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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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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