Nov 16, 2007

Tea, oolong loose leaf tea

I just had my new neighbor over last night for an oolong tea tasting. It was relaxing and stimulating at the same time. She wanted to know more about how to brew loose leaf tea. I am not an expert, but I did get my cute little yixing tea pot out and small sipping cups to taste the four different kinds of tea I had chosen: Wen Shan Bao Zhong, Jin Xuan High Mountain, Rou Gui, and Bai Hao Oriental Beauty.

I started out warming the teapot, the sharing pitcher and the cups. While that was happening we talked about how green tea, oolong tea and black tea all comes from the same plant, but the processing being different.

I brewed each type of oolong tea three times, and we both remarked on how the flavor of the tea changed with each infusion. After three infusions of each tea, I asked her what her favorite tea was. After the Wen Shan Bao Zhong, she said it would be hard to top that one. After the Jin Xuan she said that it was her favorite. The Rou Gui I brewed in a Chinese Porcelain gaiwan and she said that liked that one the best and after the Bai Hao Oriental Beauty she said that it was the most layered and complex, and her favorite only because it was the last one that she tasted.

It was like a wine tasting as we discussed each tea and its aromas, flavors and memories that it triggered. One was like smelling flowers, another like eating flowers, another like walking in the woods after a rain. One tasted like apricots, another was spicy that made her tongue dance.

Oolong is not just Chinese restaurant tea. I encourage you to try brewing your own oolong leaf teas. It’s an adventure in tastes.

You can try an oolong sampler from my website or look at the holiday special of Tie Kwan Yin Oolong, our most popular tea.

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