Golden Tea Leaf’s Iris Orchid Oolong

Iris Orchid Oolong by Golden Tea Leaf
Oolong Tea / Straight
$15.00 for 50g

20171211-goldentealeafirisorchi

Golden Tea Leaf has provided me with Iris Orchid Oolong for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

20171211-goldentealeafirisorchi1

Iris Orchid Oolong came to me from Golden Tea Leaf in a black sample packet. The tea leaves are dark, almost a purple-black with a light twist. The aroma that wafts up from the tea leaves is primarily floral that reminds me a lot of orchids, although I don’t really smell anything that reminds me of irises.

According to Golden Tea Leaf, Iris Orchid Oolong is a oolong from the Guangdong Province in China. This is a straight oolong tea. There was some tiny tea leaf fragments in the sample packet.

20171211-goldentealeafirisorchi2

Preparation

There were no preparation recommends on the packet of Iris Orchid Oolong, or on the product page. However, Golden Tea Leaf has a page all about their teas (Everything About Oolong Tea).

Golden Tea Leaf recommends steeping oolongs at 95°C (203°F) water for a first steep for 2 minutes or less, a second and third  steep for 2 to 5 minutes, and for any steeps beyond that for 2 to 5 minutes. My initial steep was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Iris Orchid Oolong steeps to a beautiful pale yellow after a two minute steep. The aroma that comes up from the steeped oolong, and the fragrance is so deeply floral. This oolong is smooth, with a touch of floral creaminess. I found the tea to have a slight sweetness. Iris Orchid Oolong does taste a lot like the way it smells – very floral and enjoyable. I found that the flavour to be enticing because the floral notes are so inviting.

20171211-goldentealeafirisorchi3

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Iris Orchid Oolong according to Golden Tea Leaf’s recommended steeping instructions. I opted to add an additional 30 seconds per subsequent resteep. I found that Iris Orchid Oolong became a darker yellow with each steep until it became a bright golden yellow. The flavour became creamier, with a hint of butter, all the while retaining the bright floral flavours and fragrance. I resteeped Iris Orchid Oolong a total of eight times before it started to lose too much of the flavour.

20171211-goldentealeafirisorchi4

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Golden Tea Leaf’s Iris Orchid Oolong. I found that the tea was perfectly floral, with a really nice creaminess to the steeped tea that got better with each steep. The floral notes were sweet, and not overwhelming to the senses while being inviting. I found that the tea was smooth and tasty. Iris Orchid Oolong resteeps so well, I would definitely recommend having this one over and over again. The floral sweetness is enough that this tea doesn’t need anything added to it at all. I quite appreciated Golden Tea Leaf’s recommended steeping times for each steep and enjoyed the tea that I got out of these oolong tea leaves.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Golden Tea Leaf’s Pine Oolong

Pine Oolong by Golden Tea Leaf
Oolong Tea / Straight
$8.99 for 50g

20171203-goldentealeafpineoolong

Golden Tea Leaf has provided me with Pine Oolong for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

20171203-goldentealeafpineoolong1

Pine Oolong came to me in single serving packets, all neatly prepared in pyramid sachets. There are some beautiful, full-looking leaves inside of the pyramid. There’s a slightly salty aroma to the tea leaves that contrasts from the sweet floral fragrance that also come from the tea leaves. I ripped open the pyramid sachets to get a better look at the tea leaves. Pine Oolong is a straight oolong tea, described as a semi-fermented green tea by Golden Tea Leaf.

20171203-goldentealeafpineoolong2

20171203-goldentealeafpineoolong3

Preparation

Golden Tea Leaf recommends steeping Pine Oolong in 95°C (203°F) water for 2-3 minutes for the first steep, and for 3-5 minutes for the second steep. My initial steep of Pine Oolong was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Pine Oolong steeps to a beautiful golden honey colour. There’s a sweet floral aroma that wafts up from the tea. I did notice that the leaves had fully expanded to fill out the entire pyramid sachet – I definitely think that this tea should be steeped in a basket infuser and not in the sachet itself because of the need for the leaves to expand. The flavour of this oolong primarily sweet and floral, with just a little bit of umami at the end of each sip.

20171203-goldentealeafpineoolong4

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Pine Oolong for 3 minutes, and found the flavours to be still true to the initial steep. I managed to resteep Pine Oolong a total of four times (five steeps total), and adding 30 seconds per subsequent resteep. I found the floral sweetness to stay pretty strong up to the third steep total, and got a bit weaker for the fourth and fifth steep. The umami part stayed pretty true to the initial steep all the way through all of the steeps.

20171203-goldentealeafpineoolong5

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Golden Tea Leaf’s Pine Oolong. I really enjoyed the floral aromas and flavours that I found in the dry and steeped tea. The umami notes that I found in this tea made the flavour just a bit more complex and delicious to enjoy. The sweet floral notes hold strong throughout and it was a real treat to resteep over and over again. I think the tea would pair well with a meal because of the umami notes.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.