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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 Oriental Beauty

Oriental Beauty from Teas Etc

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 5th, 2013

Definitely my favorite bai hao (oriental beauty) oolong yet. This is not a type of oolong I generally like, but I found this to be an atypical example of its style.

Significantly roasty aroma, and flavor is bolder, although less smooth.

I am curious...is this a competition winner because it was bolder in flavor ...

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Picture of Dong Ding Oolong Tea

Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Anhui, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 7th, 2013

Very good, but expensive for what it is.

A medium-roast, woody Dong Ding; dry leaf is quite aromatic. The initial smell isn't that impressive, but if you really stick your nose in it, it smells very good: a rich, nutty aroma. I tend to prefer the modern, greener Dong Ding oolongs; even Arbor Teas' Jade oolong is a...

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Picture of Wu Yi Oolong Tea

Wu Yi Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 24th, 2013

Broken leaf has a flakey appearance, and a pleasing aroma.

Brewed 4 minutes as recommended; I was worried this might be astringent because broken-leaf oolongs often are lower-quality, but this was pleasingly smooth. Aroma is smoky and richly fruity...reminiscent of some Wuyi Qi Lan. In spite of the very dark color...

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Picture of Wuyi Golden Water

Wuyi Golden Water from Wild Tea Qi

Style: Da Hong Pao – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 20th, 2013

Dry leaf is aromatic, and consists of long, whole, slightly twisted leaves which unfurl quite slowly upon brewing.

There's a real explosion of aroma the minute the leaves touch water. The brewed cup is strongly aromatic, combining floral and honey-like tones that I normally only encounter in green Anxi oolongs like...

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Picture of Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea

Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: Anhui, China

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 18th, 2013

I think Arbor Teas' description of this tea is spot-on: Velvety-smooth and sweet, almost suggestive of marmalade. I would not have guessed that this example is not from Taiwan--it tasted very similar to the Taiwanese Oriental Beauty oolongs.

Dry leaf has little aroma.

Brews a rich, dark colored cup, very smooth ...

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Picture of Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea

Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: Guangdong, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 21st, 2013

This was among my favorite Dan Cong oolongs that I've tried. It slightly disappointed me though in that its best aromatic qualities seemed to vanish quickly after the first cup, but the remaining flavor was still very good.

Dry leaf consists of large, dark grayish-brown, twisted whole leaves, and is intensely aroma...

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Picture of Wild Rock Oolong Tea (Da Hong Pao)

Wild Rock Oolong Tea (Da Hong Pao) from Wild Tea Qi

Style: Da Hong Pao – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 11th, 2013

The dry leaf looks brown with greenish tinges and is quite aromatic. Greener-looking than any other Da Hong Pao I've seen before.

The instant I poured water over the leaf, there was a huge explosion of aroma...wow! I used a much shorter steeping than I normally would.

Subtle in flavor: little bitterness, but co...

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Picture of Bao Zhong Oolong Tea

Bao Zhong Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Anhui, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 11th, 2013

Long, wiry leaf is dark in color for a pouchong / Bao Zhong.

Upon brewing, produces an intensely aromatic cup! Aroma floral, honey-like, and very complex. Buttery smooth yet with depth and richness. Full-bodied yet without much astringency.

I brewed a second cup, and while it was still quite flavorful and full...

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Picture of Huang Jin Gui Oolong Tea

Huang Jin Gui Oolong Tea from Teas Etc

Style: Golden Osmanthus – Region: Fujian, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 21st, 2012

Huang Jin Gui or Golden Osmanthus is one of my favorite types of oolong.

I only had the opportunity to sample this once, briefly, at World Tea East, so I can't comment on experimenting with brewing it in different ways, but I thought it a typical and high-quality example of this type of oolong.

Aroma is predomina...

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Picture of Tung Ting

Tung Ting from Teas Etc

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 27th, 2012

Very complex. Light, but bold.

Aroma is simultaneously floral and herbal. Strong, almost orchid-like fragrances emerge and vanish from an herbaceous background.

Even when unsweetened, it tastes like a bit of honey has been added.

This is one of the best examples of this tea that I've seen in this price range...

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Picture of Old Style Tie Guan Yin Anxi Wulong 2010

Old Style Tie Guan Yin Anxi Wulong 2010 from Seven Cups

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

43 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Aug. 27th, 2012

I sampled this in a blind tea tasting, alongside with the 2011 batch of this same tea. The two teas, while recognizably similar in style, were radically different in overall character.

This tea had a sour flavor and overall subdued quality. There was less bitterness and less astringency than the 2012 batch, but le...

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Picture of Chuan Tong Tie Guan Yin (Old Style Tie Guan Yin) Anxi Wulong 2011

Chuan Tong Tie Guan Yin (Old Style Tie Guan Yin) Anxi Wulong 2011 from Seven Cups

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

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Aug. 27th, 2012

Sampled in a blind tea tasting hosted by Evan Draper. Thanks, Evan, for the tea and the brewing!

This was the first tea we sampled, and was among my favorites of the batch.

Aroma was woody, toasty, and floral, in all infusions. First infusion was light and predominately aromatic. Second was more bitter and con...

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Picture of Kenya Oolong Tea

Kenya Oolong Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Kenya

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 25th, 2012

This was a very interesting tea for my to try; it was the first oolong I've sampled that was produced in Africa.

A peculiar tea among oolongs, but more normal when compared to green and black teas. Dry leaf looks more like a black tea than an oolong...dark brown, and highly broken. I brewed it with boiling water. ...

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Picture of Vietnam Imperial Oolong Tea

Vietnam Imperial Oolong Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Vietnam

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 18th, 2012

I agree with Simpson and Vail that this is a superior tea; it's definitely my favorite tea to come out of Vietnam yet, and is on par with some of the better Taiwanese oolongs.

This oolong has a bright green leaf, loosely rolled into fairly large pellets of unequal size. It unfurls quite quickly into medium-size, wh...

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1960s Phoenix Dan Cong from Life in Teacup

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: Guangdong, China

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 14th, 2012

Life in Teacup describes this tea as being a lot like Shu Pu-erh without the pile fermentation odor. I agree.

The aroma of the dry leaf tea is a lot more like aged shu Pu-erh than like other aged oolongs I've tried. Most aged oolong that I've tried has been re-roasted to the point that the roast has seemed to domi...

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Picture of Lu Ming Organic Oolong Competition Excellence Grade

Lu Ming Organic Oolong Competition Excellence Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Nantou, Taiwan

95 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 14th, 2012

I brewed a cup of this tea and set it down to go do something in the other room, and when I came back, the whole room was full of a wonderful aroma.

Brews a very clear cup with a golden or light amber color. Flavor is very smooth, with no detectable bitterness or astringency. This seems a lot like what I've seen s...

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Picture of Monkey Picked Oolong Tea

Monkey Picked Oolong Tea from Teavana

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 27th, 2012

I got some of this tea in a trade from a friend, and it was enough that I have been able to experiment with brewing it a bit. I've been enjoying it quite a lot; this tea is versatile and pleasing to drink.

This is a greener oolong, but not among the greenest. I think this might place it in the zone where it is mor...

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Picture of Ti Quan Yin Spring Floral

Ti Quan Yin Spring Floral from Harney and Sons

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

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 26th, 2012

I unfortunately only had the opportunity to sample this tea once, but I was impressed. This tea lives up to its name! Aroma is strongly floral.

The mouthfeel and overall experience of drinking it is buttery, but not overwhelmingly so (this quality can get a bit overwhelming to me in some oolongs).

Complete abse...

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Zhang Ping Shui Xian, Charcoal Roasted from Life in Teacup

Style: Shui Hsien Oolong – Region: Zhangping, Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 18th, 2012

The dry leaf of this oolong looked and smelled heavily roasted, and frankly, smelled more than a little boring to me. But when I brewed this cup, I was pleasantly surprised.

The aroma is complex and a bit edgy--there are some fairly strong skunky, herbaceous qualities, tones of celery, and a few floral tones in the...

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Picture of Zhang Ping Shui Xian, Traditional Greener Style

Zhang Ping Shui Xian, Traditional Greener Style from Life in Teacup

Style: Shui Hsien Oolong – Region: Zhangping, Fujian, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 11th, 2012

This was a fascinating tea for me to try. It was completely unlike any other oolong I've tried. The loosely-packed leaves separate easily and infuse quicker than I'd expect for their tough texture. After steeping I noticed that the larger leaves are mostly whole, but the smaller leaves and buds are mostly broken. I...

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Picture of Formosa Oolong

Formosa Oolong from Imperial Tea Garden

Style: Amber Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 19th, 2012

Broken-leaf, fairly dark.

More bite than a typical bai hao oolong; more black-tea like. Fairly strong roast, some woody tones, only a hint of fruitiness. I like this more than most Chinese oolongs in its price range and of a similarly dark roast, but in the end I'd rather pay a little more for whole-leaf oolong.
...

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Picture of Huang Jin Gui

Huang Jin Gui from Teaspring

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

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 12th, 2012

Served Gong Fu style by Evan. Golden-green dry leaf is pleasingly aromatic.

I liked this tea very much. Predominately floral aroma, yet bold and complex, with skunky (which I liked) and herbaceous undertones. There's a faint soapy quality evident in each infusion, but it did not detract from the overall experienc...

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Picture of Tie Kuan Yin Tea

Tie Kuan Yin Tea from Starway (Tea King of China)

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

30 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Mar. 6th, 2012

I was so impressed by the two green teas from this company that I eagerly bought two 6 ounce boxes of oolong. The oolongs, at around $5 a tin, were both pricier than the green teas, which were about $2 and $3 a tin, respectively.

I was sorely disappointed with this tea. This is a below-average tea, even for this p...

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Picture of Formosa Pouchong

Formosa Pouchong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 4th, 2012

I really like pouchong / bao zhong tea, which is an extremely green oolong, sometimes described as a green tea. A while back, I had requested that Upton Tea Imports add a lower-priced Pouchong to their catalogue, and I was pleased to see that they added this tea. Upon trying it, I am really impressed: it is one of th...

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Picture of Blue Spring Oolong

Blue Spring Oolong from Imperial Tea Garden

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: China

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 4th, 2012

After being impressed by a number of teas from Imperial Tea Garden, this one disappointed me a lot. I've experimented a lot with brewing, and it just seems flat and bland.

The leaf is mostly broken and the dry leaf has a dusty, twiggy aroma. I experimented brewing in several ways. This tea holds up to making at l...

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