Review: Sanne Tea Jin Xuan Oolong

Oolong Tea, Organic Tea, Sanne Tea No Comments »
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"More, please!"
CJ’s Teaview: 10/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

sannejinxuanMy first thought after trying this tea was “how can I make more money so I can buy loads of it any time I want?”

This 2015 batch of  Jin Xuan (Golden Daylilly in English, but better known as ‘Milk Oolong’) had flavors complex and rich enough to entertain this jaded palate. Lightly oxidized, lightly roasted teas don’t normally register with my taste buds. Milk Oolongs are an exception. This Milk Oolong is probably the best I’ve ever tried.

If I weren’t so lazy, I’d try to explain how Milk Oolong gets its amazing taste. Perhaps such minutia would bore you, anyway. What I will say is there’s no milk involved. Just a cultivated tea plant, bred in Taiwan using two other varietals, (TTES #8, an assamica from Jaipur, India, and  Ying Zhi Hong Xin, which means “hard stem with a red ‘heart’ or inner section.”) The Jin Xuan cultivar is unique to Taiwan-the Wuhe district, specifically.

No doubt, soil, weather conditions, and a lot of hard work went into transforming the Jin Xuan bush into the golden, light green, lumpy-twists of leaf that tumbled out of the package.

After only 40 seconds of steeping in not-quite boiling water, the leaves brewed up a rich yellow liquor. The aroma of the unfurling leaves was part almond, part cream, part bouquet of honeysuckle, orchid, jasmine and rose, with just a touch of parsley.

That first infusion tasted predominantly floral at first. Then it blossomed into a buttery, creamy, fullness that amazed me after such a short steeping. The second infusion was 35 seconds long and produced an even creamier, less floral cup,with a bit more parsley-like astringency. The third batch was a less complex, but equally satisfying creamy, green-tea like brew.

Sanne Tea says one can get up to seven batches of tea from the same leaves. But it would take a more sensitive palate than mine to enjoy anything past the third infusion. The fourth pot was flavorless to me.

I recommend that everyone try this tea.  Although pricey, (about 14 dollars per ounce,) you could host quite an elegant little tea party with just a few teaspoons of these leaves.

— To purchase Sanne Tea Jin Xuan Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: CJ CJ
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Review: Tea Ave Magnolia Oolong

Oolong Tea, Tea Ave No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea reminds me of buttered popcorn and oatmeal butterscotch cookies."
Alexa’s Teaview: 9/10
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teaavemagoolongTea Ave is a tea company that solely focuses on high quality Oolong. This company was started by a brother and sister from Taiwan. Though they mainly sell a good variety of Oolong, they also sell some lovely teaware. I absolutely love Tea Ave’s website. As a marketing student, I love seeing a company that knows how to market themselves.

Tea Ave’s Magnolia Oolong is an exotic tea from the Alishan Mountain Region in Taiwan. This tea is considered a scented oolong since it absorbs a flower fragrance during the baking process. This way of roasting tea results in very unique, flavorful oolongs. I steeped 1 teaspoon of this oolong in 1 cup of water at 160 F. After 2-3 minutes I strained the leaves. The package of this tea suggested a very different way of steeping oolong compared to what I typically do. It says to steep the tea in boiling water for only 1 minute. I enjoyed this tea every way I steeped it. Even with boiling water, the tea remains sweet and floral.

This is definitely unlike any other oolong I have had. The smell is addicting and has major fruity and floral notes. I want this scent as a perfume or candle. It’s rare to find a tea that is both floral and buttery. The amount of flavors I can detect in this tea is amazing. When steeped in boiling water, the oolong leaves a more peppery aftertaste in your mouth. The peppery taste increases the more you steep the leaves. This tea also reminds me of buttered popcorn and oatmeal butterscotch cookies. It has nutty and vegetal notes as well, though not as evident as the sweet floral notes. The sweetness is like a mixture of honey, milk, and brown sugar. It’s definitely a unique blend.

I could just go on and on about how much I love this oolong. No astringent, bitter flavors what-so-ever. It’s smooth, buttery, sweet, and floral. I could drink it all day and I definitely want to order some more of this tea.

— To purchase Tea Ave Magnolia Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Alexa Alexa
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Review: The Tea Shelf Glendale Nilgri Oolong

Oolong Tea, The Tea Shelf No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavor is a delightful surprise. While the aroma reminded me of darjeeling, the taste has none of those sharp edges. Instead it is smooth and flavorful with the flavors of blackberry honey, cinnamon and a bit of raisin. Quite a pleasure to partake of. "
Shaiha’s Teaview: 8.4/10
Your Reviews: 4/10
2 reader reviews | Add your review »

teahelfnigiriglendaleI have sampled a couple teas from The Tea Shelf and overall been pleased with their product. I have to admit that one of my favorite services from this company is the ability to be able to set up a subscription so that they will send you your favorite teas on your schedule. How perfect is that?

This oolong has an unusual appearance in that it looks like a darjeeling and even has that characteristic darjeeling aroma that I look for. Since I tend to brew both my oolong and darjeelings at 195 degrees and for 3 minutes there was no conflict.

Once brewed, the liquor is a really dark gold, much darker then I usually see with an oolong. It still have a faint muscatel casino online along with whisps of cinnamon and nuts.

The flavor is a delightful surprise. While the aroma reminded me of darjeeling, the taste has none of those sharp edges. Instead it is smooth and flavorful with the flavors of blackberry honey, cinnamon and a bit of raisin. Quite a pleasure to partake of.

This oolong has gone onto my wish list for when I am not looking for a flowery oolong but want that wonderful smoothness. I think that it would be wonderful in the evenings for those not sensitive to caffeine.

— To purchase The Tea Shelf Glendale Nilgri Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Shaiha Shaiha
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Review: Cameron Tea Oriental Beauty Premium Grade

Cameron Tea, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"The texture is smooth, and the flavour is complex but not subtle."
Katie’s Teaview: 6.4/10
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Cameron Tea is a company that specialises in premium loose leaf teas from Taiwan, a specialty that I am particularly fond of. This is my first sample, but their website is clean and professional, and they have some interesting information about their different grades (e.g. competition vs. premium) of leaves. I was disappointed to see there weren’t any brewing directions on the website for this tea. I can make some pretty educated guesses, but I always appreciate when a company takes the guesswork out of it by letting me know what’s worked best for them. There’s lots of other information, though, including fermentation level (fully oxidized) and growing region.

The leaves are mid-sized, curled, and black. I decide to gong gu them in a gaiwan, infusion my first steep for one minute. The scent is smoky, malty, and somewhat spicey with a honey sweetness. The texture is smooth, and the flavour is complex but not subtle. It’s malty and woody with an overlying herbiness. There’s a mildly sweet fruitiness that comes across as more acidic than anything else.

I make a second steep, but it’s even more acidic than the first, picking up an acrid element and losing the honey sweetness that might have helped to balance it. It’s complex, but it’s all sharp corners with no rounded delicacy and little subtlety. It could probably hold out for a few more steeps, but I’m not enjoying myself enough to make them.

It’s certainly an interesting Oriental Beauty tea, unlike any I’ve had before, but it’s not one I would get again. Cameron Tea has peaked my interest, though, and I’d be interested to try some of their other teas.

— To purchase Cameron Tea Oriental Beauty Premium Grade, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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Review: Grandawood Agarwood Tea

Grandawood Tea, Uncategorized No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Agarwood has been used in Chinese medicine for many decades and is known for it’s amazing benefits"
Alexa’s Teaview: 6.7/10
Your Reviews: 1/10
1 reader reviews | Add your review »

grandawoodlogoWhen I received an email asking me to try this Agarwood tea I couldn’t resist. Grandawood, the company that offers this interesting tea, is based in Australia. They don’t only sell Agarwood tea but Agarwood jewelry. I find it so intriguing that this wood can make both jewelry and tea! This company owns over 400 acres of Agarwood forest and aims to show people the benefits of these trees! Their tea is made from 100% pure organic young Agarwood dried leaves. This tea is also chemical-free.

Agarwood, known as the ‘Wood of God’ has been used in Chinese medicine for many decades. Agarwood is known for it’s amazing benefits. This tea supposedly improves sleep and bowel movements, reduces cholesterol, detoxes skin and improves skin texture, and stabilizes blood sugar levels. This is a pretty incredible list! Agarwood leaves contain terpenoids which are known to relax and sedate. On top of all this, Agarwood not only helps with weight loss, but it can also reduce intoxication. If you’re feeling tipsy, maybe it’s time to have a cup of Agarwood tea!

I steeped 1 teabag in one cup of boiling water. The tea has a smell very unlike any other teas I have had. It reminds me of a damp forest and a camp fire. It smells bitter and astringent. I only steeped the tea for 3 minutes allowing the water to become light brown but the flavor was powerful. This is some very, very strong tea. It’s hard for me to describe the flavor but for some reason it reminds me of burnt wood. I read that some people just consume little bits of this tea at a time and I’m wondering if that’s because they can’t down a whole cup. It has a little bit of a sweet aftertaste, but even adding sugar doesn’t help the extreme bitterness.

The first time I consumed this tea, I made some mistakes. For one, I steeped it too long. 3 minutes is really all the time this tea needs. Next, I added sugar in attempts to cover the bitterness. This didn’t help at all in my opinion. If you’re going to sweeten this tea, use honey. The time of day you drink this tea is also important! It seriously makes you sleepy. The first time I drank it at noon and I just wanted to nap all afternoon. The second time I had it before bed and slept like a baby. Also, keep in mind that this tea does indeed affect your bowel movements. Make sure you drink this tea when you’ve been eating properly. I also read that some people are allergic to Agarwood essential oil, meaning they are likely allergic to Agarwood tea as well. This is important to keep in mind before ordering.

— To purchase Grandawood Agarwood Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Alexa Alexa
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Review: Genki Matcha

Genki Matcha, Green Tea, Matcha Tea No Comments »
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Sweet, earthy, and complex. Best Matcha I've ever tried."
CJ’s Teaview: 10/10
Your Reviews: 8/10
1 reader reviews | Add your review »

GenkiMatchalogoA high quality Matcha is a rare jewel in my part of the world, (the Deep South of the United States. Not a lot of Japanese culture ’round here.) Until I discovered the vendor known as Genki, I didn’t know how good powdered tea could be.

The substance I received from Genki was a brilliant, almost neon, green. My past experiences with  Matcha involved a brownish, split-pea hued mixture that tasted bitter no matter how weak I made it. And making Matcha involves quite a bit of patience.

First you must make a paste from the powder and a bit of water. Second, you add more hot water slowly, as you whip the mixture up into a froth. Plus you need special equipment for Matcha-making: a sifter, a bamboo whisk and a bowl. Teacups aren’t large or shallow enough to accommodate the whisk.

Genki’s Matcha made all that trouble worth it. The brew was fresh and the color of sprouting leaves in Spring.  This was real Matcha-the type of Matcha that has been turning up in everything from cakes , to pasta, to waffles.

But I wouldn’t waste Genki Matcha in any recipes. As a beverage, it was as complex as any Chinese oolong. It had strawberry notes, and a slight touch of roses, all swirled in a slightly grassy green tea goodness.

It was a gentle and most refreshing a hot drink. I suppose iced tea lovers would enjoy it cold, but with such rich and complex flavors, it would be a shame to blunt them with a chilled temperature.

I rate this a 10.

— To purchase Genki Matcha, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: CJ CJ
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