Oollo Tea’s Honey Scented Black Tea

Honey Scented Black Tea by Oollo Tea
Black Tea / Straight
$8.00 for 25g

First Impressions

Oollo Tea was a vendor at the 2018 Vancouver Tea Festival, and I’m always pleased to sample teas at their booth because oolong is one of my favourites. And then there’s this tea, which is not quite an oolong. Honey Scented Black Tea is described by Oollo Tea as a “secret hybrid tea” as a mix between a black tea and an oolong tea. Either way, it was delicious when I sampled it which just meant that I had to try it.

The tea itself comes in a silver package – it was actually part of a ‘mystery’ grab bag that was available at the Tea Festival (I love grab bags, I don’t know why – I just like the surprise aspect of it, I think). The packaging is not resealable, which was okay because I do have extra tea tins around. If you lack a tea tin, you can put the packaging into a glass jar or a resealable bag – the important thing is to keep tea from going stale by keeping it away from light, air, and moisture.

Besides the stamped information on the front of the packaging, there wasn’t any other information regarding this tea. Luckily, Oollo Tea keeps information up on their website. The leaves themselves are dark, long, and wiry. The aroma from the dry leaf is primarily sweet like honey, with a hint of honey dew and flowers. Honey Scented Black Tea is from a Qingxin Oolong varietal, which was grown by the Fu family in Pingling, New Taipei, Taiwan at 400m elevation above sea level and harvested during the winter of 2017 – in case you wanted to ever pin point exactly when your tea was harvested.

Preparation

Oollo Tea recommends steeping Honey Scented Black Tea in 90-95°C (194-203°F) water for 2 minutes, and suggests that it can be resteeped two additional times. My initial steep was with 93°C (200°F) water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Honey Scented Black Tea steeps to a beautiful orange colour, with a lovely honey aroma to it. No surprise, given the name of the tea. On first taste, I can taste the honey sweetness, it has a thin textured mouthfeel to it that easily coats the mouth. I found the honey dew freshness at the end of each sip, which makes the tea all the more pleasant. There’s a touch of astringency at the end of each sip as well, but it isn’t too much to make the tea off-putting. Surprisingly, there is no floral flavours in the Honey Scented Black Tea, despite me initially tasting it.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Honey Scented Black Tea three times, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour stated pretty consistent as I drank each steep, I found that the flavour stayed pretty strong through each steep, although was a touch weaker for the third resteep (fourth steep total). I would say that Honey Scented Black Tea is good for at least two additional resteeps, as recommended by Oollo Tea, and I would push it for a third if you really want to get your money’s worth out of this tea!

My Overall Impression

I loved Oollo Tea’s Honey Scented Black Tea. It has a great honey flavour, with the crisp freshness from the honey dew flavours. If you don’t like astringency in your tea, I would suggest lowering the amount of time spent for each steep (perhaps 90 seconds instead of 2 minutes!), and definitely resteep this one to get all the flavour out of those leaves. It is a very enjoyable black tea, I think it’d be a great afternoon tea alternative from the classic Earl Grey because of the honey notes. That said, it’d probably take cream and sugar well since it is a black tea, but I don’t think you need to go too each on the sweetener!

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Oollo Tea’s Alishan Milky Oolong Tea

Alishan Milky Oolong Tea by Oollo Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight

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First Impressions

I got this Alishan Milky Oolong Tea from Oollo Tea from the Vancouver Tea Festival in 2016. I can’t remember how much I paid for it, but I can’t imagine that it was greater than $15.00 for the 30g package. It was a limited release, which is why I bought it (and also why I can’t find it on the Oollo Tea website at this time). It got tucked away in my tea stash and I recently came across it again, which is why I haven’t tried it before now (whoops).

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That said… The tea came in a vacuum sealed gold foil packet that came in a simple manila envelope. The tea itself consists of tightly compressed/rolled tea leaves. The colours are primarily a gradient from an olive to a dark green. The floral aroma from this tea is light and there’s a subtle sweetness behind it.

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Preparation

I steeped Alishan Milky Oolong Tea at 85C (185F) for 2 minutes for the initial steep.

First Taste

Alishan Milky Oolong Tea steeps to a light yellow after an initial steep of two minutes. I found that the aroma that came up from the tea was floral, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly perfumed – it’s a subtle floral aroma. I found the tea to be smooth – no bitterness, no astringency. I found it to have a creamy texture, with a very light buttery flavour that lingers at the end of each sip.

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I set aside some of this tea and had it cold and found it to taste a bit sweeter, which was a nice treat.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Alishan Milky Oolong Tea a total of six resteeps (seven steeps total), and I found the colour deepened as I did more steeps, and began to lighten by resteep #4. The buttery flavours got stronger as the tea became more of a golden yellow, and I found that the floral sweetness stayed pretty much the same throughout all of the steeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Oollo Tea’s Alishan Milky Oolong Tea. I wish I had remembered it in my tea stash a bit earlier so I could still find more information about it! That said, this oolong meets all my expectations for a milky oolong. I found it to be tasty, and the flavours got better with each steep as the colour became darker. I really enjoyed drinking this, and I think it would be great to have over a lazy rainy weekend afternoon.

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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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