Oollo Tea’s Classic Taster Set (Part 1) | Tea Review

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Oollo Tea Classic Taster Set Spoons

I was feeling nostalgic about Taiwan and Vancouver, Canada, so I decided to hit two birds with one stone and taste Oollo Tea’s Classic Taster Set. I realized the last time that I had Taiwanese teas was back when I was in Taiwan earlier this year!

I met Jenny from Oollo Tea during my trip to Vancouver, BC. Jenny was hosting a tea event and she was a lovely host and allowed me to drop by. She was very informative! I met her during my trip where I visited O5 Rare Tea + Kombucha Bar and The Treasured Green Tea Company.

Oollo is the merger of “ool” from oolong and “lo” which is Jenny’s family’s last name. Her family comes from a long line of tea farms, dating back to 1931 when her family acquired a piece of land in the Golden Mountain Region of Hsinchu, Taiwan. Oollo is a direct trade company, which means that the teas are sourced straight from the tea farmers.

Oollo Tea offers a Classic Taster Set is comprised of 6 teas; Red Jade Black Tea, Baozhong Oolong, Oriental Beauty Oolong, Iron Buddha Oolong, Maliba High Mountain Oolong, and Qingjing High Mountain Oolong. I decided to make this a two-part series and split the teas based on if they were long and twisted or rolled into the ball.

This week, I wanted to tackle the long and twisted ones, so, let’s go!

 

Oollo Tea: Red Jade Black Tea

Oollo Tea Red Jade Black Tea dry dish

Description: “The long twisted whole leaves give distinct smooth raisin, date and cinnamon infusions with traces of peppermint.”

Review:  Since the sampler set only featured one black tea, I decided to group it together with the Baozhong Oolong and Oriental Beauty Oolong since they were all long and twisted. The leaves were thin and dark and slightly twisted. There was a warm sweet and fruity smell from the dry leaves.

The steeped leaves became a rich chocolate brown colour and mildly unfurled during the first infusion. It had a very similar smell to when the leaves were dry, but I found that it was amped up. The liquor was a deep reddish brown and there was an earthy aroma. The recommendations on the package were to brew this tea three times.

Oollo Tea Red Jade Black Tea wet dish

I found that the flavour started off with a hint of bitterness, which transformed into a maltier, sweeter flavour during the second infusion. I can see why the description mentioned raisin because it did evoke that taste. The liquor left the mouth feeling slightly dry. I found that the second steep featured a bit more of a bitter pallet, and that sweetness came out at tail end and lingered rather than becoming the focal point of the sip. The last infusion was more nutty with some mild sweetness.

After steeping, I looked at the leaves, and I realized that it was made mostly of stems and large tea leaves that were trimmed at a relatively similar size. I assume that this is to make the tea look more unified as a whole. After three infusions, the leaves had somewhat unfurled and overall the tea left me feeling warm and comforted (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Taiwan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Tea
  • Company: Oollo Tea

 

Oollo Tea: Baozhong Oolong

Oollo Tea Baozhong Oolong dry dish

Description: “The twisted leaves produce elegant lilac and vanilla fragrances while developing delicate sweet, floral notes.”

Review:  I always enjoy looking at Baozhong oolongs because of how lightly oxidised it is. It ends up looking very delicate, and, to me, like a white tea. This one was made out of leaves and stems and had a very sweet floral smell, right from the bag. The fragrance only increased after the water hit the leaves. The liquor was a pale hay colour.

Oollo Tea Baozhong Oolong wet dish

What surprised me is that this actually had nice grassy notes that I didn’t expect, which intermixed with the floral notes. It had a very nice delicate crisp taste that lingered in the mouth. After the second infusion, the leaves had mostly unfurled and there was a strong hit of floral and grassy notes that stayed and lingered in the mouth.

However, during the third and final infusion, it tasted more woodsy to me with some floral afternotes and some mild astringency. I examined the wet leaves, and I noticed that the Baozhong was made mostly of buds and small tender leaves. I found it had a relaxing quality that I liked slowly sipping on (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Oolong tea
  • Origin: Taiwan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Tea
  • Company: Oollo Tea

 

Oollo Tea: Oriental Beauty Oolong

Oollo Tea Oriental Beauty dry dish

Description: “This traditional beauty exudes apricot and peach scents followed by indulging orchid, muscat grape, and apple flavours.”

Review:  The dry dark forest green leaves were long, wide and twisted. There was a very faint sweetness which became a strong floral after the steeping. I noticed an underlying and lingering vegetal smell as well. The liquor became a pale yellow-green and the dark leaves started to become an olive shade.

OolloTea_Oriental_Beauty_wet_dish

I tasted more grassy notes that lingered in the mouth and it was very pleasant to drink the tea because I could smell the aroma during every sip. The flavour is very delicate with some mild savouriness and no bitterness. I found that the second infusion had a similar punch as the first infusion whereas by the third infusion, the leaves had completely unfurled. The taste had become milder, but the sweet aroma persisted.

The packing did suggest four infusions, but I found that the taste and smell of the liquor had declined substantially by then. I really enjoyed the first and second infusion of this tea and I really liked how complex it was (4/5 rating).

  • Type: Oolong tea
  • Origin: Taiwan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Tea
  • Company: Oollo Tea

 

Overall Thoughts

I have to say, I am pretty happy with how these teas were! When I met Jenny, she served me a milk oolong which was delicious as well! I can’t wait to finish tasting the teas in the sampler set. There are two high mountain oolongs I want to try!

I have also reviewed Oollo Tea’s Spring Blossom Baozhong and Gongfu Honey via Amoda Tea!

What is your favourite Taiwanese tea?

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