REVIEW: Tip Top Tea – Hong Shui Oolong (2013)


Tea: A 40% oxidised oolong from Lugu village, Nantou County, Taiwan
Sample provided by: Whittington’s Tea Emporium
Twitter: @WTEmporium
Facebook: Whittington’s Tea Emporium
Link to Hong Shui on Whittington’s Tea Emporium website

Dry leaf:

– The dry leaf consists of large rolled leaves that are a chocolate brown colour

– It has a sweet, roasted aroma. However, when the dry leaf is added to a pre-warmed gaiwan or teapot, it gives off a distinct peach aroma

Infused tea:

– The tea cups out a pale yellow-coloured liquor that has both roasted and tree fruit aroma

– It is a medium-bodied tea. A small hint of astringency balances out the flavours of the tea so it isn’t overly sweet. The body of the tea has roasted (woody, cedar-like), fruity (peachy) and sweet (honey-like) flavours


– While you can make this tea Western style with a teapot, I would suggest gong fu style in a gaiwan or a Yixing teapot with 95C water. I find gong fu style is a fun way to make rolled oolongs because you can see the leaves slowly open with each infusion. Eventually your gaiwan or Yixing is packed with fully open leaves. Yes, this is tea geekery at its best

– I’ve tried a lot of roasted oolongs over the past two years. Honestly, I much prefer green oolongs, but I’ve really grown to appreciate roasted oolongs. One thing I’ve concluded is that Taiwanese roasted oolongs are more to my taste than Chinese ones. The Taiwanese roasted oolongs that I’ve reviewed have had more complex flavours: i.e. a good balance between sweet/fruity and roasted flavours, and do not have overwhelming roasted flavours that I associate with many Chinese oolongs. This oolong is a great example of what I love about Taiwanse roasted oolongs: lighter in cup colour and body, a good balance between sweet and roasted flavours and a subtle aftertaste



Retail price: 50 grams for £8.00


About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
This entry was posted in Taiwanese oolong, Tip Top Tea, Whittington’s Tea Emporium and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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