Aroma Tea House’s Golden Oolong

Golden Oolong by Aroma Tea House
Oolong Tea / Straight
$10.00 for 100g

First Impressions

Another Vancouver Tea Festival purchase and the second oolong out of four from the sampler set that I purchased from Aroma Tea House’s booth. Like the Formosa Oolong that I reviewed earlier this month, Golden Oolong came to me in a sturdy little cardboard tube that holds the tea inside.

The tea leaves vary from light green to a darker forest green. The aroma from the leaves was both floral and nutty, which was an interesting flavour combination to smell. I found it to be more vibrant than expected from an oolong.

Preparation

As part of the sampler packaging, there were no steeping instructions on the cardboard tube. On the product page online, Aroma Tea House recommended steeping Golden Oolong in a small teapot for 15 to 30 seconds, with no suggestions for water temperature. I used my Breville IQ Kettle‘s green tea temperature setting of 175°F (79°C) and steeped it for 30 seconds.

I prepared Golden Oolong in my gaiwan, doing short steeps and pouring the tea out into a small tasting cup throughout the process to taste.

First Taste

The aroma of Golden Oolong is primarily that of the flowers – the product page on Aroma Tea House’s website suggests that it smells like osmanthus flowers. The floral smell is bright and inviting. I can definitely figure out where Golden Oolong got its name with the colour of the steeped tea. The taste of Golden Oolong is a bit nutty and floral, with a hint of sweetness. With the short steeps that I did, I found that the tea remained smooth with no bitterness or astringency noted. It had a light creamy mouthfeel to it that I found really enjoyable.

A Second Cup?

With the gongfu method of preparing the tea in my gaiwan, I resteeped the same leaves fifteen times. I kept the steeping time at 30 seconds for the first five resteeps before increasing gradually at 15 seconds for each subsequent resteep.

I found that the colour of the tea became more dark gold as I continued to steep the tea. The floral notes got stronger while the nuttiness became less and less pronounced.

My Overall Impression

I loved Aroma Tea House’s Golden Oolong. I found it to be a very pleasant tea to drink, and the flavour profile was complex enough to keep me interested throughout all the steeps. If you opt to steep in a teapot instead of a gaiwan, I would recommend keeping the steeps short since it doesn’t take long to make a good cup of tea – and definitely resteep those leaves! They did so well and it made for a great tea drinking session.

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

Aroma Tea House’s Formosa Oolong

Formosa Oolong by Aroma Tea House
Oolong Tea / Straight
$12.00 for 100g   

First Impressions

I bought Formosa Oolong from Aroma Tea House’s booth at the Vancouver Tea Festival (I can’t remember which year, isn’t that terrible?!), and it came as part of a sampler of oolongs so I could try out four different types. Each cardboard tube had a snug-fitting lid, and the tea was poured into each one.

Formosa Oolong is one of their Taiwanese oolongs, and I was pretty happy to try it out. Formosa Oolong has these lovely green to brown leaves, the leaves all squished up together. The aroma from the dry leaf was that of a light fruity aroma with a mix of freshly cut grass, which I find quite inviting.

Preparation

As part of the sampler packaging, there were no steeping instructions on the cardboard tube. On the product page online, Aroma Tea House recommended steeping Formosa Oolong in a small teapot for 15 to 30 seconds, with no suggestions for water temperature. I used my Breville IQ Kettle‘s green tea temperature setting of 175°F (79°C) and steeped it for 30 seconds.

First Taste

Formosa Oolong steeps to what seems like an impossibly pale yellow when the leaves are only steeped for 30 seconds. The aroma from the tea is light sweetness, and fresh fruit – I get a mix of melon and plum. The tea is pleasantly smooth, no bitterness or astringency. I found the sweetness noted in the aroma of the tea carried over well into the flavour. It’s a smooth, creamy tea that certainly goes down easy.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Formosa Oolong seven times (eight steeps total!) and found that the flavours changed quite a bit as I steeped it. The fruity flavours intensified at first, and when that started to wane, there was some sweet floral notes that started to come out. It made for a great tasting adventure because the same leaves just produced such a wide range of flavour.

My Overall Impression

I loved Aroma Tea House’s Formosa Oolong. I really enjoyed how this oolong tasted – from the first steep to the eighth. The flavours were so complimentary to each other and made for a beautifully balanced flavour profile regardless of which steep I was on. This is definitely a tea that I would recommend having many, many cups of because the flavour of the tea just changes so well throughout each steep.

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

Teatourist’s Quintessentials Tea Adventure

Quintessentials Tea Adventure (March 2018) by Teatourist
£11-15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

Teatourist has provided me with the Quintessentials Tea Adventure for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

This was the first month where Teatourist had updated packaging! I quite like it – the bright orange goes so well with the teal, and it’s less the sleeve, so there’s less packaging to go into recycling, which I quite like as well. This monthly box came with six different teas, and four of the six are straight teas! The only way I’d be even more excited about trying this box would be if this box contained fudge

The teas in this box are: Morgans Brew Tea by Morgan’s Brew Tea Company (black tea), Ceylon Tea by Cheeky Chai (black tea), Green Tea with Jasmine by Pure Leaf (green tea), Bright Afternoon by Brighteas (black tea), Earl Grey 1833 by CHASH The Fine Tea Co (flavoured black tea), and Safari Oolong by Nothing But Tea (oolong).

Morgans Brew Tea has a strong smell to it that reminds me both of a breakfast tea (think British or Irish), while having some apricot notes in the dry leaf. This straight black tea is a blend of a few East African black teas (from Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda). Ceylon Tea (Pekoe Fannings) has a mildly sweet aroma, and has a very familiar black tea aroma to it. Ceylon Tea consists of 100% small leaf ceylon tea (pekoe fannings). Green Tea with Jasmine smells exactly as expected (like green tea and jasmine) and, surprise, consists of Chinese green tea and jasmine flowers.

From left to right: Morgan’s Brew Tea, Ceylon Tea, and Green Tea with Jasmine.

Bright Afternoon has an interesting aroma that reminds me of a fresh after-rain smell, and has some mushroom-earthiness to it. The ingredients in this black tea are Chinese Keemun, Mao Feng, and Yunnan black teas. Earl Grey 1833 has a lovely bergamot/citrusy aroma to it, and smells like most Earl Grey teas that I’ve smelled in that past. Curiously, the ingredients are listed as being the finest Ceylon black tea and pure bergamot oil. However, there’s obviously flower petals in the blend that aren’t listed in the ingredients. Safari Oolong is the most intriguing to me, as it has a very light honey and floral aroma to the dry leaf. Safari Oolong is 100% oolong tea from Tumoi Teas, located in Nandi Hills, Kenya.

From left to right: Bright Afternoon, Earl Grey 1833, and Safari Oolong.

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