Oollo Tea’s Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong

Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong by Oollo Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$12.00 for 25g

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This is my 150th tea review on One More Steep! Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong is also called Pear Mountain High Mountain Oolong on Oollo Tea’s website.

First Impressions

I bought Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong from Oollo Tea’s booth at the 2016 Vancouver Tea Festival based off of the recommendation from one of the lovely ladies there. I just love the classy look of the white and silver packaging, it’s just very nice to look at. Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong is described as have “peony and lily” notes, while having a “refreshing long aftertaste”. This tea is grown at 2000m elevation in Cuiruan, located on Pear Mountain.

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The dry leaf of Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong has a very light floral aroma to it, the tightly rolled pearls of tea are beautiful to look at.  This specific type of oolong is called qingxing oolong (or green heart oolong).

Preparation

Oollo Tea recommends steeping this oolong tea for 2-5 minutes in 95°C (203°F) water. My initial steep was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong steeps to a pale yellow for the initial. The tea itself has a great floral aroma to it that wafts up to you when you pour it into a tea cup. On first sip, I found that there was a light sweetness to that mingles well with the floral flavours. The taste of the tea does linger for a while in the mouth after it’s gone. It’s a very smooth tea, there’s zero bitterness, no astringency, and has a great mouthfeel to it because the tea just coats the entire mouth with the beautiful floral flavours.

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A Second Cup?

I always resteep my oolongs, and Oollo Tea suggests that the tea can be steeped up to 5 times so I had to give it a go. The first resteep, I noted that the liquor of the tea was a more golden, darker yellow than the first steep. There was a mix of floral with some nutty notes to it. There’s still the light sweetness, and the long lingering aftertaste. I continued to resteep Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong until I reached seven resteeps (eight steeps total with the same leaves). I found that the flavour profile of the tea reached a nice balance of floral and nutty by steep three, and the intensity was fairly well retained until the sixth overall steep. The seventh and eighth steep were lacking in flavour intensity, but the flavours were still there. For each sequential steep, I add an extra 30 seconds to the steeping time.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Oollo Tea’s Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong. The flavour profile is complex, and I love how the tea tastes and changes with increasing steeps. This tea holds up well with an amazing number of resteeps, and I could have continued past the eighth steep since the flavour was still there, albeit not as strong. I think this tea could easily be paired with a savoury meal with the nutty flavours or with sweets, since it has those floral notes. It’s a delicious tea and I would definitely recommend resteeping this one throughout the day to experience all the changes with each steep.

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Oollo Tea’s Maliba High Mountain Oolong

Maliba High Mountain Oolong by Oollo Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$10.00 for 25g

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Oollo Tea has provided me with Maliba High Mountain Oolong for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

Oollo Tea’s Maliba High Mountain Oolong is a 2015 spring harvest, and from the Maliba area of Nantou, Taiwan. I quite like the fact that they provide information of various teas. I ripped open the package of Maliba High Mountain Oolong and it kind of slipped out onto the table – graceful, I was not. Maliba High Mountain Oolong has this very light floral fragrance, mixed with something that reminds me of the ocean – just the salt water smell that you can experience when you’re by the ocean.

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Maliba High Mountain Oolong is dark, tightly rolled, and I’m very curious about how it will unfurl when steeped. This is a straight oolong tea from Taiwan that was grown at an elevation of 2000m.

Preparation

Oollo Tea recommends steeping Maliba High Mountain Oolong at 90-95°C (194-203°F) for 1.5-5 minutes. I steeped 2.5g of Maliba High Mountain Oolong in 195°F water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Maliba High Mountain Oolong steeps incredibly pale in the first steep, a very pale yellow. There aroma of the tea has strong floral notes. When I sipped the oolong for the first time, Maliba High Mountain Oolong has a nice sweet floral note, with just a touch of saltiness. The salty notes of the tea adds a bit of umami quality to the tea, the savoury notes mingles well with the sweet floral notes. The complexity of the flavour profile in Maliba High Mountain Oolong is a delight on the tongue.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Maliba High Mountain Oolong a grand total of seven times, adding an additional 30 seconds per steep. The floral becomes a bit more subdued throughout the steepings, and the savoury notes become more prominent. I found that the flavour was most intense for the first resteep, and it remained fairly strong until the very end.

Maliba High Mountain Oolong unfurls and opens up an amazing amount. The unsteeped tea is 2.5g and the steeped side is also 2.5g – look at how much it opens up! I’m always amazed at how much the tea leaves will open up when it’s steeped.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Oollo Tea’s Maliba High Mountain Oolong. I love the sweet-savoury aspect of the initial steep of this oolong, and also how the tea gets more savoury with each additional steep. The oolong has a great flavour, and I love the fact that it can be resteeped so much. The umami flavour is great, and I love that it’s affordably priced, especially considering how well it resteeps.

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DavidsTea’s Berry Romantic

Berry Romantic by DavidsTea
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$9.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

A bit late, but Berry Romantic was one of DavidsTea’s special Valentine’s themed teas this year (The Earl’s Valentine was back again, I didn’t try to find it again in stores because it was such a struggle last year). Berry Romantic has a pun-tastic name, and is a flavoured oolong. It smelled amazing in stores and I really wanted to try it. The description of this tea describes as ‘strawberries and cream’ and I really do have to agree – the first thing I smelled when opening the bag was strawberries.

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Berry Romantic consists of: apple, oolong tea, cane sugar, blackberry leaf, gomphrena petals, jasmine buds, strawberries, rose buds, natural strawberry flavouring, and artificial cream flavouring.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Berry Romantic in 75-80°C (167-176°F) water for 4-7 minutes (as per their website); on the packaging it’s “hot water” for 4-7 minutes. I miss when they had the temperature of water printed on the labels instead.

First Taste

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Berry Romantic steeps to a light golden orange and it really does smell like strawberries and cream! The strawberries/berries aroma is much lighter than I expected from the dry leaf – but at the same time, it’s to be expected with added flavouring. I cannot make out the aroma of the oolong at all, which is a bit disappointing. For an oolong blend, the flavour of the oolong is lost on me when I taste it. The strawberries and berries flavour is strongest when sipped, with mild dairy notes with the cream. There’s not much of a floral flavouring to it, which is surprising considering the amount of flowers in the ingredients list. Berry Romantic has a subtle sweetness to it, mostly due to the cane sugar and berries I presume.

I added some additional honey to my cup of Berry Romantic – the added sweetness helps brighten up the strawberry flavouring, and makes it more delicious.

A Second Cup?

Berry Romantic doesn’t steep well – the strawberries flavour doesn’t come out as strongly, and it’s more floral the second steep around. The oolong doesn’t really come through the second time around either.

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My Overall Impression

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I thought that DavidsTea’s Berry Romantic was just okay. While I really like the way that Berry Romantic smells and tastes (for the first steep), the berry flavour is delicious but I was left wanting a bit more because the oolong flavour wasn’t really there at all throughout the entire steeping experience. The first steep was definitely the best and I think best evoked the strawberries & cream flavour that DavidsTea spoke about in their description of Berry Romantic, but it is a one steep wonder. It would be a great tea to serve at an afternoon tea with desserts and sweets, but not one to resteep repeatedly throughout a morning.

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Oollo Tea’s Oriental Beauty

Oriental Beauty by Oollo Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$10.00 for 25g

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First Impressions

I bought Oriental Beauty at Oollo Tea’s booth at the 2016 Vancouver Tea Festival, back in November. This was one of the teas that they were sampling at their booth and I pretty much fell in love with it. The packaging that Oollo Tea uses is simple and effective – a textured card stock box with information on either end about the company is printed in metallic silver.

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The front has basic information about the tea, along with a circular sticker that lets me know that it is a dark oolong, direct trade and single origin from Pinglin, New Taipei, Taiwan. The back of the box has a sticker that tells me the name of the grower (the Zhen family), as well as when it was harvested (May 2016) and steeping instructions. The tea itself is contained in a resealable white, foil lined bag. The packaging overall from Oollo Tea is nothing short of beautiful – I quite like it as it is simple, pretty and (most importantly) functional.

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Oriental Beauty has dark wiry leaves, I love that I can see the soft downy feathers on the leaves. This is always a sign to me that there’s a lovely cup of tea waiting for me. There’s very subtle fruity fragrances in the dry leaf. It reminds me a lot of stone fruit – plums, apricots, with just a smidgen that reminds me of peaches.

Preparation

Oollo Tea recommends steeping Oriental Beauty for 2-4 minutes in 95°C (203°F) water, and suggests that it can be steeped five times. My initial steep of Oriental Beauty was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

After the two minute steep, Oriental Beauty is a nice light yellow. It has a fruity smell to it, which was expected based on the dry leaf smell. My first taste of this tea and I note the stone fruit flavours in it – plums, apricots, peaches. There’s a sweet vanilla taste to the tea that I wasn’t expecting, but it’s quite welcome. The vanilla flavour adds a nice creaminess to the tea. The tea itself is quite smooth and easy to drink, with zero bitterness when steeped for two minutes. I found that the leaves opened up a little bit, but not quite all the way.

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A Second Cup?

The second steep (2 mins, 30 secs) had the addition of floral notes, the same stone fruits, and apple. The packaging suggests that there are grape flavours, but I don’t taste them in the second steep. Overall, I did a total of 7 steeps (6 resteeps) of Oriental Beauty. I found the third steep had the richest, deepest flavours with the apple and stone fruits, the sweetness of the vanilla flavours mingles well with the floral. After the third steep, I lost the apple flavours first (in the fifth steep), and by the seventh steep I was left with primarily flavours of vanilla and plum in my mouth.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Oollo Tea’s Oriental Beauty. I really enjoyed steeping the leaves again and again to discover changes in the flavour profile. From the unexpected creaminess of vanilla to the addition of apple and floral notes, I think this tea does incredibly well with being resteeped and it is definitely a tea to sit down and savour each sip because of the complexity and ever-changing flavours with each steep.

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Grand Tea’s Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin

Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin by Grand Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$58.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

I always love a good oolong, so I was excited to try the Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin from Grand Tea. The tea leaves are tightly rolled and the leaves have a nice mix of light and dark green to them. There’s a light floral scent from the tea leaves. The leaves themselves are quite compacted and the floral scent to them is enjoyable without having a sweet smell to them. Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin is a straight oolong tea. For those that enjoy learning about different teas, tikuanyin is also called tieguanyin or Iron Buddha oolong. Grand Tea’s Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin is a non-roasted, green oolong.

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Preparation

I steeped Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin in 90C (195F) water for an initial steep of 2 minutes.

First Taste

Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin steeps to a pale yellow in the first 2 minutes. There’s a sweet floral smell to the tea that just wafts up from the tea cup – it’s very inviting. While sipping this tea, I found that it has a slight nutty finish to the tea. The tea itself has no bitterness, with a pleasant, smooth mouthfeel to the tea as I drink it. The floral taste to the oolong is enjoyable, and the sweetness to the tea isn’t overpowering the complexity of the flavour profile as it changes from floral to nutty in the same sip. The change in flavour is enjoyable.

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A Second Cup?

I always resteep my oolongs, so it should be no surprise that I resteeped Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin as well. The second steep (steeped for 2 minutes 30 seconds) was deeper and richer in flavour, the nutty flavours at the end of each sip was more pronounced, and the tea steeped to a deeper yellow. I steeped the same leaves a total of eight times, adding an additional 30 seconds for each steep. I found that the flavours were the strongest for steeps 2 to 4, and began to lose its intensity after the fourth steep. The eighth steep was quite watery, so I would recommend up to seven steeps total.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin. I really enjoyed the complex flavour profile that this oolong has, the changes in flavour in the same sip is pretty enjoyable. I love a good oolong that can be resteeped over and over again, and this tea does not disappoint! Because it does resteep so well, it’s definitely a tea I would recommend starting the steeps in the morning and having throughout the day.

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