Fluoride and Tea: Should You Be Concerned?

Fluorite Crystals
Courtesy of Parent Géry

The truth about fluoride in tea (and water) is a topic too important to ignore. Tea consumption used to be something I would limit solely based on daily caffeine intake. Nowadays, I take fluoride content into consideration as well. Continue reading “Fluoride and Tea: Should You Be Concerned?”

Dynasty Oolong Tea Review

Dynasty Oolong Tea Review

This equable brand-name tea from the same folks who bring us Chinese Restaurant Tea has been my afternoon beverage of choice (and circumstance) for the last three days. Thirteen more afternoons and the pack of 16 will be depleted.

There’s nothing fancy here, just a mild oolong with a roasted, earthy aroma and semi-sweet taste. I’ve discovered that I prefer this type of oolong — the darker variety that has undergone more oxidation and roasting — to the lighter variety which is closer to green tea. I suppose that’s how it goes when you start from a black tea point of view.

Aroma: Roasted wood, earthy
Body: Medium
Flavor: Mild and slightly sweet; a little like unsweetened chocolate
Color: Brown

Season’s Pick Special Purchase Tie-Guan-Yin from Upton Tea

Special Tie-Guan-Yin (ZO07D) from Upton Tea

My best experience so far with Tie-Guan-Yin, a special type of oolong tea, involved an unknown Chinese brand purchased at an Asian supermarket. That tea, while quite good, was nothing like the kind I recently ordered from Upton Tea. That’s no surprise though because Tie-Guan-Yin varies greatly depending on oxidation level and other processing techniques.

I don’t have a fancy tea kettle with a temperature gauge, so I boiled water and let it sit for 30 seconds, hoping to get somewhere close to the recommended 190°F. I let the leaves steep for about 3 minutes, which resulted in a golden color.

Initially, the Tie-Guan-Yin’s aroma seemed grassy to me, like you would expect from green tea. A few more whiffs revealed a floral fragrance with a little sweetness. True to the description on Upton Tea’s website, the tea had a light, buttery feel on the tongue.

As the third of many oolongs I intend to try, it may be too early to make a final decision about this Tie-Guan-Yin. But I will say this: the tea is light, pleasant, and smooth. Maybe that’s all that matters.

Aroma: Grassy, floral, mildly sweet
Body: Light
Flavor: Smooth, buttery
Color: Gold

Tie-Guan-Yin Z078 from Upton Tea

Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong 2nd Grade from Upton Tea

Upton Tea sells many teas you should know about. This review concerns their Tie-Guan-Yin 2nd Grade (product code Z078).

Tie-Guan-Yin is a variety of Oolong created through a series of steps that involve sun withering and leaf tossing. Sometimes Tie-Guan-Yin is roasted for a darker color and rich flavor, but not this one.

I placed a big spoonful of tea leaves — which my coworker said looked like pot — in a tea filter, added boiling water, and let step for 3 minutes. It brewed to a dark yellow color, similar to many green teas I’ve had.

This impressive Tie-Guan-Yin was smooth and slightly sweet. I did not detect any bitterness or acidity — very pleasant all around.

While black tea may be my preference, I will certainly schedule this Tie-Guan-Yin into my day until the sample packet is empty. After that, I have more Upton Tea samples to work through; however, I will someday return Tie-Guan-Yin #Z078.