Golden Tea Leaf’s Ali Mountain Oolong

Ali Mountain Oolong by Golden Tea Leaf
Oolong Tea / Straight
$13.50 for 50g

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

First Impressions

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Ali Mountain Oolong came to me from Golden Tea Leaf in sample packaging. For those curious, ‘shan’ is Chinese word for mountain (hence – Alishan or Ali Shan is Ali Mountain). This oolong tea was the first place winner at the 2015 North American Tea Championship, so I’m quite excited about trying it!  The sample packet is not resealable, I would say it contained enough oolong for perhaps three steeping sessions.

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Ali Mountain Oolong came to me from Golden Tea Leaf in sample packaging. For those curious, ‘shan’ is Chinese word for mountain (hence – Alishan or Ali Shan is Ali Mountain). This oolong tea was the first place winner at the 2015 North American Tea Championship, so I’m quite excited about trying it!  The sample packet is not resealable, I would say it contained enough oolong for perhaps three steeping sessions.

Preparation

There were no steeping instructions noted on the sample packet, but Golden Tea Leaf does have an instructional page on their website. They recommend steeping in 95°C (203°F) water for 2 minutes (initial steep), followed by 2-5 minutes for each subsequent steep. My initial steep of Ali Mountain Oolong was at 90°C (195°F) for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Ali Mountain Oolong steeps to a very pale yellow for the initial steep. I found that the aroma of this oolong was quite floral. The flavour of the tea itself is sweet, floral, with a bit of a sweet nutty finish at the end of each sip. I found that the tea was smooth, with no bitterness to note. The oolong has a great mouthfeel to it, that’s almost creamy in texture. I eagerly finished off the first infusion of this tea to try it again (and again, and again).

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A Second Cup?

I added an extra 30 seconds per subsequent steep as I resteeped the same leaves. In total, I did seven resteeps of Ali Mountain Oolong (a total of eight steeps with the same leaves). I found that the tea got darker and darker, more of a golden yellow – which hit its peak in colour by steep four of the same leaves. The flavour got stronger as the colour became darker. After the fourth steep, I found that the flavour (and colour) began to get weaker, but it was still quite flavourful and enjoyable, even by the eighth steep.

I poured off some of the tea into a mason jar, which got tucked into my fridge after it cooled to room temperature. I’m happy to also say that this oolong does quite well as an iced tea.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Golden Tea Leaf’s Ali Mountain Oolong. This oolong was a delight to try and to steep repeatedly. The price is quite reasonable for the quality of tea that you get with this Ali Mountain Oolong – the flavour is delicious and the tea leaves can be resteeped over and over again until you completely exhaust the leaves out of flavour. You get a lot of value out of these leaves with the multiple steeps that you can have, which means it is ideal to have over the course of a day.

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Golden Tea Leaf’s Dung Ting Oolong – Traditional

Dung Ting Oolong – Traditional by Golden Tea Leaf
Oolong Tea / Straight
$21.99 for 100g

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Golden Tea Leaf has provided me with Dung Ting Oolong – Traditional for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I got a small sample packet of Dung Ting Oolong – Traditional roast from Golden Tea Leaf. There isn’t really anything remarkable about the packaging. I love a good oolong, so I was really looking forward to trying this one from Golden Tea Leaf! The dry leaf is mostly a dark brown with some golden parts to the leaf. There’s an overall nutty aroma with mild vegetal notes. Generally, I find that it reminds me of chestnuts.

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The leaves are rolled tightly. Like with most of my rolled teas, I don’t use a full spoonful because I know that the leaves will expand a lot when I’m steeping the tea.

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Preparation

Golden Tea Leaf recommends steeping Dung Ting Oolong – Traditional at 95°C (203°F) for 2 minutes (initial steep), 2-5 minutes (for all subsequent steeps). My initial steep was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Dung Ting Oolong steeps to a beautiful golden yellow in a short period of time. There’s a nutty aroma to this tea, with a slight sweetness in the background. When I sip this tea, I note sweet plum flavours as well as some earthy mushroom flavours. I really like the differing flavors, it adds a level of complexity to this tea that’s a pleasure to drink.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Dung Ting Oolong a total of four times, adding an extra 30 second per subsequent steep. I found that the oolong became a darker golden yellow with each steep. The plum flavours become stronger while the earthy flavours start to subside by the second resteep. There’s a mild astringency at the end of each sip that I didn’t find in the initial steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Golden Tea Leaf’s Dung Ting Oolong – Traditional. I found this oolong to be quite enjoyable in it’s initial steep. The plum flavour is delicious, and I really enjoyed the earthiness of the mushroom flavours. For me, the initial steep was more enjoyable than the other steeps of the same leaves because of that astringency I noted with the subsequent steeps.

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InNature Teas’ Alpine Oolong (Jie Guan Yin) Tea

Alpine Oolong (Jie Guan Yin) Tea by InNature Teas
Oolong Tea / Straight
£5.45 for 50g

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InNature Teas has provided me with Alpine Oolong Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Alpine Oolong Tea came to me in a sturdy cardboard box, much like Red Rose Tea did. The tea itself came in a gold foil package, which was not resealable. I remedied this issue by folding the foil package back up and putting it into a sealable plastic bag and into the box. I like keeping teas in original packaging if possible, especially when it’s packaging that’s labelled with information. Alpine Oolong Tea is also known as Jie Guan Yin – you may be more familiar with Iron Goodness or Tie Guan Yin or Tie Kwan Yin.

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Alpine Oolong Tea is a straight oolong tea. The dry leaf has a strong floral aroma to it. The leaves themselves vary from a bright to a dark green, all tightly bunched and rolled together. I’m really looking forward to steeping these tea leaves and seeing how much they expand.

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Preparation

InNature Teas suggests steeping Alpine Oolong Tea in 100°C (212°F) water for 1-2 minutes and suggests that this tea can be steeped up to three times. My initial steep of Alpine Oolong Tea was for 1 minute.

First Taste

The initial step of Alpine Oolong Tea steeps to a pale golden yellow. I found that the aroma to be fairly similar to the dry leaf – mostly floral sweetness. The taste of this tea is surprisingly not as sweet as I expected. There was a smooth floral flavour to this tea, with subtle grassy notes, and a light honeyed sweetness for a finish. There’s a certain level of complexity to this tea that is enjoyable to explore.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Alpine Oolong Tea a total of five times (six steeps total with the same leaves) and the tea did not disappoint. The oolong steeped to a darker golden yellow with each subsequent steep. The flavour gets a bit stronger – the floral becomes more pronounced, but the sweetness in this tea doesn’t get stronger (which is nice).

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Because I did so many steeps of this oolong, I did pour the excess Alpine Oolong Tea into a mason jar that wound up in my fridge. Bonus – this tea is excellent cold/iced as well!

My Overall Impression

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I loved InNature Tea’s Alpine Oolong Tea. I loved the complexity in the flavours and exploring the subtle changes with each steep. I would wholeheartedly recommend resteeping this tea, as the flavours get stronger. This tea would be excellent paired with a meal, I’d think, because it isn’t too sweet to detract from a savoury meal. It’s definitely a tea to resteep over a morning or afternoon, since it holds up so well to being resteeped.

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Golden Tea Leaf’s Iris Orchid Oolong

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

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

First Impressions

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My Overall Impression

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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.

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Golden Tea Leaf’s Pine Oolong

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

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

First Impressions

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My Overall Impression

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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.

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