T-Oolong Tea Co.


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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby Mureke » Feb 5th, '14, 07:53

The winter harvest is now in stock.

When I inquired about the arrival of their winter harvest before, they said it would come by new year. I realized that they might mean the Chinese New Year, but I still thought that they'd rather be talking about the western one, considering that most other vendors seem to offer teas harvested in October-November.

The T-Oolong stuff is labeled as harvested in December. What's the difference - the Dec tea has large, mature leaves with long stems? This winter, I've found the earliest picked teas with small leaves to be the best, but I suppose I'll try out some samples from T-Oolong.
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby Tead Off » Feb 6th, '14, 02:07

Winter harvest has been in stock with other dealers for a couple of months already.
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby Mureke » Feb 6th, '14, 02:28

Tead Off wrote:Winter harvest has been in stock with other dealers for a couple of months already.


Exactly, and I've been buying it from other vendors. I haven't seen any other vendors sell December-harvested tea. I wonder if the tea T-Oolong sells is somehow different.
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby bambooforest » Feb 6th, '14, 16:25

Mureke wrote:Exactly, and I've been buying it from other vendors. I haven't seen any other vendors sell December-harvested tea. I wonder if the tea T-Oolong sells is somehow different.


If you find out... let us know. I'd also be curious.
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby debunix » Feb 6th, '14, 16:45

Mureke wrote:What's the difference - the Dec tea has large, mature leaves with long stems?


While I can't speak to their tea specifically, because I've never ordered from this company, I did once do a tasting of Alishans from several seasons from Norbu, and found the winter harvest tea to be a little more vegetal, and a little less floral, than the spring harvested tea, but still delicious and a bargain to boot.
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Feb 6th, '14, 18:11

What your referring to could be a "Dong Pian" tea (http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2009/02/ ... rvest.html). This is a late winter harvest tea that characteristically takes place after the initial winter/fall harvest, around December. It usually, comparably speaking, has a different taste profile than the earlier winter harvest tea. One tea acquaintance I know in Taizhong,Taiwan absolutely doesn't care for it and others I know enjoy it.

Taiwanese often say that winter/fall teas, compared to spring, are comparably "gam gam" ( and have a deeper huigan than spring teas and are often less fruity. Among my friends in Taiwan whom are skilled tea drinkers, most often, the winter harvest teas are preferred over the spring teas. I can't tell you how many Taiwanese tea friends have expressed this to me. It is also my general preference too. Philip Brook of Taiwan Tea Crafts once expressed to me his favoritism toward the winter harvest in regards to gao shan tea. But, every year and every harvest is different.

For example, I was just this past weekend having tea with a gentleman whom has his own tea plantations in Taiwan and he confirmed for me what I have been hearing everywhere...basically, this winter was a rough winter for the tea harvest. The weather wasn't right. He has his own shipping company and is just now getting his full shipment of winter teas, possibly today or yesterday, from Taiwan. I also sat with a second Taiwan tea grower this past weekend whom said the same thing about the winter harvest. The second grower has farms in Thailand, China, and Taiwan though and can offset some of the harvest variation. It's my recollection that Tony of Origin tea mentioned in the forum as well that the winter harvest tea was challenged and, due to weather, in shorter supply, as well as more expensive. It could be, with things be warmer this winter that there will be a bigger Dong Pian harvest this year or that growers whom had a poor harvest during the fall can recoup some of the potential losses with the Dong Pian harvest.

Blessings!

Edit: Forgot to put the Mandarin in for anyone who wants to search it further: (Dong1 Pian4/"winter flake/leaf"/冬片).
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby sherubtse » Feb 6th, '14, 20:43

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:What your referring to could be a "Dong Pian" tea (http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2009/02/ ... rvest.html). This is a late winter harvest tea that characteristically takes place after the initial winter/fall harvest, around December. It usually, comparably speaking, has a different taste profile than the earlier winter harvest tea. One tea acquaintance I know in Taizhong,Taiwan absolutely doesn't care for it and others I know enjoy it.


Very informative. Many thanks, TeaArt08!

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Feb 7th, '14, 01:56

Since there's no promise that a Dong Pian tea will be available every year (though maybe more and more if generalized global warming holds steady :oops: ), for those that haven't tried it and already have some earlier season winter harvest leaf on hand, buying some good Dong Pian could make for a nice winter leaf taste comparison test.

Blessings!
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby Mureke » Feb 7th, '14, 04:29

Thank you very much for your views, especially TeaArt08 for the insight!

I just placed an order for the Lishan, Shanlinxi, and Alishan. The reply from Kelvin at T-Oolong came in half an hour after placing the order (orders have to made by e-mail). A 5 % new year's discount was applied as well.

I'll let you know how this "Dong Pian" turns out, and compare it to earlier winter tea. I'm just sipping my last Oct 2013 organic lishan from TTC as I write this.
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby Mureke » Feb 23rd, '14, 09:20

My order took 2 weeks to arrive to Finland. T-Oolong is a lawful vendor in that they mark the full amount paid for on the outside of the package.

As for the tea, it's different from all of the (supposedly earlier harvested) green gaoshans I've had from Taiwan Tea Crafts. The tea is easy to brew as it is very light. There is a simple floral taste and strong aroma to it. It's good in its own right, but the tea lacks complexity. Although the high mountain huigan is there, a slight fruitiness develops only through later brewings.

I compared the T-Oolong Lishan to the winter Meishan Cing Xin from TTC. Although a lower-altitude tea, I prefer the Meishan due to its smoothness and "warm" flavors. The T-Oolong Lishan develops roughness in later brewings. In contrast, I've found TTC teas to mellow out in their late steepings.

The Shanlinxi is quite similar in character to the Lishan. The leaves are somewhat broken up. There are some unusually large (mature) leaves on the stems.

Because of the lightness, the Lishan should be a good tea to brew at work. I've yet to try competition brewing. As far as I'm concerned, this tea can't quite compete with TTC, though.
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby Poseidon » Feb 25th, '14, 11:50

Thanks for bringing this site to our(my) attention! I just bought some Milk Oolong and some of the Honey Beauty Oolong from them. Price is great! Im really hoping the Milk oolong is decent since around here its $10-14 an oz!

Has anyone tried the Arishan Tai He Milk Oolong?
Linkage- http://www.t-oolongtea.com/product.aspx ... de8bd0b4f9
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby Poseidon » Mar 11th, '14, 14:47

Just an update on the teas i purchased above: The milk oolong is decent. It doesnt have the rich "creamy" mouth feel like some other batches ive had, but its not bad. The Honey Oolong is very good. Im drinking the sample grandpa style right now and it has a nice light honey/floral note to the tea.
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Re: T-Oolong Tea Co.

Postby Mureke » Mar 12th, '14, 13:05

Thanks for your views, Poseidon. I now also tried the 2013 winter Alishan. I agree that it doesn't have as much "creaminess" as I'd hope. There is quite a bit of floralness, but the mouthfeel just isn't there. The tea is clean, meaning that there's very little debris. The leaves are not at all uniform in size, but some very large leaves are included.
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