Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea from Mountain Tea Company

I am in the process of organizing all of my samples from this year, and I must admit that it has been quite the task. I am going against my will, and simply organizing the samples by country of origin. Quite honestly, I did not have enough boxes to organize by region, which I would certainly prefer. On the bright side, I am finding some really great samples that came in small packets that simply shifted little by little to the bottom of other boxes.

This sample of Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea from Mountain Tea Company is one of those great samples that got lost in the mix for a while. Thankfully, it has resurfaced at a perfect time, as I have been desiring a Taiwanese oolong for a few weeks. I have been enjoying oolongs from Thailand and China, with the occasional Vietnam or Indonesia oolong, but my supply of Taiwan oolongs has become quite low, except for a few Jin Xuan products of varying quality. I love Jin Xuan, but I need a break!

The leaves of this Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea are harvested from the Si Ji Chun cultivar grown in Nantou County, Taiwan. Mountain Tea Company owns three tea gardens, one on Wushe Mountain. I cannot say with certainty whether the tea bushes that produced these leaves grow at the Wushe Mountain garden, or one of the other two. Regardless, all gardens are considered high mountain locations, thus I am expecting a very happy oolong experience out of this review. For more information on the Mountain Tea Company, please click here.

The sample packet has been opened, and despite the months that have passed since first receiving this sample, the scent of the dry leaves is remarkably sweet and fragrant. Let the journey begin…

Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Dry Leaves
Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves range in color from light green to dark green. The leaves are in the compact, semi-ball shape, with few stems, but not as many as I commonly see in semi-ball oolongs. This fact indicates more time and effort by the manufacturer during production to remove the majority of stems. From the few stems that are present, I am seeing only two leaves on the pluck, and I expect very small buds to be present also. The scent of the dry leaves is truly incredible! Full, sweet scents of brown sugar, ripe peaches and apricots, gardenia flowers, honey, and sweet cream are all present. I am starting to be reminded of the reasons why Taiwanese oolongs are so expensive and yet worth every penny.

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams of dry leaves for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat the water to 195°F (90°C). Steep the leaves for 3:00 minutes. Expect three or more quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves. I recommend cutting at least a full minute off the steep time for the second infusion (1:30 to 2:00 total steep time), and then 2:00 to 2:30 minutes for the third.

Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Infusion
Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a very bright greenish-yellow color, perfectly clear and transparent. The aroma is phenomenal, with full scents of gardenia flowers, honey, stewed peaches and apricots, sweet cream, and carmelized sugar. The body is medium, with a clean, silky texture. The taste carries notes of peaches, apricots, gardenia flowers, sweet cream, honey, brown sugar, and a very light but noticeable hint of cooked spinach. The aftertaste is top notch, combining gardenia with sweet cream. As the aftertaste lingers, the sweet cream trails off and a hint of honeydew melon sets in, while the gardenia holds its potency. This is an incredible tea from start through the lingering finish!

Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Infused Leaves
Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Infused Leaves
Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Infused Leaves Closeup
Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Infused Leaves Closeup
Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Single Infused Leaf
Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea Single Infused Leaf

The infused leaves have a uniform fresh forest green color. Many leaves display a rather dark shade of red on the edges. I would estimate the oxidation at 30%, give or take 5%. Most of the leaves are whole, with a few large fragments. Many leaves are totally disconnected from the stem. The leaves that are connected to the stem show a two leaf and tiny bud pluck. Only one stem had a third leaf. The leaves have a thicker, leathery texture, evidence that the Si Ji Chun cultivar is a close relative of the TieGuanYin cultivar. Most of the leaves are fairly young, but the few larger leaves are longer and fairly broad, not quite as broad as the Jin Xuan leaves, but close. The smell is again incredible, with full scents of gardenia flowers, peaches and apricots, brown sugar, sweet cream, and honey.

I am officially obsessed with Taiwanese oolongs again. The Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea from Mountain Tea Company is fully responsible for reviving this obsession. Awe-inspiring from the scent of the dry leaves through the entire drinking experience and the inspection of the infused leaves, this tea is a phenomenal product that is easy to afford and appreciate. Although not everyone will taste the many notes that are listed above, any level of tea drinker will quickly notice that this tea is simply delicious. The lingering aftertaste will not let you forget just how good this product is.

Thank you to the management at Mountain Tea Company for providing this sample of Four Seasons of Spring Oolong Tea. You can purchase some of this tea from Mountain Tea Company by clicking here.

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Yun Bi Oolong Tea from Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership in Thailand

I always get excited to receive samples from a new source, especially when it is a new tea farm looking to get some well-deserved attention for their products.We all know that I have come to love the teas from Thailand, specifically the oolong teas. So when the Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership contacted me to request that I review two of their oolong teas and one green tea, I did not hesitate for one moment to accept the generous request. Let me thank the management team at Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership for their generosity!

Today, I will be focusing on the Yun Bi Oolong Tea. This is an organically grown high mountain oolong tea. The raw tea leaves are harvested from the TTES # 12 (Jin Xuan) cultivar.

The Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership is located in Bhan Khun Wang, Tambon Mae Win, Amphoe Mae Wang, Chiang Mai Province, north Thailand. The garden cultivates only five acres (2.02 hectares) of land, and of these five acres, only about half is covered in tea. The cultivars grown are the TTES #17 (Qing Xin) and TTES #12 (Jin Xuan). The tea garden has an average altitude above 1,500 meters (4,900 feet). The factory focuses completely on the production of oolong and green tea. A Google map of the Bhan Khun Wang area is provided below. For more information on the Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership, please visit their website here.

The sample packet has been opened, and the appearance of this tea is quite different than any other oolong tea that I have seen. Let the journey begin…

Yun Bi Oolong Tea Dry Leaves
Yun Bi Oolong Tea Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a fairly consistent color of dark greenish-black, with plenty of goldish tips in the mix. The leaves appear to be all large fragments and a very high number of whole leaves with stems and buds intact. The uniform appearance indicates hand processing from the pluck to rolling. The leaves appear to be quite small compared to those used in semi-ball shaped oolongs. The pluck is varied, with some showing a single leaf and bud, and others showing two leaves and bud. From the color, the oxidation level looks quite high, with my guess being about 40%, give or take 10%. The leaves also appear to be roasted significantly. The aroma has scents of brown sugar, sweet wood, cinnamon, and fresh baked bread. The appearance and aroma of the dry leaves are both intriguing and impressive!

Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.

My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 195° (90°C). Infuse the leaves for 2:00 to 2:30 minutes for the first infusion. Expect at least three or four quality infusions out the same serving of leaves. Decrease the infusion time on the second infusion to 1:00 to 1:30 minutes, then add 15 to 30 seconds to each additional infusion.

Yun Bi Oolong Tea Infusion
Yun Bi Oolong Tea Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright golden-yellow color, perfectly clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of cream, light brown sugar, light vanilla, light wood, cinnamon, and light flowers. The body is medium, with a silky, creamy texture. The taste has quite an array of descriptions, with notes of wood, cream, brown sugar, vanilla, peaches, flowers, and very light cooked leafy vegetables. The aftertaste is sweetly floral, and a persistent floral bouquet can be felt on the breath.

Yun Bi Oolong Tea Infused Leaves
Yun Bi Oolong Tea Infused Leaves

The infused leaves have a consistent fresh forest green color, with some minor reddish hints around the edges, and brown stems. The oxidation does not seem as high now that the leaves have been infused. These leaves are 99% whole and unbroken! I found very few fragments in the sample, further indicating the careful hand plucking and hand processing of the leaves. The leaves are quite small and many appear young, with the majority measuring well under one inch (25 mm), and very few measuring over 1.5 inches (38 mm). The leaves are fairly narrow. Their is a generous portion of nicely developed buds, and the pluck varies from three leaves and no bud to one leaf and a large bud. The aroma has scents of vanilla, sweet wet wood, light cooked vegetables, a touch of cinnamon, light peach, and light flowers.

I have reviewed many teas whose manufacturers have claimed that the entire production process is completed by hand, but few teas have proven this claim so clearly as this Yun Bi Oolong Tea from Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership. This tea was among the most interesting reviews, from the dry leaves to the infused leaves, that I have completed on this blog. It is amazing to see such small farms do what Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership is doing. If you read their website (I linked to it in the introduction above), you will see what the land was used for before it was rehabilitated and turned into tea, Chinese Mulberry, and Japanese persimmons. Amazingly, I can still taste all of the old crops, such as the peaches from the peach orchards, and the leafy green vegetables. This tea paints a very clear picture of the history of the land, as well as the care that goes into manufacturing it. I feel like I could write a book about this tea alone. It is seriously that interesting to me.

With that being said, I will cut the rambling off here. What I will say is that I simply cannot wait to get to the other two samples from Doi Inthanon Tea Partnership. Another thank you to the management and all of the workers at Doi Inthanon for producing these amazing teas, and for the generosity in sending them to me. This has been a very noteworthy experience, and I look forward to watching this garden grow and develop! Cheers!

Gui Fei Wulong Tea from Rainbow Trading Company

Today’s review will focus on the Gui Fei Wulong from Rainbow Trading Company. Many thanks to Rainbow Trading for providing these excellent quality high mountain wulongs. At this time, I do not believe Rainbow Trading Company has a website. Reaching out to the Western hemisphere is a recent development for them, and getting their teas out for review is a good way to gauge how the U.S. and other countries will accept their products.

This Gui Fei wulong uses leaves from the Chin Shin cultivar. The Chin Shin bushes are grown in the LiShan, Tai Zhong City area of Taiwan, at an altitude between 6,000 and 6,600 feet (2,000 to 2,200 meters). Much like the better known Oriental Beauty wulongs from Taiwan, the Gui Fei is plucked after those beautiful little bugs commonly referred to as leaf hoppers begin to eat the tea bush leaves. The saliva from the leaf hoppers chemically reacts with the secondary metabolites created by the tea bushes to repel insects and heal the wound, creating an amazingly sweet and all natural honey flavor in the liquor. How many natural products have as interesting of a chemistry as the tea leaf? Not that I am an expert on botany, agriculture, or chemistry, but none that I can think of.

The sample packet is opened, and all I can smell is clove honey and pears. Let the journey begin…

Gui Fei Wulong Dry Leaves
Gui Fei Wulong Dry Leaves

The dry leaves range in color from dull forest green to very dark green, almost black. The leaves are in semi-ball shape.The size of the semi-balls are between a sweet pea and a lima bean. There are a few visible stems, but not as many as I typically see in Taiwan wulongs. I expect the vast majority of these leaves to be whole, some having the stem attached. The aroma is very sweet, having strong scents of bee honey and ripe tree fruit, perhaps pear or plum.

Five grams of dry leaves were placed in an 8.5 ounce (240 ml) kyusu teapot. Purified spring water was heated to 195°F (90°C). The leaves were infused for one minute thirty seconds with the first infusion, one minute with the second, and one minute fifteen seconds with the third.

Gui Fei Wulong 1st Infusion
Gui Fei Wulong 1st Infusion

The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright, pale yellow infusion, clear and transparent. The aroma is very sweet, with scents of clove honey and ripe tree fruit (pear). The body is medium, with a creamy, silky, comforting feel. The taste is incredible, lacking any astringency, and has strong notes of clove honey and fresh pears. The aftertaste maintains some of the honey taste, but eventually leads to a phenomenal floral essence that is hard to find outside of Taiwan wulongs. The liquor seems to coat the throat as it is swallowed. 

Gui Fei Wulong 2nd Infusion
Gui Fei Wulong 2nd Infusion

The second infusion produced a liquor with a significantly darker shade of golden-yellow color. The aroma remains very sweet, strengthening in the honey and pear scents. The body is slightly heavier, and remains creamy and silky in texture. The taste is also slightly stronger, with amazing notes of clove honey and fresh pears. A slight earthy mineral (wet stone) taste has appeared, and I expect this taste to become more potent as infusions continue. The wet stone taste is serving as an excellent compliment to the sweet and fruity tastes. The aftertaste remains sweet (honey), becoming a persistent floral essence. Excellent second infusion, and expecting to be very pleased with the third.

Gui Fei Wulong 3rd Infusion
Gui Fei Wulong 3rd Infusion

The third infusion produced a liquor with a similar shade of golden-yellow color as the second infusion, perhaps a touch brighter. The aroma has barely lightened, but is still quite fragrant and sweet. The body remains medium, and the texture is less creamy, but still smooth and comforting. The taste, as expected, has balanced nicely in the flavors of honey, pears, and wet stones. The aftertaste maintains a very high quality of taste and essence. 

The leaves, at this point, still have much flavor in them. In fact, it takes quite an effort to unroll them. They have a thin, dried leather feel. I will continue infusing these leaves until they can be better shown in the photo.

Four, five, six infusions, and finally the leaves are ready to have their photo taken.

Gui Fei Wulong Infused Leaves
Gui Fei Wulong Infused Leaves

The infused leaves range in color from fresh forest green with reddish edges to dark purple brown. Many leaves display the holes and gaps consistent with insect bites. All leaves are whole and unbroken. I seriously did not find a single leaf that had less than 95% fully intact. Some leaves were attached to stems. Those stems had anywhere from three to five leaves with buds attached. Some buds were quite long and developed. The leaves were long, but not very broad, further indicating the Chin Shin cultivar. The smell is sweet (honey and light fruit) and floral. I believe these leaves could give another two to three infusions before being exhausted, and I plan to test this theory after posting this review.

I understand the amount of work, effort, and care the farmers put in to producing this excellent tea. All of their efforts paid off in the form of the superior taste and aroma of the liquor and the high quality of the leaves. This tea has a calming, comforting effect that is truly unique. This tea has an awe-inspiring aroma and taste that lasts for at least five to six infusions. If you do not require such strong flavors to continue infusing leaves, then you will easily get ten worthy infusions. It’s teas like this that make me want to begin offering products through this website. Finally, the floral essence that this tea leaves on the breathe is exceptional. I have had many teas since reviewing my most recent Taiwan wulong, and none of those teas can produce the beautiful floral essence that high quality Taiwan wulongs provide. 

Cheers to the farmers in Tai Zhong City! Cheers to Rainbow Trading Company! Cheers to Taiwan Wulongs! Cheers to Leaf Hoppers!

Mount Chilai Original Oolong from Easy Tea Hard Choice

Today’s tea tasting journey will focus on the Mount Chilai Original Oolong from Easy Tea Hard Choice Co. Ltd. As the name suggests, this tea is grown and hand-picked in the infamous Chilai Mountains in Hualien County, Taiwan. Tea artisan Mr. Lee Ming Zheng put much effort into this tea, and based on the look and smell of the dry leaves, his efforts paid off! The sample pack is open, and a somewhat familiar scent is present. My first thought is the possibility that this tea could have been from the Jinxuan cultivar (TTES 12). I have asked the founder of Easy Tea Hard Choice to confirm whether or not this tea is Jinxuan, and if not, to let me know which cultivar this tea is from, because I am very interested in learning more about it.

Update 11/08/2013: Lawrence from Easy Tea Hard Choice has confirmed with the tea artisan, Mr. Zheng, that the cultivar for this tea is not the Jinxuan cultivar (TTES 12), but is the Chin Shin cultivar. Lawrence suggested to look at the infused leaves to differentiate between the two cultivars. Accordinging to Lawrence, “The tea leaf of Chin Shin Oolong is thinner and longer than what of Jinxuan (much bigger and more rounded).” Thank you very much, Lawrence, for verifying the cultivar and providing additional information on this product.

Let the journey begin…

Mount Chilai Original Oolong Dry Leaves
Mount Chilai Original Oolong Dry Leaves

The dry leaves of this oolong are green to dark green in color, indicating a lower oxidation percentage. The leaves are nicely hand-rolled, semi-ball shape. Size of the rolled leaves range from that of a corn kernel to a black bean. Many of the rolled leaves still have the stem attached. Leaves appear to fully intact, with few fragments or crumbs. The aroma of the leaf is sweet cream, very similar to Jinxuan (milk) oolong.

This sample was infused using the parameters for preparation that were provided on the sample packet. I decided to use these parameters instead of my usual oolong infusion technique. I had no time for tea yesterday, so I am making up for it today. Forty ounces of purified spring water were heated to a boil (212°F, 100°C). The entire sample packet, about 20 grams, of dry tea leaves were placed in the glass teapot. The leaves were infused for 1 minute and 10 seconds, then strained into a separate decanter.

Mount Chilai Original Oolong 1st Infusion Pot
Mount Chilai Original Oolong 1st Infusion Pot
Mount Chilai Original Oolong 1st Infusion Cup
Mount Chilai Original Oolong 1st Infusion Cup

The first infusion produced one of the brightest shades of yellow that I have ever seen in a tea. The liquor was truly vibrant, clear, and transparent. The aroma is a mix of sweet cream and floral (honeysuckle). The body is on the low side of medium, with a velvety smooth mouthfeel. The taste is almost entirely floral (honeysuckle), with some slight notes of sweet cream and mineral. The aftertaste is light and pleasant, and develops into a sweet, almost fruity (peach) taste as it trails off.

Mount Chilai Original Oolong 2nd Infusion Cup
Mount Chilai Original Oolong 2nd Infusion Cup

The second infusion uses a slightly lower steep time of 35 seconds, which turned into about 50 seconds after finishing the straining process. The liquor again was a vibrant bright yellow color, with no noticeable difference from the first infusion, despite the shorter steep time. The aroma maintained the sweet cream aroma, with the floral scent becoming slightly stronger than the first infusion. The body remains low-medium. The taste has changed some, remaining floral (honeysuckle), and slightly vegetal, with notes of mineral. Aftertaste remains light and lingering of honeysuckle and peach.

Mount Chilai Original Oolong 3rd Infusion Cup
Mount Chilai Original Oolong 3rd Infusion Cup

The third infusion used a steep time of 1 minute and 10 seconds. The liquor retained the bright, vibrant yellow of the first and second infusions, again with almost no difference in color. The aroma also maintained a sweet cream and floral scent, with a touch of wood. The body remains low-medium. The taste has lightened and changed some, but remains floral and vegetal (asparagus), with slight mineral notes. Aftertaste remains light, with less linger, and tastes of honeysuckle and peach. The vegetal taste strengthened, giving this infusion a different dynamic than the previous infusions. The taste is strong enough to lead me to believe that a fourth, and maybe even a fifth infusion may produce an acceptable flavor.

Mount Chilai Original Oolong Infused Leaf Specimen
Mount Chilai Original Oolong Infused Leaf Specimen

And it’s official! The Mount Chilai Original Oolong from Mr. Lee Ming Zheng has the best looking post-infused leaves that I have ever seen in any tea. Honestly, 99% of these leaves are fully intact and still attached to the stem. The pluck is four leaves and a tiny bud. There are very, very few broken leaves. This is an amazing display of artisanal leaf processing! The leaves are perfectly uniform fleshy dark green in color. There is very little sign of oxidation, with only some of the leaves displaying reddish edges. The longest leaf is well over two inches. Obviously, there are many thick stems. Some of the leaves are not completed opened, and there is a decent amount of durability to most of the leaves, suggesting that at least one or two additional infusions are possible. The aroma is fresh wet leaves, with a slight touch of wood and flowers. Absolutely amazing display of effort and art.

Mount Chilai Original Oolong Infused Leaves in Cup
Mount Chilai Original Oolong Infused Leaves in Cup

At this point, you probably think I am being paid by Easy Tea Hard Choice to post extremely positive reviews on every product that I review. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, aside from taking advantage of the promotional deals on sample pricing, I have paid for these samples, and the price has been worth every penny! I have the founder, Lawrence Lai, email me to let me know when new samples are available, just because I have loved every product that I have ordered from them, and I am always excited to see new products added. I am imploring you, please go to http://eztea-tw.com and order some of these samples! Any of them are great choices, ordering all of them is an even better choice! If I had more money, and my basement was not overstocked with tea as it is, I would be ordering kilos at a time. I am not exaggerating!

From start to finish, this Mount Chilai Original Oolong was just outstanding. The dry leaves looked nice, and had a delicious sweet cream aroma. The color of the liquor literally brightened my day. The smell and taste of the liquor had an uplifting effect, with an aftertaste that I wish left a permanent taste (thankfully it lingers quite long anyway). Three excellent tasting infusions, with more to give. The most perfect infused leaves that I have ever witnessed. Start to finish, this tea left me dumbfounded. Now I am sad, because my pot is almost empty. Mr. Lai and Mr. Zheng, thank you both very much for introducing me to this tea. I am eternally grateful, and am honestly considering to order a kilo for personal consumption. Excellent, excellent, excellent…

Mt. Chilai Traditional Roasted Oolong Tea by Easy Tea Hard Choice Co. Ltd.

On October 9th of 2013, my journey through the world of tea tasting took me to Mount Chilai in Hualien County, Taiwan. This sample of Mt. Chilai Traditional Roasted Oolong was purchased from Easy Tea Hard Choice Co. Ltd. To order a 25 gram sample of your own, please visit http://www.eztea-tw.com.

The tea leaves used to produce this tea are hand-plucked, then hand-processed by tea artisan Mr. Lee Ming Zheng. The tea is grown at an elevation of about 6,000 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level. This is a true high mountain oolong tea.

The sample pack has been opened, and a very complex aroma is hitting my nose. Let the journey begin…

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The dry leaves of this Mount Chilai Traditional Roasted Oolong are brown to dark brown in color. They are tightly rolled into semi-ball shape. These semi-ball leaves have an average size of a pea. Many of the leaves have the stem still attached. There is minimal breakage, and no crumbs whatsoever. Now, on to the best part, the aroma. To be honest, the aroma is usually the difficult part of the analysis and description for me, as I find my sense of smell to be rather weak. This tea, however, had the most complex and layered aroma of dry leaves that I can remember smelling. I would like to note that I had not been eating or smelling anything within 30 minutes of doing this review, so I do not believe my smell was masked by non-tea influences. The smell began as a typical roasty and woody smell. After a few deep inhales, nice scents of cocoa and mint started to break through the roasty and woody scents. Once I was able to put all of the scents together, the full aroma was bewildering. It was among the best smells I have ever experienced. Truly outstanding.

The standard preparation method was used to perform this sampling. Filtered tap water was heated to 195ºF (90ºC). Twelve grams of dry leaves were placed in a 32 ounce (950 ml) glass teapot. The leaves were infused for 2 minutes, then strained into a separate decantor.

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The first infusion produced a liquor that was a bright golden-yellow in color, clear and transparent. The aroma is roasted nuts, woody, and lightly floral. The liquor is medium to full bodied, with a smooth texture. The taste has notes of flowers, roasted nuts, wood, and mineral. The aftertaste lingers with a mostly floral, slightly mineral taste. The taste of this tea is very nicely layered. I am excited to see how this tea will mature in the second infusion.

Another quick note, while the water was heating for the second infusion, I smelled the wet leaves in the pot. Again, these leaves have an aroma that is simply amazing. A scent of strong flowers (hyacinth?), cocoa, mint, and wood. I almost don’t trust my nose right now, that is how interesting and unique these leaves smell.

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For this second infusion, I increased the temperature 10ºF to 205ºF (96ºC), and kept the infusion time to 2 minutes.

The second infusion produced a liquor that was darker than the first infusion, with a golden yellow color. The aroma maintains the roasted nut scent, with wood and lightly floral. The taste has changed significantly. The body feels heavier, with a more mouth filling texture. The taste has become woody and floral, but the floral is different than the first infusion. It is more pronounced and bold. There is also a more pronounced mineral flavor. The aftertaste remains lingering and floral. This second infusion had a stronger, more bold character, and it was simply amazing. This second infusion lived up to any expectation that the dry leaf aroma created. It is very interesting how the slightly hotter water temperature changed the entire dynamic of the tea.

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The change in color between the photos of the second and third infusions is due to the fact that my iPhone died mid-sampling, and I had to use the camera on my tablet for this third infusion. The true color difference between the second and third infusion is minimal. The color of the third infusion remains bright golden yellow. The aroma has lightened on the roasted nuts and wood smell, but those two scents remain the strongest, with the floral scents being slightly more noticeable than in the second infusion. The body and taste has lightened considerably, with notes of floral, wood, mineral, and roasted nuts. The aftertaste remains strong and floral. Lighter than the second infusion, but still incredibly tasteful. There is nothing to be ashamed of in this third infusion. I am confident that a fourth and maybe a fifth would produce highly acceptable flavors.

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The infused leaves of this oolong are a uniform dark green color. The pluck is mostly two leaves and a bud, with the occasional three and a bud pluck. Almost all of the leaves are fully intact, many still attached to the stem. There are very few fragments. The leaves have retained a considerable amount of structural durability after three infusions, suggesting that one or two additional infusions are possible. The aroma is roasty, with light floral and woody scents.

Easy Tea Hard Choice has surprised me yet again with another great oolong tea. The aroma of the dry leaves got me extremely excited, and the taste of all three infusions kept me interested. I have nothing but positive things to say about every aspect of this tea. This tea is difficult to compare to other oolongs, as the aroma and taste were very unique. My suggestion to you reading this, go to the website referenced at the top of this review, order this 25 gram sample packet, as well as a 25 gram sample of the Red Rhythm Black Tea, or any of the samples for that matter, wait excitedly for the package to arrive, then sit back and prepare yourself for a great pot of tea.

Thank you for taking your time to read this review. Please leave a comment and start a discussion.