Hey There Teacups! I’m back today with another Let’s Talk Tea post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing Colourful Tea’s Phoenix Oolong. Not to long ago now Umi Tea Sets very kindly gifted me a gaiwan set and along with it they very kindly send me this oolong from their loose leaf tea brand Colourful Tea.
For those of you who don’t know what Phoenix Oolong is let me tell you a little bit about it before we get into this review. The name originates from the birthplace of this tea, the Phoenix mountain. The environment in this area is often covered in a thick shroud of mist, which provides excellent growing conditions for tea, constantly nourishing, hydrating, and protecting the vegetation. To produce Phoenix Oolong, every single twig of the teas if plucked from a single shrub of a tea tree.
Here’s what Colourful Tea / Umi Tea Sets have to say about this tea over on their website:
Best season to taste: Autumn | Origin: Phoenix Town, Chao Zhou, Guang Dong Province |Shape: stout strips, straight and uniform, yellow brown with red speckles. | Liquid: golden, clear and bright. | Aroma: lasting fragrance after brewing with a natural fragrance of orchid. | Taste: Mellow, fresh and sweet. | Brewed tea leaves: red edge, bright yellow in the middle.
Recognizing: Phoenix tea is divided into Phoenix Dancong, Langcai and Narcissus by quality. Phoenix Doncong is straight, stout and yellow brown, with the fragrance of natural flower. It tastes sweet and mellow. The soup is clear and the tea leaves is green with red. It can be brewed for several times.
Normally with a tea like this I will break out my glass gaiwan and do a long tasting session with multiple infusions but because my health has been so bad recently I can’t really sit and do those long steeping sessions anymore because my body is simply too drained. So for this particular tasting session I decided to steep this oolong western style simply using my ForLife in cup infuser and my glass teacup because it’s simply just much easier for me to do it that way, and it means I can get the initial tasting session done without putting myself it too much pain.
I’ve had a lot of Phoenix Oolongs over the last few years from so many different companies and honestly they aren’t my favourite they are often a little too floral for me and I really don’t like that orchid note that most of them have. They also sometimes give me really bad heart burn and in all honest any tea that puts me in pain doesn’t go down very well in my books. This tea exudes a perfumy aroma of orchids which is far too much for me and almonds which I honestly wish had been a little stronger. It has quite a smooth texture with flavours of fresh apricot, honey which I have come to expect from teas like this and I’m always so disappointed by how subtle they are.
In terms of steeping suggestions if you are going to steep this western style I recommend 3 mins at 90c, that’s what I did and having tried a few cups now which different steeping times doing it to that was has worked the best for me. Any longer and its floral / perfumy note gets even strong and it becomes incredibly astringent and almost completely undrinkable. So make sure you steep this careful and make sure you keep an eye on the temp of your water. In my first few sips this tea had quite a smooth mouthfeel but as it started it cool is became much more drying which really wasn’t ideal at all.
The overall because the floral notes in this tea are so strong I can’t say that personally I would drink it again as it did put me in pain but that’s because my body seems to hate everything and might not be down to just the tea so please don’t let my experiences stop you from giving this a try I may be just what you are looking for and you may love the overall flavour profile and the heavy floral note, and I don’t want you to miss out on that because of me. In terms of preparation suggestions as with any ”pure” tea I recommend simply drinking it on it’s own so you can taste what it is truly like and experience it’s full flavour profile before you doctor it to your taste.
Overall Teacup Rating: 3/5
If you want to find out more about Colourful Tea and purchase some of this tea for yourself, you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either leave them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley