Ugh, I love this tea. Love it. But it always throws me for a loop.
Red Blossom suggests brewing between 2-3 mins at 195. Since this is rolled, I do 2:30 instead of my more normal 2 mins for oolongs. But without fail, at the end of the 2:30 I look at it in my glass teapot and think, “This can’t possibly be ready.” The liquor is just so light! A pale yellow floating about in the tea pot. Sometimes I worry and let it go a bit longer because of this, but I always pour by 3 mins.
But then I pour it into my cup. It gets instantly darker. Perhaps it is just from pouring into a more concentrated size? But even though the color is stronger, it’s still light. A lovely yellow with tones of glowing green (almost like the rating bar on here).
But it’s light. Maybe I did something wrong this time and it won’t be as good. Maybe the leaf has finally gotten old and 1g:2oz water isn’t enough. I worry. Did I brew it long enough?
So I take a sniff. Mmm, it does smell lovely. Like a garden that has just been rained on. Not MY garden, mind, but a more exotic one. Something lush and jungle-like. Mmm.
I sip and flavor just explodes in my mouth. It’s so thick! How can something so light in color taste so thick and have such good mouth-feel? It seems just steps away from being able to be chewed. But at the same time, there is a lightness to it, a freshness – perhaps from the citrus notes? – that makes me feel that this tea would be perfect to sip in the middle of a steamy summer. But that thickness makes me think it would fit in during a frigid winter, too.
I can’t help but let my shoulders relax as I drink this. As I sip it, I can tell that yes, I’ve ignored it a bit too much and it’s gotten old. It’s so good I haven’t wanted to use it up so I’ve let it lose that phenomenal taste it had when new (yes, this tea used to be even better). But ultimately, I don’t care that it doesn’t have quite the depth it used to.
I love this tea.
(Ahem, and I just realized I wrote a book while drinking this. blushes Sorry about that!)