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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review: California Tea House’s Buddha Hand Oolong Tea

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The Subject: Buddha Hand Oolong Tea from California Tea House.


Oolong Ranking:
What this ranking bar means.

Water temperature: 190˚ F
Steeping time: 2 minutes

Tea type: Oolong
Scents, flavorings, etc.: N/A
Aroma, dry: Fresh, slightly sweet, floral hint
Aroma in the cup, plain: Fresh, slightly sweet, floral hint
Taste, plain: Fresh, slightly sweet, floral hint
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste, enhanced: N/A

2nd Infusion: About the same, not buttery
3rd Infusion: Lighter color, taste

Chilled: Light taste, slight edge, needs sweetener, definitely recommend

This is definitely another “sipper tea” — you need to take your time enjoying it to make sure you don’t miss any of the flavor.

The dry leaves have a sweetness and slightly floral aroma. This carries through to the steeped liquid, which is a beautiful green-yellow color. The 1st infusion was smooth and felt full in the mouth, even slightly buttery. It was fairly green but not full planty in taste. The 2nd infusion lost that full feeling but was still mild and smooth, and hubby detected a slight floral flavor. The 3rd infusion was slightly lighter in color and taste, smooth, and no bitterness.

Some tea leaves dry and some after 3 infusions:

As you can see, the dry tea leaves, all bunched into rolled clumps, open wide and fill the teapot when steeped. They are also very green. Keep in mind how large they get when you’re deciding how much of the dry leaves to put in the teapot.

The chilled version was a bit weak tasting and had developed a slight edge. Adding some sweetener helps. The floral-like element typical of some Oolongs is more pronounced in the chilled version vs. the hot version. We could definitely recommend this for an unusual chilled tea experience.

I have to reiterate a couple of things stated on the Silver Needle review:

We would like to see this and other tea companies put their steeping recommendations on the package like TeaGeschwendner, or on a card like Chicago Tea Garden that comes with the teas. It’s a bit tricky to rush to the PC, go to a Website, find the tea, and read through the information there before being able to prepare the tea. Sometimes I really really really need a cuppa tea, like, RIGHT AWAY.

While hubby and I don’t fall for the organic mumbo-jumbo nor assume that something labeled “organic” is going to be better quality (often, it’s just more expensive), we aren’t going to deduct a half teapot. The tea is THAT good!

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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