would have believed it to be a Nepalese black tea. It tastes of raisin drifting into muscat grapes. It also has a nutty, deep woods presence to it. Late in the sip I sense it opening up with floral notes. that seem again like peony blossoms. Very good.

Kaylee

Hope you feel better soon!

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drank Baozhong Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
10335 tasting notes

Another tea from VariaTEA always nice trying new teas…even if they are green oolongs! This has a fabulous aroma to it, though it ands squarely in that oolong range that i don’t love. However, ignoring that, i can see this being a nice vegetal oolong for those that like that taste.

VariaTEA

Haha I don’t remember owning half of these teas

Sil

well that’s ok :) I’m enjoying them haha

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