T By Daniel’s Garden Party

Garden Party by T By Daniel
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$11.00 for 50g

T By Daniel’s Garden Party came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s June themed subscription box.

First Impressions

Garden Party came in a familiar matte foil bag, branded with T By Daniel’s information (and if you’ve never seen one of his bags, you should – they’re just so bright and cheerful!). This oolong blend is incredibly floral, with a sweet aroma to it and quite beautiful dried ingredients to be seen. You can really pick out most of the ingredients, if you know what you’re looking for. Garden Party smells like walking through a garden without smelling like a bottle of perfume up your nose – which is much appreciated.

Garden Party consists of: oolong tea, mooring leaves, rose petals, bamboo leaves, and natural orchid flavour.

Preparation

T By Daniel suggests steeping Garden Party in 90°C (194°F) water for 2 to 3 minutes. I used the oolong setting on my Breville IQ Kettle, which is 91°C (195°F). My initial steep of Garden Party was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Garden Party steeps to a light yellow, this tea has such an inviting floral aroma to it. I can’t really pinpoint which flower that I smell the most – either rose or orchid. It’s not overly floral at all though, which is nice. On first taste, I can taste the floral sweetness, which balances well against the creamy oolong base. The oolong just has a note of buttery creaminess to it, going really well with the floral notes

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Garden Party three times, adding an extra 30 seconds for each resteep. I found that the flavour profile stayed fairly consistent throughout – by the last steep it was more oolong base than floral ingredients. But the oolong stayed true to itself with the buttery notes with each steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved T By Daniel’s Garden Party. I think the oolong base lends itself well to the added floral ingredients. The mix of floral and oolong would pair up well with afternoon tea goodies, I think. The buttery notes from the oolong would play off of the baked goods while the floral notes would balance well against the sweets (cupcakes! macarons! cookies!).

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Aroma Tea House’s Tieguanyin Oolong

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

First Impressions

Anxi Tieguanyin is one of my Vancouver Tea Festival purchases that I’m finally getting around to reviewing and sharing. This oolong came to me in a cardboard tube with a bright green label telling me what type of oolong it is. The leaves are tightly bunched together, with an almost reddish-brown hue to the colour of the dry leaf.

Aroma wise, this straight oolong has a woody aroma to it, with a hint of stone fruit and some roasted notes to it.

Preparation

There weren’t preparation recommendations on the packaging. I did an initial steep of Anxi Tieguanyin in 195°F (90°C) for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Anxi Tieguanyin steeps to a beautiful golden yellow, it’s quite vibrant and very pleasant to look at. There’s a nice honeyed sweetness to the tea, a light amount of creaminess with a pleasant fruity flavour that reminds me of dried apricots. There’s some roasted notes to this tea, that have a touch of woodsy flavour to it, but it’s not overwhelming the rest of the flavours.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Anxi Tieguanyin a total of six times (seven steeps total), adding an extra 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the fruity notes got stronger while the woodsy flavours subsided into the background. Very pleasant mix of flavours and it’s well balanced.

My Overall Impression

I loved Aroma Tea House’s Anxi Tieguanyin. I found the flavour of this oolong to be really enjoyable, with a nice balance of flavours between the sweet, roasted, and woody notes. It resteeped really well, and made for an enjoyable tea drinking session. It was complex enough to hold my interest throughout each steep, and just had a well-balanced flavour profile that made me want to drink more. I think it could have done a few more steeps, since the sixth resteep that I did was still quite flavourful.

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BrewTime’s Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea by BrewTime
Oolong Tea / Straight
28 sachets

I received BrewTime’s Oolong Tea as a gift, I was unable to find information online on where to purchase or cost. Oolong Tea was purchased in Hong Kong.

First Impressions

Oolong Tea came to me in a simple card box with some information on it – mix of Chinese and English. There were steeping instructions, best before date, and information about the umbrella company (The Dairy Farm Company, in case anyone was interested). Inside of the box was a sealed plastic pouch holding the 28 tea bags.

All of the tea bags came individually wrapped, and each bag was pretty standard – nothing too exciting to comment on. The tea bags have a very mild earthy aroma to them, and when I ripped one open to take a look inside, I saw mostly tiny bits of tea leaves. These are not the tightly rolled large tea leaves that I’ve come to know and love when it comes to oolong (still, going to give it a try). There were no ingredients listed on the packaging, but from what I can tell there’s only oolong tea leaves in the tea bags.

Preparation

BrewTime recommends steeping Oolong Tea in boiling water (100°C/212°F) for 2-3 minutes. My initial steep of Oolong Tea was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Oolong Tea steeps to be quite a dark reddish brown. The aroma is very earthy, it reminds me a bit of portobello mushrooms (which I love). It’s a bit musky, which I think some oolong lovers may find a little bit off-putting, I’m not sure how long ago the tea was packaged. I found it have a very full-bodied flavour, it was very strong and tastes the way that I expected it to from the aroma of the steeped tea. The overall flavour reminds me of some roasted oolongs that I’ve had before in the past.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Oolong Tea and found the flavour to just not be quite enough. I would say that Oolong Tea is good for just one steep, which really isn’t too surprising to me given the fact that the tea leaves are quite small in the tea bag.

My Overall Impression

I thought that BrewTime’s Oolong Tea was just okay. I love a good oolong, and I think this one does have some great flavours in it. A nice earthiness, but it lacks the quality that I’m really used to in an oolong. The leaves are very small pieces, and it just doesn’t resteep well because I think all the flavour got sapped out in the initial steep. I think it’s an okay oolong to take out with me or to steep at work (since I don’t work in an office setting, I really can’t have a teapot set up), but not something I’d use for long steeping sessions at home.

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