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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 Hunan Red Oolong

Hunan Red Oolong from Imperial Tea Garden

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Hunan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 2nd, 2012

This is not the sort of tea I tend to like, but I loved this one, which I think is a testimony to its quality. I tend to like stronger-tasting teas with more bitterness. But I enjoyed this tea greatly.

Visually, the loose-leaf of this tea looks more like a Bai Hao or Oriental Beauty oolong than other Chinese oolon...

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Picture of Monkey-Picked Ti Kuan Yin

Monkey-Picked Ti Kuan Yin from Foojoy

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

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 5th, 2011

This oolong has a noticeable roasted quality but still a lot of greener character. It comes across as both toasty and fresh, and is very complex.

The cup brews a dark color, and the leaves turn a dark olive-brown upon steeping. The aroma is both woody and herbaceous, and has tones of nut, cocoa, and spice (especia...

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Picture of Bai Hao Premium

Bai Hao Premium from Rishi Tea

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 14th, 2011

I'm normally not a fan of this style of tea, but this one was my favorite yet, probably because it was atypical. Like many of Rishi's teas, this one ventured out into a bit edgier, bolder territory of flavor and aroma that I found to be more interesting and enjoyable.

Brews a darker-than-normal color. Aroma is sim...

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Picture of Special Pouchong

Special Pouchong from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

40 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 1/5
Oct. 21st, 2011

This is the same tea that can be purchased in large boxes in some Asian markets. It is not the same as the loose-leaf teas sold in Ten-Ren's stores. After being impressed with Ten Ren's 3rd grade pouchong, this one, which is about the same price, was sorely disappointing.

Dry leaf, which is mostly larger pieces of...

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Picture of Hand-Processed Wuyi Shui Xian Grade I

Hand-Processed Wuyi Shui Xian Grade I from Life in Teacup

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

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 10th, 2011

Dry leaf has an intense aroma of cocoa. Upon brewing the tea, the aroma becomes much more complex.

I brewed this tea western style and was surprised at how many infusions it lasted through. It is rare for me to find teas that can hold up to three long infusions, using less leaf. This tea lasted through four.

A...

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Picture of Wuyi Ensemble (Wuyi Oolong)

Wuyi Ensemble (Wuyi Oolong) from Adagio Teas

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

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 16th, 2011

Although this tea looks very dark in color, it had a slightly greener character among Wuyi oolongs. Aroma has a hint of smokiness, and some woody qualities, but primarily a background of honey-like smoothness that is fairly floral. The finish is clean and herbaceous, leaving a fresh taste of celery on the palate.

...

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Picture of Ti Kuan Yin (Oolong Goddess)

Ti Kuan Yin (Oolong Goddess) from Adagio Teas

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Fujian, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 14th, 2011

This is a very balanced Tie Guan Yin. It is darker than a lot of the modern green Chinese Oolongs, but lighter than some of the traditional dark roast ones. The cup comes out a dark amber or light brown.

The aroma is slightly floral, with a hint of woody tones. Very full-bodied; slightly honey-like upon drinking....

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Picture of Wuyi Organic Oolong Tea

Wuyi Organic Oolong Tea from Wegmans

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

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 9th, 2011

This is the same style as Rishi's Wuyi Qi Lan, and the two teas are very similar. I suspect that this is also a Qi Lan but I am not experienced enough with Wuyi teas to say for sure.

Rishi's Qi Lan (Wuyi oolong) is sweeter, thicker, more syrupy. This tea is more dry. Both teas have a pleasant hint of smokiness. ...

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Picture of Se Chung

Se Chung from Imperial Tea Garden

Style: Se Chung Oolong – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 18th, 2011

Greener character, with an aroma that is simultaneously smoky, woody, and floral. Flavor surprisingly clear and clean. However, aftertaste is muddled and slightly more smoky than I like. Medium-bodied. I find it less fruity than the description suggests, and less than a number of other oolongs.

When Se Chung ool...

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Picture of Tie Guan Yin traditional charcoal roast Master Grade

Tie Guan Yin traditional charcoal roast Master Grade from Life in Teacup

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

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 6th, 2011

(2009 Harvest) This is an impressive tea, and the first perfect rating I've ever given here. Life in Teacup provided me with a sample generous enough to experiment a bit with brewing.

This tea is so intensely flavorful and aromatic, that I settled on using a little less than 1 teaspoon of leaf, and brewed four infu...

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Picture of Jade Oolong Tea

Jade Oolong Tea from Wegmans

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 5th, 2011

A solidly good, classic, but perhaps slightly boring Taiwanese Jade Oolong. Sold for a surprisingly reasonable price!

Aroma is mostly of butter with a little honey and some faint floral tones. Buttery-smooth flavor: sweet, with no bitterness. To my tastes, a bit too buttery, and not very tea-like.

Leaves are e...

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Picture of Mt. Wu Dong Mi Lan (Honey Orchid) Dan Cong

Mt. Wu Dong Mi Lan (Honey Orchid) Dan Cong from Life in Teacup

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: Guangdong, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 15th, 2011

I often find Dan Congs to be fascinatingly complex teas, and this one is no exception. This tea I also found a bit easier to work with, in that it was easy for me to bring out the qualities that I enjoy most. It was a little more like a Wuyi oolong in overall character than other dancong I've tried. The dry leaf is ...

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Picture of Bao Zhong Special Oolong Tea

Bao Zhong Special Oolong Tea from Wegmans

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 20th, 2011

This is a very smooth, classic pouchong of considerably above-average quality. Aroma is fairly strong, mostly floral and honey-like. Remarkable for a pouchong of this price, there is a complete absence of unpleasant fishy tones, and there's very little astringency.

I found that a teaspoon of leaves could brew two ...

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Picture of Ti Guan Yin Oolong Tea

Ti Guan Yin Oolong Tea from Wegmans

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 17th, 2011

Wow. This tea surprised me from the first sip, both with its quality and originality. This is not a run-of-the-mill Tie Guan Yin.

Aroma highly complex, with both floral and herbaceous tones present from the start. There's a honey-like quality and a slight but noticeable roast. Finish is woody, but in a gentle so...

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Dong Ding Oolong Competition Grade III 2009 from Life in Teacup

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Nantou, Taiwan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 2nd, 2011

This is the first medium-roast Dong Ding I've tried; prior to trying this one I've only tried the lighter roasted styles of Dong Ding, or medium-roasted oolongs of other styles. I like this one very much.

I did not have much leaf and only had one opportunity to brew this once, using multiple infusions, but the resu...

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Picture of Dong Ding Oolong

Dong Ding Oolong from Tradition

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

93 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 20th, 2010

This is an exceptionally strong tea: without a doubt, the strongest green oolong I have yet tried. Very little leaf is needed. While I've had Dong Ding with a more nuanced aroma, it was weaker overall, and I actually prefer strength, especially in this style of tea which can be a little too gentle for my tastes. The...

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Picture of Bai Hao Oolong (Oriental Beauty) Superior Grade

Bai Hao Oolong (Oriental Beauty) Superior Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: Hsinchu (County), Taiwan

53 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 17th, 2010

Thank you Marlena for sharing this one with me!

Fruity and complex aroma, but completely without bitterness or bite, even when using a generous amount of leaf and steeping for a long time. The overall character of the cup is Darjeeling-like, although with less edge. Although it's mild in terms of aroma and bittern...

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Picture of A-Li-Son Oolong Tea

A-Li-Son Oolong Tea from Tradition

Style: High Mountain Oolong – Region: Chiayi (County), Taiwan

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 29th, 2010

Now and then I buy tea loose-leaf tea in Chinatown, Asian import stores, and other specialty food stores, and I am often disappointed. However, this one was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't expecting much: I bought 100 grams of this Alishan Oolong for $7, which seemed extraordinarily cheap. I've had better Alishan Oolo...

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Picture of Jade Oolong Tea

Jade Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Nantou, Taiwan

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 28th, 2010

This jade oolong tastes very little like any Taiwanese jade oolongs I've had, and instead tastes more like a greener, medium-roast Tie Guan Yin. The level of roast is noticeably stronger than what I normally expect from a Jade oolong.

The aroma is of honey and wood. In the second infusion, some herbaceous tones co...

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Huang Jin Gui Winter Harvest from Life in Teacup

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

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 20th, 2010

After being really impressed by Life in Teacup's Huang Jin Gui traditional style, this one was a disappointment. I experimented a little bit with brewing, but, regardless of how I brewed, compared to that other tea, the aroma of this one is weaker and less pleasant overall.

I also find this tea to have less depth. ...

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Ben Shan Oolong King Grade from Life in Teacup

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

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 25th, 2010

I received this oolong in a set of samples from Life in Teacup, but could not find it for sale on their website.

This one immediately got my attention from even smelling the dry leaf--so aromatic. I have rarely encountered such intense floral aromas outside of the most expensive Dong Ding or Tie Guan Yin oolongs.
...

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Picture of Tie Guan Yin Special Edition, traditional charcoal roast

Tie Guan Yin Special Edition, traditional charcoal roast from Life in Teacup

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 18th, 2010

This tea got my attention with its unusual aroma, and I suspect it's the Mao Xie. There's like a familiar woody quality, typical for a roasted oolong, but with a peculiar quality suggestive of a savory soup containing celery root and other vegetables. The flavor is surprisingly savory for an oolong, with not much in ...

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Picture of Yongchun Fo Shou (Bergamot) Oolong Superior Grade

Yongchun Fo Shou (Bergamot) Oolong Superior Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Fo Shou Oolong – Region: Yongchun, Fujian, China

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 16th, 2010

The dry leaf is strongly aromatic and has a strange, different aroma--considerably sharper than most greener oolongs.

After brewing the first cup, I notice a mildly soapy aroma, but this completely vanishes upon drinking it. The aroma is very complex, with spicy, herbaceous tones, reminiscent of a weedy thicket in ...

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Picture of Iron Goddess of Mercy

Iron Goddess of Mercy from Rishi Tea

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Nantou, Taiwan

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 10th, 2010

Wow. Rishi gets my attention again with another tea that is recognizable as its style but with its own unique twist. The aroma is astonishingly complex...in addition to the toasty, woody, and fruity tones you might expect from a medium-roasted Tie Guan Yin, there is a strong suggestion of spice (nutmeg, mace, and cin...

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Picture of Pouchong Tea 2nd Grade

Pouchong Tea 2nd Grade from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

80 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 7th, 2010

I decided to try out the 2nd grade this time--the 3rd grade is absolutely the most affordable Pouchong I've tried that is still passable. This cost a lot more--I would say this tea is getting into a pretty expensive range and is competing with some good greener oolongs.

The overall character of this tea is very sim...

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