Reviewed by: Rebekkah
|Type of tea
Coconut, light oolong scent
|Where I got it
At Tea and Spice Exchange in Blowing Rock, NC.
You can find it online here, although apparently
this is a chain store, so you might be near a brick-and-mortar store.
|How I brewed it
Water from the coffee machine poured over 1.5 tsp in a 16 oz mug, steeped for about 2-3 minutes.
Rebrews well for a second brew. It's an oolong, which you're supposed to rebrew multiple times anyway to get the "full oolong experience," which is another way of saying it's a great tea for re-steeping. Flavor holds up for at least 3 rebrews; I haven't gone past that yet.
Word of warning, if you don't like coconut, you'll hate it; and the coconut flavor is obtained by "artificial coconut flavor." But I do like coconut, and I find the taste of this tea fantastic. The coconut is more in the scent than the flavor--although it has a strong coconut smell, the taste of toasted coconut is rather light and mostly notable in the aftertaste.
In terms of flavor, it's a good-quality oolong tea, if not a particularly fancy one. It's pretty resilient; I've brewed it with both water too hot and too cool, and it turned out okay with the too hot, and fine with the water a bit too cool (a bit light on the first brew with cool water, but the second brew with normal-heated water was full flavored). It's got a bold-for-oolong flavor; the coconut seems to more enhance the natural oolong flavor than be tasted itself, and I think may contribute to the resiliency of the tea, covering up brewing mistakes that might otherwise taste bitter or flavorless.
If what you love about oolong is the scent, you'll miss it with this tea. It's one of the two things I dislike about this tea, but the coconut smell completely covers the rich oolong scent (the other thing: I'd have preferred real coconut to artificial). However, I like how it does smell almost as much, so there's that.
Admittedly, I also hit up Asian food stores for my oolongs, so I'm a bit spoiled on prices and find it on the high end. However, although the price per ounce adds up, it's in line with Teavana, even a bit cheaper than most of the Teavana oolongs, so it's definitely not unreasonable. On the whole, I give it excellent scores for taste, resiliency, and ability to rebrew. If you re-steep your leaves, it's worth the price, and I would definitely recommend it.
It won't give you a great idea of what oolongs in general taste like, but it's delicious and a unique tea for habitual oolong drinkers. If you want to buy another tea for a collection and can only buy one, compared to the Osmanthus Chin Hsuang, I'd definitely say go with the chin hsuang if you can find it, but you'll have a much easier time finding this one, and it's good enough you won't feel you're missing anything.
(Learning to Like Tea Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Guest Post: Types of Tea, Guest post: Getting the Best Cup of Tea, Guest Post: How long to cool boiling water for your tea)