The Tao of Tea included a free sample of this oolong with one of my orders in 2017. A Nepalese oolong, this tea was produced in the spring of 2016 by the Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden in the Dhankuta region. What-Cha also offered a Jun Chiyabari oolong from the spring of 2016 that I enjoyed greatly. I cannot be certain, but I am pretty sure this was the same tea, though clearly subjected to different vendor storage conditions (Portland vs. London) and stored for varying lengths of time and sampled at different times by me. Once I finally got around to trying this tea (last week), it had not lost a step in storage. This was every bit as good as the aforementioned What-Cha oolong, though this one struck me as being somewhat sweeter and fruitier. I’m thinking the additional storage on my part may have done it some good.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes. Yes, in order to make a direct comparison between the two, I employed the same brewing method I used for the What-Cha tea.

Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of orange, plum, and butter coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I noted emerging aromas of violet, dandelion, daisy, chrysanthemum, marigold, malt, and wood. The first infusion brought out hints of straw and rose on the nose. In the mouth, I found fairly robust notes of butter, malt, grass, straw, plum, orange, wood, and all of the flowers mentioned in the preceding sentences. Subsequent infusions brought out impressions of vanilla, minerals, lemon zest, pungent herbs, almond, and nutmeg. The later infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, straw, grass, wood, and pungent herbs underscored by traces of butter, violet, orange, and rose.

In terms of both smell and taste, this tea was near identical to the Nepal Jun Chiyabari ‘Himalayan Bouquet’ Oolong Tea previously offered by What-Cha . Again, I am willing to bet this was the same tea. I know I have said it before, but I liked the What-Cha offering quite a bit, and I liked this one just as much.

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Herbs, Malt, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange, Plums, Straw, Vanilla, Violet, Wood

185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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