REVIEW: Ten Ren Tea: New Spring Oolong (2014)


Tea and origin: Oolong tea from Taiwan
Purchased at: Ten Ren Tea (Chinatown, New York City)

Last month I wrote about my visit to a Ten Ren shop in New York. I was impressed by the selection of teas in the shop, but their New Spring Oolong grab my attention because upon entering I was given a cup of it, and the fresh aroma of the dry leaf was too much to resist. The shop stocks two grades of New Spring Oolong – one everyday and one premium. Today I’m reviewing the everyday grade.

Tasting notes

Dry leaf: The dry leaf consists of small rolled balls that range in colour from dark to light green. It is a moderately aromatic dry leaf – fresh, floral notes are most prominent, but there is a sweet undertone to the leaves

Infused tea: The tea cups out a light green liquor, although it becomes slightly darker with each infusion. With the first two infusions, the liquor has a rich, florally, buttery flavour, and a slightly thick mouthfeel. With infusions three and four (when the leaves are almost fully unravelled) the tea takes on a slightly different character: it is still florally and buttery, but the mouthfeel isn’t as thick, and there is a subtle sweetness and a little more astringency to the tea than in the first two infusions. The aftertaste of all infusions coat the back your throat and fill your sinuses with floral notes. It is a medium-bodied tea with a mild astringency

Infusion tips: For this tea, I find that preparing it gong fu style with 90 to 95C water is best. Infuse this tea five to six times

Conclusions: I have thoroughly enjoyed this tea: it is a pleasure to drink, and it is great value for money. The tea is loaded with classic aroma and flavours that I’d expect to find in a Taiwanese oolong. It is not the most complex or high quality Taiwanese available, but it is a great everyday tea with a reasonable price tag. If you want something a bit more special, their premium grade New Spring Oolong is something to explore

Retail price: 4 ounces for $11.25 (approx. £7)


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)
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