Adagio Tea’s Raja Oolong Chai

Raja Oolong Chai by Adagio Teas
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$8.00USD for 3oz

First Impressions

I’ve come to really appreciate Adagio Teas’ packaging – colourful, resealable, with all the information I need about each tea blend, right on the package. The bag for Raja Oolong Chai is no exception to that. The first thing that I smelled when I opened the bag was the smell of cinnamon. It’s strong and makes its presence known over the ginger and cardamom that I can see in the mix. The blend itself is beautiful, but heavy on the cinnamon.

Raja Oolong Chai consists of: oolong tea, cinnamon bark, ginger root, cardamom, chicory, cocoa nibs, natural spicy cinnamon flavour, black peppercorn, and cloves. It’s easy to pick out the ingredients, although I did find that when I first took a scoop, there were no tea leaves! I gave the bag a good shake to redistribute the blend again, and got a more evenly mixed spoonful of tea.

Preparation

Adagio Teas recommends steeping Raja Oolong Chai in 100C (212F) water for 5 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for my initial steep.

First Taste

Raja Oolong Chai steeps to a beautiful, deep orange. The aroma is primarily the cinnamon, although I can smell the ginger root as well when I smell the tea. The flavour of the oolong tea blend itself is mostly cinnamon, with some of the warming qualities of ginger and black peppercorn, with a hint of creaminess that I’m attributing to the cocoa nibs. I found that the cinnamon was the strongest and most prevalent flavour in Raja Oolong Chai. I don’t really taste the oolong base, but it could be adding to the creaminess as well – I do find quite a bit of oolongs have a buttery quality to them.

It does play nicely to be doctored – I added some evaporated milk to my cup and found that it helped to temper some of the cinnamon flavour while allowing the other spices to be more noticed.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Raja Oolong Chai, and found it to be weak compared to the initial steep. I would say that Raja Oolong Chai is good for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Adagio Teas’ Raja Oolong Chai was just okay. I found this tea to be very heavy on the cinnamon – which is great if you’re a big fan of cinnamon flavours. I was hoping for a more balanced spice flavour profile from this chai, and I think it could be accomplished with a bit less cinnamon bark or less of the cinnamon flavouring. This does work well with milk, so I think there is potential if you’re a fan of a chai latte. The warming qualities of cinnamon and ginger are quite nice in this oolong blend, so there’s a lot of potential in mixing it up with different dairy products or sweeteners.

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DavidsTea’s Phoenix Oolong

Phoenix Oolong by DavidsTea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$24.98 for 50g

First Impressions

Tiny disclaimer, I did get Phoenix Oolong for free via the DavidsTea Frequent Steeper program as one of my redemptions for the quarter (who else is happy that they removed the price cap on the redemption teas?!). Phoenix Oolong is a limited edition, online exclusive – which means that the tea is available online only and isn’t available at their retail locations, which is really unfortunate for anyone who just wants to try to tea because it means buying the full 50g or using a redemption on a tea that they might not like.

Phoenix Oolong came in a sealed, resealable foil bag with a printed label on it that gives some details about the tea. Phoenix Oolong is described by DavidsTea as having “fragrant lychee & plum” notes. When I opened the bag, I noted that the leaves are a dark, almost purpley-brown colour. The aroma of the dry leaf does remind me of a stone fruits, and it has a nice sweet floral fragrance that reminds me of lychee. Phoenix Oolong is a straight oolong tea from Phoenix Mountain in Guangdong Province, China. Phoenix Mountain is also known as Fenghuangshan (fenghuang is phoenix and shan is mountain).

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Phoenix Oolong in 90°C (195°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. My initial steep was for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Phoenix Oolong steeps to a bright golden yellow with the initial steep. The aroma is a mix of fruity and floral, I find that the aroma of stone fruits (plum, apricots, peaches) is more prominent than the floral notes that I found in the dry leaf, although it is still present. The flavour is both fruity and floral in this straight oolong, I found that I can initial taste the plum notes, although part of it also reminds me of apricots. The floral sweetness is mostly at the end of each sip, and it mixes well with the fruity flavour to remind me of lychee. With a four minute steep, I found there to be zero bitterness or astringency. The tea has a bit of a thickened mouthfeel to it, which I found pleasant overall.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Phoenix Oolong eight times (nine steeps total), adding an extra 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the colour was darker for the first two resteeps and gradually became lighter and lighter. The floral notes got stronger as the colour deepened. By the third resteep, it was very well balanced between the floral and fruity notes, and it was delicious.

My Overall Impression

I loved DavidsTea’s Phoenix Oolong. I’m pleasantly surprised and very happy that I did use one of my Frequent Steeper rewards on this. The oolong tastes great, I found the flavour to be fairly consistent throughout and really matched well with what DavidsTea had as the description. The leaves resteep remarkably well, and I think it’s definitely a must for resteeping over and over again. Yes, I do think that the tea is expensive for what it is, but given the quality (resteeping is a MUST for these leaves), it’s delicious and is just a very pleasant oolong. I think it’s definitely worth a try if you have the money in your tea budget or if you have a reward to use and you’re going to put in an online order anyways!

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Tea Side’s Jin Xuan Oolong

Jin Xuan Oolong by Tea Side
Oolong Tea / Straight
$13.00USD for 50g

Tea Side has provided me with Jin Xuan Oolong for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Jin Xuan Oolong came to me in a silvery blue packet, not resealable (but I am used to that by now). This oolong has some beautiful brown and green tones throughout the dry leaf. There’s a fair bit of size consistency between each dry bunch of tea leaves. The aroma of the oolong is primarily a mix of leafy, dark green vegetables with what reminds me of apple and berries. Just smelling it makes me think of both savoury and sweet.

Jin Xuan Oolong is a straight oolong that was harvested in Thailand at 1200m above sea level. With how tightly bunched together the leaves are, it does have me curious about how much the leaves will expand after being steeped.

Preparation

I couldn’t find any steeping instructions for Jin Xuan Oolong. My initial steep was in 195°F (90°C) water for 2 minutes. If you ever come across a tea without steeping instructions but you know what type of tea it is, check out my steeping times guide!

First Taste

My initial steep of Jin Xuan Oolong results in a very light yellow tea. The aroma of the steeped tea is mostly that of apples and berries, with a touch of earthiness in the background. On first sit, I noted that the tea is smooth with zero bitterness or astringency. There’s a lovely aftertaste to this tea – mostly because it’s sweet with a flavour that is lightly floral and mixed berries.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Jin Xuan Oolong six times (seven steeps total). I added an extra 30 seconds per subsequent steep. I noted that the tea became more golden yellow in colour with each steep – with the colour peaking at the second resteep. The flavour of the oolong became more floral and fruity in nature as the tea became darker in colour. I noted that the sweetness carried throughout each sip a little bit longer with each steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Tea Side’s Jin Xuan Oolong. I always love it when an oolong tastes as good as it smells in both dry and steeped leaves. The floral and fruity flavours of this Thailand oolong was a treat to have as it was just really enjoyable to drink. I think that this tea would pair very nicely with a fruity dessert because it would play nicely with the natural flavours of the fruit itself. This is a nice oolong to resteep, I found that the subtle changes in colour and flavour to be pleasant and would fully recommend resteeping this one if you get the chance.

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