Need Oolong Help


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Need Oolong Help

Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Apr 3rd, '08, 20:40

We went to my favorite oriental place tonight for dinner and as usual, I got their house hot tea as my beverage with the buffet. I asked the waitress about the tea and all I managed to figure out was that it is a Chinese Oolong. I didn't see the leaves, so I have no clue what they looked like. The tea itself was a very dark brown that reminded me of a black tea's color. It smelled like toast or maybe slightly roasted and tasted sweet. My guess is that it is a darker, more oxidized Chinese oolong, but I don't know where to start when looking for one that might be similar. If anyone has any suggestions as to what it might be or where to start looking for something similar, it would be much appreciated.
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Postby motokochan » Apr 3rd, '08, 22:37

You can find quite a few dark oolongs at Ten Ren Tea (tentea.com on the web, I don't think I'm allowed to post actual links yet). Their King's Tea has at least one oolong that tastes similar to your description, the 913 green oolong (it actually tastes rather dark).
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Postby GeoffK » Apr 3rd, '08, 23:10

I've yet to order there but I've gotten a lot of recommendations for:
http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php? ... ex&cPath=4
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Postby tenuki » Apr 4th, '08, 00:12

For what you described, and chinese I would recommend a WuYi oolong like Red Blossom's Golden Buddha:

http://www.redblossomtea.com/details.ph ... yi&item=63

Their instructions are pretty accurate, and you should get at least 5 good brews out of that tea.

I recommend Hou De for Taiwanese oolongs, that seems to be their specialty but I would not hesitate to say that I have never gotten a bad tea of any kind from them. :) So I second Geoff.
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Postby Victoria » Apr 4th, '08, 00:15

Ck, I'll send you some samples. It was probably a wuyi.
I'd stay clear of TenRen oolongs. Just my personal opinion.
Hou De is always good.
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Apr 4th, '08, 01:20

Thanks for the responses! You guys are awesome! I will start looking into WuYi oolongs then.
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Postby Sam. » Apr 4th, '08, 03:33

Does Hou De have a store? Someone mentioned before that they're from Houston and if they have a shop I'd definitely visit them once I'm back home for the summer.
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Postby Victoria » Apr 4th, '08, 09:11

No they are online only.
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Postby henley » Apr 4th, '08, 11:55

I'm keeping an eye on this post as I like the darker oolongs, too. So far I've only had Adagio's oolong #8 & #40. I'm always hesitant to order w/o knowing more about the teas. Thanx for everybody's input. That's one of the things I appreciate most about this site.
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Apr 4th, '08, 13:57

tenuki wrote:For what you described, and chinese I would recommend a WuYi oolong like Red Blossom's Golden Buddha:

http://www.redblossomtea.com/details.ph ... yi&item=63

Their instructions are pretty accurate, and you should get at least 5 good brews out of that tea.

I recommend Hou De for Taiwanese oolongs, that seems to be their specialty but I would not hesitate to say that I have never gotten a bad tea of any kind from them. :) So I second Geoff.


How is Red Blossom for ordering from? I like that they have the teas available in 1oz sizes so I am thinking about trying a few different ones from there.
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Postby motokochan » Apr 4th, '08, 16:23

Victoria wrote:I'd stay clear of TenRen oolongs. Just my personal opinion.


Any reason, besides them being somewhat expensive (especially with the King's line)?
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Postby RussianSoul » Apr 4th, '08, 16:40

motokochan, I am not Victoria and I don't know her reasons for staying away from TenRen, but I have my own. I have TenRen in town, so I went and bought two oolongs there - King 319 and Dark Oolong 2nd grade, - and I am disappointed in them both. They are severely over-roasted. The taste and smell of burnt wood overpowers everything else.
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Postby tenuki » Apr 5th, '08, 17:18

Cinnamon Kitty wrote:
How is Red Blossom for ordering from? I like that they have the teas available in 1oz sizes so I am thinking about trying a few different ones from there.


My two experiences have been good from an ordering perspective. They are currently at the top of my online list for WuYi. (I am fortunate to have found a local shop in the international district that has better, at least this year... :) of course it's more expensive. :( )

I would second everyone's thoughts on TenRen (although not as strongly, I have gotten ok teas from them on occasion, I used to get green tea bags from their SF store when I lived in the Bay Area)
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Postby Victoria » Apr 5th, '08, 18:05

Re: TenRen, well RussianSoul said it for me. The quality is not there, and they seemed old. And the taste was terrible.

I think a distinction needs to be made between high quality oolongs and "everyday" oolongs. TenRen has everyday oolongs and poor quality at that.

In contrast Adagio has several nice everyday oolongs. Hou De, now those are quality oolongs. As I was telling someone recently, even a bad Hou De oolong is better than most average oolongs.
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Postby Chip » Apr 5th, '08, 22:55

TenRen is a "perfect 10." :roll:

Well, to me it just typical "China Town bad tea in a tin." I swear virtually any tea in a tin found in China Town is bad and not fit for human consumption...seriously gives me the williies.

Irony is, I collect Asian tea tins, but never drink the tea.
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