Tea review: All in the Leaves Tie Guan Yin Oolong

I’ve wanted to bring home an oolong to try for a while, but hadn’t found any that were both appealing and affordable. I was delighted to encounter local vendor All in The Leaves selling teas at our city’s sesquicentennial festival, for more reasons than one. I love supporting local businesses, and I love indie tea companies. Having one that’s both is a treat, and that their teas are very reasonably priced per ounce is icing on the cake.

A few teas sounded incredibly appealing, but I picked just one to start with–the Tie Guan Yin Oolong.

Tie guan yin oolong

My ounce of tea came packaged in a black airtight zipper bag, with a silica packet inside to help keep the tea dry. Brewing instructions came printed on the front of the bag, but I brewed mine a little cooler than the recommended 205 degrees. I probably won’t take that precaution next time; my tea could have stood to be a little stronger. Never having brewed oolong at home before, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The first cup brewed fairly mild, possibly because of choosing to use a lower temperature. It was pleasant and mellow, with a fresh, grassy aroma. The flavor was strongly green, but with hints of a pleasantly woody taste. Considering the health benefits of oolong, it’s easy to picture this one being something to sip on through the day. Especially since oolong is traditionally brewed many times over.

Later cups brewed from these leaves provided the same pleasant taste, with slightly richer colors and more pronounced woody notes in the flavor. It’s not near so grassy as green teas, of course, and I found this tea to be a lovely in-between for days where I can’t decide between the fresh aromatics of green blends or the rich flavors of blacks.

As pleased as I am with this first sample, I’m looking forward to ordering more tea from this company.

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