Grand Tea’s Organic GABA Oolong

Organic GABA Oolong by Grand Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$50.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Organic GABA 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

Another GABA tea from Grand Tea (the first one I reviewed was Organic GABA Black Tea), only this one is an oolong. Organic GABA Oolong has a very distinctive smell that comes out of the bag when I ripped it open. It reminds me of the smell of golden raisins, which I’ve always found to be brighter and more fresh smelling than the sticky dark raisins that came in those little red boxes come Halloween time. The leaves are tightly squished together. Non tea drinkers probably think it’s weird to call tea leaves pretty, but I do all the time because they are!

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Preparation

The packaging for Organic GABA Oolong didn’t have any steeping instructions, nor did the product page on Grand Tea’s website. I opted to steep my Organic GABA Oolong in 85°C (185°F) water for 2 minutes for the initial steep. As per usual, I used my Breville IQ Kettle.

First Taste

Organic GABA Oolong steeps to a bright gold colour, it’s quite cheerful and it’s very welcome in my teacup with the rather dreary weather I’ve been experiencing lately. This tea smells remarkably like golden raisins, and it tastes like golden raisins as well. There’s this honey taste to this tea that is rather nice, and the tea has a slightly thicken texture to it that coats the mouth well with flavour. Essentially, the entire first steep of this tea tastes like candy because of the level of sweetness and the fruitiness of the golden raisins.

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A Second Cup?

I steeped this tasty oolong an additional six times, I add an extra 30 seconds of steeping time for each steep. For the first resteep, I experienced a mix of golden raisins and peaches, which was really quite tasty. This fruity combination continued throughout all of the resteeps and the intensity of the honey sweetness does decrease as I continued to steep this oolong.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Organic GABA Oolong. I think that anyone who knows me personally knows that I have a huge sweet tooth, so it probably comes to a surprise to absolutely nobody that I really enjoyed this Organic GABA Oolong tea. The level of sweetness in this first tea makes me think of candy and it’s so tasty! Golden raisins are delicious, so the honeyed taste of raisins in my cup made me down the first cup relatively quickly. I really enjoyed the subsequent steeps of this oolong because the flavours changed subtly and it was enjoyable to have the taste of peaches and raisins in my cup. I found that this tea resteeped amazingly well for a total of seven resteeps.

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TeaHaus’s China Milky Jade

China Milky Jade by TeaHaus
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$14.60USD for 50g

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TeaHaus has provided me with China Milky Jade for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

China Milky Jade is TeaHaus’s milk oolong. Described as “premium oolong classic”, milk oolong is produced by infusing it the tea leaves with milk flavor (and, from the description on the sample label, done via a steam bath). China Milky Jade has a very nice aroma to it – very milky, creamy, almost a hint of butter. But mostly it’s the milk and cream qualities that shine through in this tea when I opened up the bag. There’s a soft floral scent to the tea as well, but the hints of flowers take a backseat to the milk aroma in this oolong.

China Milky Jade is an oolong tea with milk flavouring infused to it via the process of tea production.

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Preparation

TeaHaus recommends steeping China Milky Jade in 90°C (194°F) water for 2 minutes. My initial steep of China Milky Jade was in 90°C water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

China Milky Jade steeps to a pale yellow for the initial steep. The aroma of milk is very fragrant in this tea. This milk oolong is very smooth with no bitterness or astringency to note. I quite enjoyed the milk flavour of this oolong – it’s got a lovely smooth texture, and has a buttery taste from the cream/milk flavours. There are some mild floral notes to this tea, but I find that the dairy is more prominent in comparison. The floral flavours of this oolong add just a hint of sweetness, but it’s not the most obvious flavour of this tea.

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A Second Cup?

I love resteeping oolong because they generally do very well. China Milky Jade did not disappoint. On subsequent resteeps, I add an additional 30 seconds per steep and the tea comes out a brighter, more vibrant shade of yellow. In total, I resteeped China Milky Jade a total of nine times (ten steeps overall). I found as I got further in, the dairy notes begin to fade and the light floral sweetness comes out more and more. I would say this oolong did get to be a bit watered down by the seventh resteep (eighth overall steep), but it’s still got a hint of flavour.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved TeaHaus’s China Milky Jade. I was very impressed with how well China Milky Jade resteeped. It’s a delicious oolong with great dairy flavouring to it. I found that the subtle switch in the flavour profile to be delicious as it began to be less dairy and more floral. The leaves opened up tremendously and it was a great tea to enjoy. This is definitely a tea that deserves the time to be steeped again and again. I feel this tea would go well with both sweets and savoury dishes because of the milky and floral flavours.

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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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