Usually when I can’t decide what tea I want, I tend to fall back on an oolong. Even though it is such a wide category of tea, no other tea type offers such complexity and variety of flavour. Oolong teas can range from green and floral to sweet and fruity or to dark and roasted, with much more in between. I often find that they’re the one type of tea I reach for when I want to just sip and relax as they’re easy to get lost in thanks to the taste and visual beauty. I felt quite refreshed after a tea tasting with some oolongs from The Tea Makers of London.
The Tea Makers of London main mission is like most tea lovers – to make the best cup of tea possible. To do so, they travel to search for some of the highest quality teas that they can share with others. I had the opportunity to sample three oolong teas from their collection. They say their teas play with our senses of sight, smell and taste to bring together an overall wonderful tea experience. Each oolong was prepared in a glass gaiwan and I’ll be organizing each tea review to reflect that statement.
– Four Seasons Oolong –
SIGHT: From Taiwan the leaves of this oolong are dark green, rolled and it also contains a few stems. When steeped, the liquor is a golden sunshine.
SMELL: It has toasted aroma that is also super buttery. Honestly, all I can think of when I smell this tea is popcorn! I feel like there should be that floral fragrance but I can’t stop focusing on the popcorn characteristics.
TASTE: This tea exhibits a warm milk feel with well-balanced floral notes that become more prevalent throughout the infusions. My thoughts are settling on gardenia, to be exact. The popcorn aroma I gathered earlier attacks the taste as there are also browned butter notes with the rich texture. There’s almost a nutty finish in the cup.
– Wuyi Shui Xian Oolong –
SIGHT: From the Wuyi Mountains located in the Fujian Province, China, this dark oolong’s leaves are long, dark and lightly twisted. When steeped, the liquor is light amber.
SMELL: It has a toasted aroma featuring vanilla pods (my favourite!).
TASTE: The steep presents a heavy creamy caramel flavour. Its thick and smooth texture constantly reminds me of a dessert topped with caramelized fruit. As I continue the infusions, I’m imagining vanilla infused yogurt mixed with ripe mangos and papayas and a sprinkle of more vanilla bean and cinnamon. So delicious.
– Tie Guan Yin Oolong –
SIGHT: Also known as Iron Goddess of Mercy or Iron Buddha, this oolong is from the southern Fujian Province of China. The leaves are rolled tightly in ball form, but the first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the insanely vibrant green colour! When steeped, the liquor is pale yellow.
SMELL: It has an aroma that is similar to fresh cut bouquet of spring flowers, perfect for this time of year.
TASTE: The initial steeps present a sweet and fruity flavour that reminded me of a juicy pear along with some floral essences from that spring bouquet. With more infusions, I began to get bites of green beans and spinach. Buttery tones, similar to a milk oolong, were throughout the cups, too. In the end, the vegetal and floral notes create a refreshing mix.
Thank you The Tea Makers of London for providing these oolongs to taste, savour and review.
Is there an oolong from my tasting that stood out to you? Let me know in the comments!