Oollo Tea’s Four Seasons Oolong

Four Seasons Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$6.00 for 30g

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First Impressions

Four Seasons Oolong Tea was an oolong that I picked up at the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival earlier this month from Oollo Tea’s table. The tea came in a silver foil packet in white card stock box, covered with patterned paper that’s stamped. The foil packet isn’t resealable (unfortunately!) and I didn’t have any empty tins, so I wound up putting the foil packet into a plastic resealable page to keep the air out.

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Four Seasons Oolong Tea has a bright, almost nutty aroma to it. It reminds me of chestnuts, which is almost seasonably appropriate. The dry leaf is beautiful with dark and bright greens, and the leaves are tightly compressed together.

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Preparation

There were no preparation recommendations on the packaging, and I couldn’t find the Four Seasons Oolong Tea on the Oollo Tea website, so I opted to steep at 185°F (85°C) for 1 minute for the initial steep.

First Taste

Four Seasons Oolong Tea steeps to a pale yellow for the initial steep. The aroma that comes up from this tea has a mix of nuttiness and grassy notes to it. There’s a smooth, mouth coating quality to this oolong. I found zero bitterness or astringency in this tea at the temperature that I steeped it for. The flavour of Four Seasons Oolong Tea had a hint of roasted chestnuts with grass/vegetal flavours, it’s quite tasty.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Four Seasons Oolong Tea a total of six times, adding an additional 30 seconds per resteep. I found that the flavours got more vegetal and less of the chestnuts with each subsequent steep, and it was still flavourful by the sixth resteep.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Oollo Tea’s Four Seasons Oolong Tea. The aroma from the dry leaf and the steeped tea is delightful, I really enjoyed the mix of chestnuts and vegetal notes. I had a great time steeping this tea repeatedly over the course of an afternoon, and watching the tea leaves open up. I would definitely recommend resteeping the leaves and taking the time to drink this oolong over a period of time. Four Seasons Oolong Tea is a great cup of tea, and the vegetal flavours are smooth and delicious.

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DavidsTea’s Sticky Rice Oolong

Sticky Rice Oolong by DavidsTea
Oolong Tea/ Flavoured
$14.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

Having grown up eating copious amounts of rice (sticky and otherwise), the name of this tea definitely intrigued me. Plus, it’s also an oolong and I love oolongs so it was kind of a no brainer to use one of my Frequent Steeper rewards from DavidsTea on this one. This oolong smells amazingly like rice, a bit of rice pudding. There are some floral notes with the dry leaf, which are enticing. I’m quite eager to try this one out.

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Sticky Rice Oolong consists of oolong tea and sticky rice leaves (nuo mi xiang). From an aroma stand out, this oolong is really quite fragrant and aromatic. If you have a DavidsTea location near you, it’s definitely one that I would recommend sniffing because it just smells so good.

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Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Sticky Rice Oolong in hot water (167-176°F or 75-80°C) for 4-7 minutes. I steeped mine at 175°F for an initial steep of 5 minute.

First Taste

Sticky Rice Oolong steeps to a beautiful golden yellow. The aroma of rice might be stronger in the steeped tea than in the dry leaf, if that’s even possible. The taste of this tea is an interesting blend of rice to rice pudding, and oolong. There’s just a tiny hint of astringency that I noted at the end of each sip, although I can’t tell for sure if it’s from the oolong or the sticky rice leaves. I found that there was a touch of sweetness in this tea, but overall it’s quite a savoury tea.

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I did try a cup of Sticky Rice Oolong with a touch of honey and it made it taste more like rice pudding.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Sticky Rice Oolong four times, adding an extra 30 seconds per subsequent steep. I found the aroma and flavours of this tea to become stronger, the rice pudding flavour is delicious and gets just a touch sweeter in the additional steeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked DavidsTea’s Sticky Rice Oolong. I found that the tea smells just like the name implies for both the dry leaf and steeped tea. The slight astringency might be a touch off-putting for something, but I found that the tea does wonderfully with a tiny amount of honey. The sweetness makes it taste more like rice pudding. I find the tea resteeps well, so if you find that the price is putting you off from buying it, the quality of the tea is good enough to resteep repeatedly.

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2017 Autumn Tea Round Up

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It’s been remarkably warm around here earlier this week, but I’m ready for autumn full on with the crisp leaves underfoot and it being the perfect weather for hot cups of tea and hand knits. Last year around this time, I shared of my favourite teas for the autumn and while I still love all of those, I thought I’d share five different teas that I’m heavily relying on this autumn as the weather gets cooler and I’m more in the mood for snuggling up under a quilt than going for a stroll along the water.

Out of DavidsTea’s Chai collection for the early autumn, I’m crushing on their S’mores Chai and love it at a latte over plain. A lot of stores have sold out of this one, so if you’re wanting to get your hands on some S’mores Chai, I’d recommend visiting your local shop earlier rather than later.

Grand Tea’s Premium Pearl Jasmine makes the list because I love jasmine green teas and this is one that I’ve found myself reaching for repeatedly the last few weeks. It makes such a great cup of tea and when I (accidentally!) leave it a bit too long, it’s still great cold.

For a more ‘normal’ Chai, I’ve been drinking Chai from The Virginia Tea Company and loving every moment of it. It makes for a nice cozy cup of tea with the lovely warming properties of cinnamon and ginger – delicious!

I caved and bought a tin of DavidsTea’s Cardamom French Toast lately and have been greatly enjoying it as a latte. When I take it to work, I’ve been steeping it at home and then adding milk later at work. It helps cool it down (since my travel mug keeps tea way too hot!) and I can instantly enjoy it.

For the days that I’ve actually been at home, I’ve been enjoying Oollo Tea’s Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong. A delight for my taste buds, for sure! It makes for a great at-home tea because of how many times I can manage to resteep this tea and still enjoy it. It’s been a joy to have when I’m at home and just to have throughout the day.

What has been some of your favourite teas to have so far this autumn? (And if you’re in the southern hemisphere, what are you having during your spring?) Share with me below in the comments!

Yunomi’s Shimane Oolong Tea

Shimane Oolong Tea by Yunomi
Oolong Tea / Straight
$7.50USD for 20g

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Yunomi has provided me with Shimane Oolong Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Shimane Oolong Tea is part of Yunomi’s collection of teas from the Takarabako Tea Farm, located in Oba Sorayama District, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. While the sample packaging for this tea was not resealable, it has a soft, papery feel to the outside of the foil bag.

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Shimane Oolong Tea is described as being organic on Yunomi’s product page for this tea. It is a straight oolong tea, and I was pleasantly greeted with the aroma of this tea when I cut open the packaging. The dry leaf smells like golden raisins and freshly made toast. Inside, the dry leaf consists of mostly medium sized leaves with some broken stems.

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Preparation

Yunomi recommends steeping Shimane Oolong Tea in 90°C (194°F) water for 3 minutes. I did my initial steep for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Shimane Oolong Tea steeps to a pale honey colour, the aroma of this tea is primarily golden raisins with something that reminds me of peaches. The tea itself has a very mild astringency, not too much that it caused me any mouth-puckering. It has a slight sweetness, which goes well with the raisins and peaches, and it also has a refreshing crispness to the tea. Each sip of this oolong ended with a slight bitterness, I didn’t find it incredibly off-putting so I continue to drink the tea.

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I chilled a cup of Shimane Oolong Tea in the fridge and it’s delicious cold as well, in case you’re not feeling like a hot cup of tea during the hot summer days.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Shimane Oolong Tea eight times over the course of a day. I wasn’t overly careful with my steeping times towards the end, but the tea remained tasty with the flavours of golden raisins and peaches. I found that astringency remained in the tea throughout all the steeping of these leaves, but it wasn’t overwhelming. If you’re not a fan of astringent teas, I would recommend steeping for less time for the initial steep. The tea itself got to be a more golden yellow colour, and began to lose flavour by the seventh resteep. The bitterness that I had encountered at the end of each sip lingered on throughout all of the steeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Yunomi’s Shimane Ooolong Tea. I found that this oolong was quite tasty. There was such a complexity to the aroma and the flavours of this tea, that it was really enjoyable to drink. If you’re not a fan of astringency, I would recommend steeping less than the suggested length of time. The flavours are well balanced in this tea, both for the initial steep and the subsequent resteeps. I think this would be a great tea to have with a savoury meal because it’s not too sweet (even with the flavours of golden raisins and peaches), and it’s definitely a tea that I think should be resteeped again and again because the tea leaves are such high quality.

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Citizen Tea’s Milk Oolong

Milk Oolong by Citizen Tea
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$10.50 for 50g

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Citizen Tea has provided me with Milk 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

I love a good oolong, so I was really excited that one of the teas that Citizen Tea sent me was their Milk Oolong. I’ve had a few milk oolongs in the past and I really love the creamy and buttery flavour that a lot of them have. When I opened up this sample packet, I smelled a floral fragrance first followed by a scent that reminds me a lot of condensed milk. If you’ve never had condensed milk, it’s a sweetened and thickened milk that comes out of a can. It’s delicious, and it’s a bit of a treat to have (and so good – bad for me because I have an epic sweet tooth!). Sweet, floral, and milk scents. It’s an interesting combination because the floral aromatics are stronger than the milk fragrances, which I feel should be the opposite given that it is a milk oolong.

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The ingredients in Milk Oolong are described as oolong tea and flavouring. Natural flavouring? Artificial flavouring? I do wish there was a bit more information about the flavouring that went into this tea. Naturally, I assume that it is some kind of milk/dairy flavouring. If I was lactose intolerant I would have steered clear of this one though, without more information. Thankfully, I am not so I went ahead with steeping this flavoured oolong.

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Preparation

Citizen Tea recommends steeping Milk Oolong for 3 to 4 minutes in 90°C (194°F) water. I did my initial steep of Milk Oolong at 3 minutes.

First Taste

Milk Oolong steeps to a pale yellow. I found that the dry tea aromatic mixture of floral and condensed milk followed through to the steeped tea. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste as floral as it smells (a bonus since I wasn’t really expecting flowery notes in a milk oolong). The condensed milk flavours do carry over fairly well, and it has an aftertaste that reminds me of artificial sweeteners (like stevia). I’m not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners, as I prefer to add my own to teas, but it’s not incredibly off-putting. There is a bit of a buttery cream quality to this tea, although the taste of condensed milk does ring more true than a cream/buttery flavour.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Milk Oolong quite a few times (seven resteeps in total). I found that the flavour of this oolong drastically improved by the second resteep (third overall steep). The artificial sweetener aftertaste was gone, and the flavours were more in line with what I expect in a milk oolong (buttery, cream, mild sweetness). The floral fragrance became a distant memory, and I found that the straight milk flavours gave way to the buttery goodness.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Citizen Tea’s Milk Oolong. I was not a huge fan of the first two steeps that I did of this tea – there was too much artificial sweetener taste, and the floral aromatics of the dry leaf weren’t appealing to me. However, once I steeped the leaves a couple of times, the flavours began to change to what I was looking for in a milk oolong – butter and cream. If you’re not into the artificial sweeteners, I would recommend steeping (and pouring out) the first two steeps of this oolong and then drinking the rest. Luckily, this tea resteeps very well (I did 8 steeps total with the same leaves), so there is still a lot of flavour left even if you discard the first two steeps.

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