Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wuyi Oolong Rock Tea from Zarafina

Scent in package: honey/fruity
Brewed in: tea for one pot w/metal infuser
Steeped: 3 min.@ just under boiling
Cup: Café mug

When Zarafina sent me the tea maker suite to review, two samples of this tea were included. I gave one to my mom with the machine, and kept one to try myself. I finally got around to it this week.

The dry tea leaves are very nice, nicer than I expected, actually. Long, twisty and dark, they are just what I’d expect from a good quality oolong. I wished I’d done the tasting at home with my camera handy.

There wasn’t much scent as the tea brewed, but the leaves were gorgeous unfurled as well – very dark mixed with bright green colors as I’d expect of a good oolong. The fruity scent was intensified in both the leaves and tea. The brew was a dark golden color – darker than I expected, and it was with trepidation that I raised the cup to take my first sip.

The liquor is unremarkable in texture – not thick like many oolongs, but more of a “typical tea” viscosity. It is a naturally sweet brew, and while there is a hint of fruitiness, it’s not overpowering by any means, nor is the honey aftertaste. I suppose there’s a bit of smokiness in the background, and a little more astringency than I would like, but overall, nothing else that really jumps out at me.

All in all, an “average” tea, in my opinion. Not really great, not bad, but there’s really no complexity there, at least not in the first cup (I haven’t done a second infusion). And certainly not worth the $19.99 price tag they have on it for a mere 2oz.


  1. yup...that about sums up my experience with that sample too. Solidly mediocre.

  2. I wonder which wuyi oolong tea breed that was..I am looking forward for your showdown on rou gui oolong tea. I just read about another blog about rougui here

    i wonder if your rougui are from some of the vendors here..

    -Jen (sipping iron guan yin)

  3. Good question, Jen. The Zarafina site doesn't specify, just lists it as a "rock tea". But to be expected from them, honestly.

    I have two rou gui (unless there's another hiding in the cupboard, which is entirely possible - I'll check tonight before I start the tasting). One is from Teacuppa (I don't remember what year), and the other is from Stash Tea, a large vender that I know most serious tea drinkers avoid, but a company I have surprisingly good experiences with on a consistant basis, both for bagged and lose tea. So we shall's been awhile since I've tasted either of these, so my palate is "clean" so to speak. :-)

  4. Common sense and general knowledge is that light destroys tea, maybe not destroy, but certainly downgrades it. Does anyone know what they coat the lid with to support their claim that it light doesn't injure the tea?



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