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This evening while watching basketball I drank a China Competition Grade Top Tie-Guan-Yin, a personal favorite oolong of mine – but then again all oolongs are personal favorites. I can honestly say that I have not had a oolong that I did not enjoy. This tea comes from Upton Tea Imports.

I received two grams or .1 ounces, which was just barely enough to make eight ounces of tea. I could have easily added another half teaspoon of tea to my infuser.

Description from Upton’s website:
This handmade specialty Oolong is the finest Tie-Guan-Yin we have seen in recent years. The liquor is smooth and sweet, with a complex, orchid-like aroma.

In looking at their website, Upton only sells this tea in two grams and 10 grams. I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience this tea. The floral aftertaste is very apparent and extremely delightful.

The liquor, as you can see, is a pleasant yellow-green, which was very clean.


After dinner tea:

Wuyi Oolong from Mighty Leaf

As my regular readers might recall, I reviewed a wuyi oolong not too long ago–one from Rishi Tea. Oolongs are very complex and varied in flavor, and, for that, I truly appreciate this category of the camellia sinensis plant.

Oolongs are between a black and green tea in oxidation: somewhere between 10 to 75 percent.

According to Mighty Leaf’s web site, this “Wuyi Oolong made in China’s Northern Fujian Wuyi mountains is well known for its smooth and rich body and taste. Long, beautiful twisted leaves impart a roasty aroma and produce a sweet, nuanced cup.”

Nuanced is the perfect word to describe this tea. You definitely get the roasted, smoky flavor found in most oolongs, but there are hints of the sweet “caramelization” of this tea that might be even more rewarding had I added sweetner.

This tea holds up well to multiple steepings, and gets better with every sip. You don’t want this cuppa to end.

Evening tea: rishi tea’s organic wuyi oolong tea

According to the packaging, there are “sweet notes of raisins, honeysuckle, and roasted sugar.”

I tried this without any sweetener, but found the tea to be too mild. I had used two tablespoons despite being directed to only use one, but I still did not find the flavor to be very strong. I am used to very bold oolong teas, so this came as some surprise to me.

I added my beloved wildflower honey from the Essex County Beekeepers Association, and had a completely different drinking experience. I thought at first that the taste of honey would not complement an oolong, but I can attest quite on the contrary.

I was given the great honor of reviewing two new teas from Mighty Leaf Tea that were introduced this month. Mighty Leaf just released three new teas in their popular biodegradable silken tea pouches: Chocolate Mint Truffle, Organic Detox Infusion, and Organic Green Dragon.

This evening I am enjoying a cup of their Organic Green Dragon. This green tea according to the package is “delicately pan fried, these smooth highest-grade China Longjing green tea leaves brew a nutty and buttery cup.” It is made from organic Dragonwell, and reminds me of a few oolongs I have tried in its complexity of flavor. I can think of one Ti Kuan Yin I have tried that compares to this tea in chestnut flavor. It is hard to tell this tea came from a tea bag insofar as its quality is that of loose leaf tea.

The only word of warning to you fellow tea drinkers is when brewing green tea make sure you are steeping your tea in 140 degree Fahreinheit to 185 degree Fahrenheit water. Don’t mess around with this delicate tea. With that said, Mighty Leaf proves that it gives you consistent tea each time you brew a cup with its convenient pouches.

Late night tea 4.26.08:

floral tie-guan-yin from Upton Tea Imports

This comes from a 6 gram sample I purchased from Upton. My order was a little green tea and oolong heavy, but I am learning the nuances in these two types of tea. This tea felt so luxurious. It tasted as if I was sipping on flower petals. While some of you might not find this appealing, please be rest assured that was an incomparable experience. I can tell that this tea drinking is going to really cost me a lot of money.

Everyday tea:

orchid oolong by Mighty Leaf Tea

I have been sipping on this tea since I received it in the mail on Friday, so it is hard to say when I would have it. It seems to be good for breakfast, afternoon, and late evening consumption. It is pure coconut goodness. I am having a hard time deciding how it would compare to other orchid oolong teas insofar as this is my first experience with a orchid oolong, but if they are half as good as this one, I would definitely be pleased. I could not recommend this tea more. The tea pouch it comes in is biodegradable and very elegant. Jason said he would add milk and some shredded coconut, but I think it is perfect just the way it is. Thanks, Alexis!

Lunch tea:

dark oolong from Dado Tea (50 Church Street, Cambridge)

Dark golden brown in color. Again I did not find that this tea was very aromatic quite like the ti kuan yin from Dado, but nevertheless a wonderful cup of tea. I really enjoy the unique flavor of an oolong.

Lunch tea:

china oolong from Tealuxe (0 Brattle Street, Cambridge)

Another oolong that eludes all description, and I mean this in the best possible way. It is such a wonderful afternoon tea. This type of tea is fast becoming my favorite. Tealuxe also offers Ti Quan Yin, but I wanted to compare different oolongs. Tomorrow I might visit Dado for their dark oolong. I went to Cardullo’s today to check on their orchid oolong from Golden Moon, but the asking price was $25 for 4.5 ounces. Not horrible, but a little too pricey for my wallet right now.

Pre-dinner and dinner tea:

Ti Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) from Dado Tea (50 Church Street, Cambridge)

I didn’t find this tea to be very aromatic. It was certainly hard to make out the flavor from smelling it. The leaves were black and fine, but the flavor was bold and smooth. It had a lasting aftertaste that was a mix of sweet, as in fruity, and nutty. I will definitely try other oolongs after this experience. It left me wanting more.

There was a SNAFU at Tealuxe today. I asked for traditional gyokuro and walked away with genmaicha, which I love, but was really hoping to try something different today for lunch. The worker was apologetic, and I said that no harm was done, but I just wanted to make sure that, being a new tea drinker, I knew the difference between gyokuro and genmaicha. Maybe I came off sounding like a jerk, when in reality, I just wanted to educate myself.