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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Tea Side’s Ruan Zhi Oolong, Premium Myanmar

Ruan Zhi Oolong, Premium Myanmar by Tea Side
Oolong Tea / Straight
$15.00USD for 50g

Tea Side has provided me with Ruan Zhi Oolong, Premium Myanmar for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Consider my interest piqued when I read the label on this tea from Tea Side – to my knowledge I’ve never had a tea from Myanmar (Burma) before. I learned from their website that this tea was harvested at 2000m above sealevel during the spring of 2016. The dry leaf is beautiful to look at – there are various shades of dark green to brown with a lovely aroma. There’s a mix of floral and fruity notes.

Ruan Zhi Oolong, Premium Myanmar is a straight oolong tea.

Preparation

There weren’t any steeping instructions listed for Ruan Zhi Oolong. I used my usual oolong steeping times and used 90°C (195°F) water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Ruan Zhi Oolong steeps to a beautiful light, yellow colour. The aroma is primarily that of floral notes, with a gentle touch of fruity notes that reminds me a lot of berries. There’s a nice natural sweetness to this oolong tea that I easily enjoyed. 2 minutes for an initial steep was a good idea, given that the tea has a smooth texture and goes down easy.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Ruan Zhi Oolong a total of eight times, adding an extra 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found the flavours of floral and berries started to get weaker with each steep, but a creamy buttery quality started to come out each each steep. By the last (eighth) resteep, Ruan Zhi Oolong primarily had a buttery flavour to it and the berries and floral flavours were all but gone.

My Overall Impression

I loved Tea Side’s Ruan Zhi Oolong, Premium Myanmar. I really enjoyed the floral and berry notes, this oolong resteeps so well and I greatly enjoyed experiencing each steep on its own because there was just some really nice shifts in flavour each each resteep from the very same leaves. If you’ve never resteeped your oolong tea before, you really should – and this tea is an excellent reason to learn to resteep your tea. It’s not an inexpensive tea, but it has a great quality to it that allows it to be resteeped so many times.

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Tea Side’s 2014 Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Medium Roasted

2014 Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Medium Roasted by Tea Side
Oolong Tea / Straight
$12.00USD for 50g

Tea Side has provided me with 2014 Dong Ding Oolong, Medium Roasted for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

The 2014 Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Medium Roasted came to me in a pink foil packet with minimal information about the tea. I did glean some information about the product page from Tea Side’s website. For instance, I learned that this tea was harvested in the spring of 2014 and was processed in traditional Taiwanese methods despite the tea being grown and processed in Thailand.

After opening the packaging, the first thing I really noticed was the fact that the leaves are look like they’re huge. As with most oolongs, the leaves are bunched and rolled together, but the dried tea looks like the leaves are very large. There’s various shades of browns that go from dark and fade all the way to a cream colour. The dry leaf of the 2014 Dong Ding Oolong has some nice floral notes, as well with a light, sweet fruity aroma. 2014 Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Medium Roasted is a straight tea.

Preparation

I wasn’t able to find any steeping instructions for the 2014 Dong Ding Oolong Tea. But knowing that it is an oolong, I referred to my steeping times and temperatures chart. I opted to do an initial steep in 90°C (195°F) water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

2014 Dong Ding Oolong Tea steeps to a lovely light orange colour after the initial 2 minute steep. The aroma of the steeped tea is primarily that of plums and apricots, the floral notes still remain. When I tasted the tea, I noted a mild astringency at the end of each sip. The combination of the floral and fruity notes reminds me of a lot of tropical fruits that come out of Asia – in particular lychee and mangosteen, with a hint of freshness that you get from dragon fruit. There’s a touch of deeper fruit flavours in this tea that I get from time to time that remind me a lot of apricot and plums. It has a nice sweetness to it, thanks to the floral and fruit notes.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped 2014 Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Medium Roasted a grand total of seven times. My usual method of resteeping tea is to add an additional 30 seconds for each steep, which is what I did here as well. I found that the floral and fruity notes got strong for the first two resteeps, and started to lessen in intensity after that. The mild astringency at the end of each sip turned to a slight sourness as I continued to resteep the oolong.

My Overall Impression

I loved Tea Side’s 2014 Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Medium Roasted. I really enjoyed the intricacies of this oolong in how the flavour changed from steep to steep, as well as the balance of fruit to floral in this roasted oolong tea. I would highly recommend resteeping this tea if you’re drinking it, it does so well with resteeping continuously. I found the flavours to be really well balanced, and that fruity sweetness would lend itself to being paired with sweets or desserts quite easily.

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