Ventura Highway

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Astringent, Cream, Floral, Frosting, Grass, Lemon, Spinach, Toast, Umami, Vegetal, Apple, Butter, Coconut, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Roasted, Tart
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Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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10 Tasting Notes View all

From August Uncommon Tea

Tastes Like: meyer lemon curd, fresh grass, linen
Feels Like: driving down the californian coast

Few drives have the gentle drama of the route winding along the 101 highway from Los Angeles to Montecito and beyond. Once you cross the border into Ventura County, the city chaos fades away, leaving your body lighter with each inhale of crisp saline air. The summer breeze whips your hair in tune with rolling hills and marvelous ocean views. The sunlight glints playfully along the waves. This tea is mellow and slightly sweet as green oolongs go. Chilling this tea softens the buttery character to produce notes of wildflower honey, lemon verbena, and sweet clover. The bright citrus notes and undercurrent of sweet freshly cut grass in this tea summon the freedom of the open road and the spirit of easy breezy summer days.

A tea for lazy mornings and meandering afternoons.

Ingredients: organic green oolong tea from chiang rai province, thailand
*certified organic by Lacon GmbH

About August Uncommon Tea View company

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10 Tasting Notes

364 tasting notes

Grandpa. I liked it this way — didn’t feel like I was missing out on too much versus a full gong fu. No bitter. Nice classic oolong note, which I was craving after green/black/puer experiments this week.

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1356 tasting notes


It’s alright but not generally what I look for in my green oolong or natural jin xuan types. It has an almost “light roast” veggie quality that’s not quite working for me here (like bitter spinach? definitely grassy). I get more lemon verbena (don’t love verbena) than lemon proper.. maybe lemon zest, but imho, this isn’t buttery enough for full-blown “curd” (although there is some nice butter/cream notes, especially on 2nd steep).

Steep Count: 4

Third steep-: I’m reminded of a buttery water chestnut (weird, but kind of like cross a between an apple and a coconut). Somewhat lemony. Also softened spinach for sure now.

Fourth Steep @3min: coconut, butter, mellowed out grass, sweetish lemon (mostly nose/finish). Favourite cup so far.

Flavors: Apple, Butter, Coconut, Cream, Floral, Grass, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Roasted, Spinach, Tart

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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2238 tasting notes


So behind with these, but I only have one more left from this collection so I’m nearly there! This is the only non-flavoured tea of the five that were part of this release, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about a “pure” tea being marketed in this way. It feels…well, not entirely honest. I can see why they do it, because going with the name of the variety isn’t half so poetic. But still…

I second Daylon on this, and I think it’s a Jin Xuan. The beginning of the sip is creamy, with very slight lemon notes (although less sharp/sour/acidic than actual lemon, and more lemon flavour frosting). The mid sip is quite heady, with a fairly strong floral flavour; to me, it’s reminiscent of orchid, or lily, and it really lingers. The end of the sip is more vegetal, with a grassy, sometimes-almost-spinachy flavour. It’s a little heavily floral for my liking, but that’s entirely personal preference. It’s clearly a quality oolong, however you want to look at it.

This tea on its own is one thing. When you pair it with August’s high aesthetic and almost visionary description, it becomes something else entirely. This is more tea as artistic experience than “just a drink”. As I said, I’m not sure exactly how I feel about that. I guess it’s adding something to the process, but it makes me wonder how much is real, and how much imagined, and whether that justifies a significant premium on the price.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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1403 tasting notes

Buttery, custard-like, and a wee bit tart. Vegetal with the slightest whiff of coconut in the second steep, or am I dreaming that up?
My tastebuds may be clouded with vanilla chocolate.

Subsequent steeps ensured that no, I was not dreaming up the coconut. It’s there with the butter and the vegetal nature of the tea. Six or seven steeps later, it’s all still there. Gently, gently, but there.

This may be my first experience with tea from Chiang Rai, Thailand. I do so wish that I had had enthusiasm for tea exploration when I was there. Yeah, nope. No recollection of tea drinking adventures there. At all.


Did you enjoy that flavour combination, vegetal and tart notes with custard?

Evol Ving Ness

The tartness and vegetal natures were gentle enough to let the custard butter shine. That worked.


Ah ok, cool beans.


I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately! Are you guys old enough to remember it?

Evol Ving Ness

I am. The tea and the song don’t seem to have anything in common from my perspective.

Evol Ving Ness

Except perhaps the lightness of the experience—if there is no traffic. A rare thing in LA.

Evol Ving Ness

I meant the experience of driving while listening to that song.


I can not imagine enjoying the traffic in the big cities of California! A small city is about the most I care to handle.

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14811 tasting notes

This is a queued tasting note.

So far I’ve tried three out of the five teas from August Uncommon’s Spring/Summer collection and right now this is my favourite of the ones I’ve tried. It’s also the only “pure” tea in this collection – take from that what you will.

While I was tempted to brew it Gong Fu I ultimately decided that was probably not how AU imagined people to be drinking it. AU is very artistic/poetic with how they market their teas and I greatly love that approach as I generally tend to view tea as a more artful experience than a precise process. Not that there’s anything wrong with Gong Fu: I still love brewing Gong Fu style BUT I think doing this one Western and looking for more aesthetic flavour descriptions honors the tea a little more… if that makes any sense?

This was just so clean and clear cut flavour wise: I thought the top notes were perfectly sweet and captured the taste of lemon curd in the same way that you’d get from a home baked lemon meringue pie made by your grandma or a cupcake with lemon whip frosting sold in that quaint “passed down generation by generation” bake shop on the corner of the street that still does everything by hand.

Body notes were really clean with fresh and crisp grassy note that make you think of summer time picnics or road tripping with all the windows rolled down on a beautiful, breezy day mid June. The finish was playfully floral and lingered lightly on the bed of my tongue. Honestly, it was just a REALLY nice cup.

When putting together my song pairing I was so tempted to go with a Chainsmokers song because they’ve been SO BIG lately and I love them a lot; I thought that their music would match the clear cut vision that August Uncommon had when describing this tea. Which, I should add, they did perfectly. But I couldn’t find something that sat quite right…

And so this was the pairing I went with:

It’s not The Chainsmokers – but I think the breezy, summery vibes and sweet, playful tone of the singer’s voice fit just as well if not better than The Chainsmokers would have. And I think it honours to aesthetic nature of the tea – which is how August Uncommon chooses to market.

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1670 tasting notes

Another Gift from the lovely Whiteantlers.

And a new one.

This has got to be a Jin Xuan. There is a little bit of a lemon custard quality in the aftertaste, but it’s otherwise a creamy light green oolong. The leaves are actually pretty big and stemy. HIGHLY spinachy, but not overly vegetal. I’ll try it again, but I’m not too impressed.

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