574 Tasting Notes


I am decidedly a green oolong person but I do enjoy a good roasted oolong every now and then, especially iced. This tea from Verdant is an interesting offering. It feels like a hybrid between a Dan Cong, Shui Xian, and Laoshan black tea. It has the sweetness of a Dan Cong, the deep mineral notes of Verdant’s Shui Xian tea, and a hint of chocolate/cocoa as it goes down reminiscent of Laoshan. I had to dial back the leaf quantity because the cocoa and mineral notes become too heavy for me.

It’s not as floral as I was expecting – which was a little disappointing – and less floral than other roasted TGY teas. I tried this side by side with Adagio’s TGY and thought Adagio’s was more balanced though not as full-bodied as this one.

This is a solid but unspectacular TGY with a slightly unusual flavor profile. I’ll probably cold steep the rest of my stash because it tastes a lot better cold.

Flavors: Cocoa, Mineral, Wood

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Mint Oolong by Naivetea
574 tasting notes

This mint flavor of this tea is quite different. I’m used to the dried mint found in most teas and steeped fresh mint leaves. The flavor of this tea is akin to those red striped peppermint candies. You get a blast of peppermint that hits your throat and leaves a tingly minty/menthol sensation in your mouth. The strong mintiness overpowers the flavor of the oolong too much for my liking. My least favorite of NaiveTea’s infused oolongs.

Flavors: Peppermint

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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The tea itself is visually beautiful and the salt pickled flowers have a sweet cherry blossom aroma. But the taste doesn’t match the intensity of aroma.

Following tasting notes from other Steepsterites, I rinsed two flowers with hot water (140 F) for one minute and then steeped the leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes in glass teapot. The tea tasted like salt water with a very faint cherry flavor. To boost the cherry blossom flavor, I kept the flowers submerged in hot water and put the teapot on a warmer to help it continue brewing. 15 minutes later the cherry blossom notes were a little more prominent but saltiness still overpowered the tea.

I still have a few flowers left so I’m going to troubleshoot this tea to see if I can subdue the saltiness a bit and coax out more cherry flavor. I would not recommend this tea if you want to flavor your sencha or want a strongly floral tea. Den’s Sakura Sencha has a lot of real sakura taste and would be a better option. I also discovered freeze dried cherry blossoms on Amazon which may produce a better tasting tea.

Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Salty, Vinegar

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 OZ / 147 ML

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I steeped 1 tsp of this per package directions @ 175 degrees for 2 minutes per package directions and the resulting tea was pretty nondescript. Increasing the amount of leaf roughly 3x produced a much more robust cup.

The flavor of the liquor was smooth and vegetal with hints of savory grass. As it goes down you get a light butteriness and brothy mouthfeel. Not much sweetness here nor any bitterness for what matter.

Personally, I found this tasted like a generic green tea. Good, but nothing special. I would reach for a long jing or sencha over this any day.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Green Beans, Vegetable Broth

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Lavender Oolong by Naivetea
574 tasting notes

This is the tea I was most looking forward to in my NaiveTea sampler pack. I love lavender in chamomile and with NaiveTea’s flair for flavored tea, I figured this would be winner. But I’m sad to say this was not one of their best.

The oolong base doesn’t taste as good as those in their other blends. The tea has a mild lavender flavor but also tastes like flat wheat and a bit stale. It lacks depth and body and isn’t very floral – something I thought would mingle nicely with the lavender.

I’ll try play with steeping variations to see if I can coax out some more flavor out of this tea. In the meantime, I’ll continue to reach for my jar of dried lavender buds for when I want some lavender flavor in my tea.

Flavors: Hay, Lavender

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This is a nice, lightly floral green oolong with a balanced mix of sweet and vegetal. I was surprised at how dramatically different this tea tastes when alternating between western and gongfu style brewing. Steeped western style, I get a lot more vegetal notes and a slight bitterness. The florals are mostly muted and the overall flavor is more like green tea.

But this tea’s true colors really shine when steeped gong fu style. It’s flavor changes to sweet and floral, slightly fruity with a soft vegetal finish and almost thick mouthfeel. Gongfu brewing is definitely the way to go with this tea.

Overall, a very pleasant jade oolong with a nice, balanced flavor profile. Eco-Cha’s price ($7 for 75 grams) is an excellent value for such an impressive tea.

Thank you to curlygc for the sample.

Flavors: Flowers, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank White Peach Oolong by Naivetea
574 tasting notes

I’ve been working my way through my flavored oolong sampler pack from NaiveTea and peach oolong was next in the lineup. This is a really delicious tea with lots of bright peach flavor. The base milk oolong contributes a very smooth, buttery taste of this tea and accentuates its sweetness.

As good as this tea was it wasn’t life changing. To be honest it tasted similar to many other higher quality peach flavored teas and I would say it’s only marginally better than Lupica’s Momo Oolong, another excellent peach oolong.

Like other NaiveTea flavored teas, this made a great iced tea and IMO tastes better cold-brewed.

Flavors: Butter, Peach

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This was an enjoyable, great quality sencha especially for the price. Full bodied and very well balanced sweetness and mild astringency. I started off steeping it at 155 F and then dropped the temperature by about 5 degrees with each subsequent steep. The tea got lighter and creamier as it progressed. On the fourth steep, I bumped up the temperature to 165 F and let it go for 2.5 mins. Still produced a tasty cup. A very refreshing sencha overall!

Flavors: Grass, Smooth

155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This one is not for me. It tastes like black tea which I really don’t like. I didn’t pick up any of the flavor notes that others described. No honey, no peach, no butterscotch, nothing except a generic black tea flavor.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

You know, I find that Oriental/Asian/Eastern Beauty Oolongs really remind me of black tea as well. I’m not the biggest fan of black teas either, which maybe explains why I don’t care much for these oolongs or many Wuyi/Rock Oolongs.

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drank Passionfruit Oolong by Naivetea
574 tasting notes

Another winner from NaiveTea! The dry leaf is very sweet smelling, with the aroma of exotic tropical fruits. I steeped it according to package directions (50s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 90s, and 2m). The first steeps tasted unmistakably of succulent passionfruit. As with their lychee oolong, the passionfruit takes front and center here and complements the buttery oolong in the background. It has a similar juicy sweetness and thick mouthfeel. Nothing artificial about this tea at all. After about 6 steeps, I cold steeped the leaves in the fridge overnight for a fantastic iced tea.

Flavors: Fruity, Passion Fruit

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky



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