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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1402 teas.

Reviews of Oolong Tea

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Picture of Tie Guan Yin modern green style Grade II

Tie Guan Yin modern green style Grade II from Life in Teacup

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

47 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 3rd, 2010

I was actually quite disappointed with this Tie Guan Yin. It's pretty inexpensive for a green Tie Guan Yin, so I suppose I shouldn't be expecting that much, but compared to other greener oolongs, including ones from Life in Teacup, this was a letdown. Happily, I can say it is the first tea I've had from this company ...

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Picture of Royal Kuan Yin Tea

Royal Kuan Yin Tea from Foojoy

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Fujian, China

57 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Jul. 1st, 2010

Astonishing quality from such an inexpensive teabag!

With a single 5-minute infusion (shorter leaves a bland cup--the finely-broken leaves are packed tightly in the teabag and the flavor does not diffuse quickly) I found an amber colored cup with a mellow, subtle aroma and smooth flavor. In my experience, only good...

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Picture of Ben Shan Oolong

Ben Shan Oolong from Life in Teacup

Style: Ben Shan Oolong – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 24th, 2010

I made two infusions of this tea. I found, using longer brewings, it's only really good for two and then most of the flavor is gone. I used 3 min. and 6 min.

For the first infusion, the aroma is floral and orchid-like, like many of the greener Anxi oolongs, but there's a depth and warmth to it that I've found is a...

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Picture of 2010 Mt. Wu Dong Red Tea (black tea) Dan Cong

2010 Mt. Wu Dong Red Tea (black tea) Dan Cong from Life in Teacup

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: Guangdong, China

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 16th, 2010

Very unlike any other dancong I've tried. The dry leaf of this dancong has a savory, smoky quality, but is nonetheless recognizable as a dan cong. The aroma of the dry leaf is reminiscent of some Darjeelings (ones that I am not a fan of, incidentally). Not even a hint of floral or fruity qualities.

Upon drinking ...

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Picture of Tie Guan Yin traditional charcoal roast

Tie Guan Yin traditional charcoal roast from Life in Teacup

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 9th, 2010

A very aromatic tea, full of flavor, but light.

The aroma has a lot of different elements to it...the dominant tone is a woody quality...there is also a strong fruitiness, which I'd describe as most closely resembling apricots, and a lot of floral tones--most closely resembling the floral character of some black tea...

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Picture of Premium Oolong Tea

Premium Oolong Tea from Royal King

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: ?????

37 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Jun. 7th, 2010

Very flat, cardboard-like aroma. There's some bitterness...a slight suggestion of roast in the aroma. Full-bodied. Astringent. Seems fairly highly caffeinated, especially relative to the lack of flavor.

I think I would prefer most of the mainstream supermarket teas to this tea. It was pretty uninteresting and b...

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Picture of Bai Ya Qi Lan Oolong traditional green style Superior Grade

Bai Ya Qi Lan Oolong traditional green style Superior Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Qi Lan Oolong – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 5th, 2010

I've only had dark Wuyi Qi Lan oolongs before, and I like them very much, so I was eager to try this greener one. I've heard that in general, more tightly rolled teas are higher quality, and this tea was rather loosely rolled, with the leaves taking up a lot of space. But the aroma suggests otherwise...the dry leaf h...

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Picture of Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea from Wei-Chuan

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: China

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 2nd, 2010

Overall, slightly flat...typical for a relatively generic oolong from a big box of teabags. Full-bodied...aroma is toasty and roasty, has some depth but also is a little bit reminiscent of cardboard. Some bitterness.

I've had a lot better oolongs from teabags. But this stuff is still better than a lot of the stuf...

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Picture of Arya Topaz - Organic Darjeeling Oolong Tea 2009

Arya Topaz - Organic Darjeeling Oolong Tea 2009 from Thunderbolt Tea

Style: Darjeeling Oolong – Region: Darjeeling, India

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
May. 28th, 2010

Thank you Synth for sending me this one, and Marlena for sending some more. =)

This tea is VERY difficult to brew well, and is affected in major ways by subtle differences in water temperature and steeping time. That said, I've tried brewing this one multiple ways and I've gotten significantly better at brewing it,...

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Picture of Golden Osmanthus Oolong (Huang Jin Gui) traditional style

Golden Osmanthus Oolong (Huang Jin Gui) traditional style from Life in Teacup

Style: Golden Osmanthus – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
May. 28th, 2010

Mostly floral fragrance. This is the first huang jin gui I've tried, and it really does resemble osmanthus flowers in aroma, but I find it has a very different overall character from osmanthus-scented tea. Also, unusual among light, aromatic, greener oolongs I've had. This tea has some interesting surprises.

I tr...

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Picture of China Oolong

China Oolong from Twinings

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: China

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 28th, 2010

The first sip of this oolong was delightful, but upon drinking a whole cup of it I wasn't as much of a fan. Significantly lighter than a black tea, the aroma is very floral, bordering on perfumey. Upon drinking more than a few sips, however, a lot of unpleasant qualities develop...there's a sourness, and some off qua...

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Picture of Tung Ting Oolong

Tung Ting Oolong from Hsin Tung Yang

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 13th, 2010

I bought this in a 60g canister for $4 in Philadelphia's chinatown, and I wasn't expecting much because it seemed cheap for this style. This is barely recognizable as a Tung Ting / Dong Ding oolong: the leaves are broken, although in fairly large pieces, and although it's on the lighter side for an oolong, it seems to...

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Picture of 'Wu Yi' Water Fairy Oolong

'Wu Yi' Water Fairy Oolong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Shui Hsien Oolong – Region: Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 9th, 2010

While I'm not normally a fan of "fake" teas, I'm eager to try ones that are honestly presented as imitating styles originating in other regions.

Aroma is very toasty, more like roasted Yerba Mate than other roasted teas. Nutty and earthy, with a sweet aftertaste that lingers. There is actually a lot of complexity ...

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Picture of Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong First Grade

Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong First Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 16th, 2010

The tightly curled brown leaves unfurl only partially when brewing...producing a tea that's completely clear and golden in color.

Complex aroma, strongly suggesting apricot, and also having some skunky tones, and a hint of olive. Smooth, mellow flavor, contrasting with the aroma, which suggests a sharper tea. No as...

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Picture of Floral Tie-Guan-Yin Superior Grade

Floral Tie-Guan-Yin Superior Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: China

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 15th, 2010

Aroma very much like a Dong Ding Jade Oolong, very floral, but with a faint hint of a woody quality absent from those teas; this tea tastes very slightly more oxidized. Very smooth, but leaving a tingling sensation in the mouth. The aroma is very pleasing, but not terribly complex.

Using Upton's instructions I bre...

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Picture of Formosa Oolong Extra Fancy

Formosa Oolong Extra Fancy from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 12th, 2010

When I bought this tea it was the second-highest-priced grade of the standard "Formosa oolongs" in Upton's catalogue. They've since switched things around and discontinued this tea.

I found this tea, moving up from the lowest grades (TT11-TT17), to be the first one that offered an appreciable difference, the first ...

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Picture of Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong 2nd Grade

Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong 2nd Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 11th, 2010

Aroma is subtle and complex, but on the weak side: mostly of peach, with some weaker earthy tones. Flavor is tangy, with little bitterness. The aftertaste has a mild astringency. Thin-bodied.

Following Upton's recommendations I found worked alright--for a first cup. However, I tried to brew a second cup and ther...

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Picture of Oolong Choicest Grade

Oolong Choicest Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 10th, 2010

Upton offers a number of different grades of Formosa oolong with only moderate differences in price...this one, by weight, costs less than 50% more than TT11, the "standard grade". Again, the leaf is broken, but in larger pieces than some of the lower grades. The dry leaf has a weak, earthy aroma.

The brewed tea i...

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Picture of Organic Imperial Bai Hao Oolong

Organic Imperial Bai Hao Oolong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: China

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 4th, 2010

I found this tea to be weak in aroma and flavor. The aroma is slightly earthy but lighter than typical for a bai hao oolong, with light floral and vegetal tones, a hint of spice, and a suggestion of fruitiness. I think it's a stretch to call the aroma "complex" because it's so weak. The color of the cup is surprisin...

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Picture of Formosa Jade Oolong

Formosa Jade Oolong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

57 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 1st, 2010

Extremely mellow...the aroma is more like that of a floral honey than other teas. Light in color. Sweet, with almost no bitterness, sourness, or astringency. Compared to other Tung Tings I've tried, this tea is less like other oolongs and more like a Pouchong. In my opinion, it's too thin, and it has a bit of a fis...

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Picture of Oolong Fine Grade

Oolong Fine Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

57 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 28th, 2010

This tea is one step up (in price and presumably quality) from TT11. It lives up to my expectations. Surprisingly, however, the leaves are more finely broken in this tea. Visually, I'd expect this to be the lower grade tea, but actually brewing the two teas demonstrates otherwise.

I find this tea to have signific...

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Picture of Oolong Standard Grade

Oolong Standard Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 26th, 2010

Upton has renamed their teas or changed their item codes between TT10 and TT11, which makes discussing them confusing. The old TT10, Season's Pick Formosa Fannings, was discontinued. This is the same tea that used to be called TT11 but it's now TT10. (Update, they now renamed it back to TT11. lol.)

This is a radi...

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Picture of Roasted Oolong

Roasted Oolong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: China

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 25th, 2010

Aroma is mellow and smooth, with a pleasant woody quality. Stronger in flavor than Upton's similarly-priced non-roasted Tie Guan Yin's. I found this tea to be subtle; it grew on me, and I enjoyed the last cup I made from the sample significantly more than the first. Oddly, I find that much of the flavor sinks to the...

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Picture of Season's Pick Formosa Fannings

Season's Pick Formosa Fannings from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 22nd, 2010

The leaf of this tea is significantly coarser than many grades I have also seen called fannings.

The brewed tea is deep reddish brown. The aroma isn't terribly strong, and is mostly earthy with some nutty tones. Little bitterness, but also, little complexity.

I find that this tea is too mellow for my tastes if ...

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Picture of Monks Reserve-Castelton Estate

Monks Reserve-Castelton Estate from Fresh Darjeeling Tea

Style: Darjeeling Oolong – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 30th, 2009

Like the other teas I've tried from Fresh Darjeeling Tea, this tea is completely unlike anything I've ever tried! It is also the only Darjeeling oolong I've had that is rich and full-bodied.

Brews a dark color, darker than some Darjeelings I've seen classified as "black" teas. Malty, with a savory quality to it, a...

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