Thank you Roughage for this Sample Tea

Ah Saturday morning, and this morning looks more like Spring than Summer. Another one to throw open my oversized windows and let the sun dappled breeze push aside the white cotton drapery to freshen up my house.
A perfect tea to start the day would be…one that has been chewed on lovingly by crickets. Yes, nice little nibbled edges right before harvest that stress the tea tree into a defense mode which produces a uniquely smooth citrus flavor. The nibbled edges oxodize before picking and my packet showed a dry blend of dark green, golden brown and pale silvery leaves.

Oolong….

2tsp. tea, 200ml water, 195F, 3 infusions at 2 minutes each

The large wet leaves first smelled like carmalized sugar tomatoes then second steep like boston brown bread and last a light sweet tobacco. At each infusion the leaves changed color from olive and rust brown gradually fading to brown ocre.

All three infusions produced an amber brown liquor beginning with a medium dark color and getting lighter with each steeping. The scent was peach and raisin.

1. The first sensation was a bright mouthfeel, thick and peachy with a little roastiness. I was looking for the citrus flavor but couldn’t find it. I was surprised at the lack of any tannin or astringency even when the tea cooled, and at how smooth and rich this tea was to drink.

2. The flavor was much lighter in a wonderful way. Sparkling warmth filled my mouth and the taste of ripe loquat and apricot…fuzzy fruit with a bit of citrus and still without any acidity or bitterness. Very, very smooth. The best, sweetest cup.
I can see why this is prized. As an Oolong, I am reminded of some of the things I love about Black Tea’s. The peachy, yammy, smooth and bready tea’s or those with a bit of citrus that offer comfort and perk up my day. Oolongs usually have floral or an astringent character that identifies them as that category of tea for me. So, maybe I’ve been narrow minded. This Oolong is different and I like it!

3. The final steeping was crisper and dryer in the mouth but still had no astringency. This is a fancy tea. I added a little sugar and enjoyed the end of a beautiful tea sunrise. It was almost as though a huge golden orange sun had come up over the Plains blasting me with full flavor on the first steeping, then gradually mellowing to the second and best cup, and finally the fading last but still sweet third steep.

Roughage and I had a conversation about how an Elk is a Moose in the UK and the definitions in the America’s, we ended up with some nice youtube critters…here you go…(I used Elk and Moose from Colorado)
North American:
http://youtu.be/-6HkU-P81HI ELK in Estes Park an hour from home (common around town)
http://youtu.be/5r0gAWiahig MOOSE (During the fires one came into my complex but I haven’t seen one yet)

http://youtu.be/Av51kZhRHRk European ELK (from ROughage)

Roughage

Yay, mooooooooossssseee! :-) I’m really pleased you liked this one. Time to remortgage the house so I can buy some more because I finished off the last of mine yesterday. Maybe I should finish up some other teas first though since I have a few in stock still!

Autumn Hearth

“Sun dappled breeze” lovely and that also sounds like my kind of Oriental Beauty any savory or buttery notes in the taste/mouth feel or just mostly in the smell?

Bonnie

One the first steep I mentioned a roasty (little savory but not much) and it was buttery but I didn’t want to say that because it was not thick. It was the smoothness that was so outstanding and the butter was subtle.

Autumn Hearth

Excellent, thanks!

HyBr1d

I love Oriental Beauty Oolongs! I agree with you that there are elements of black tea in OB. I think of the difference as the first steep of OB being like a third or fourth steep of a black tea. About a week ago I was drinking some of Tea Trekker’s Dancong black, and around the fourth steep I stopped and said to myself that this tastes like an oriental beauty!

I have also been trying to get over my fear of puer tea! I actually just finished my 3rd or 4th gong fu steeping of shu nuggets! While the smell is still a bit more musty than I like, the actual taste has none of those elements, and a nice sweet taste :) Thank you for helping to change my mind about puer tea Bonnie :)

Bonnie

Delete about 5 hours ago
Ah HyBr1d that’s so nice! I’m glad that you had the nerve to go ahead and give Puer a try! There are so many different tasting Puer’s too. I hope you continue to explore along with me so that I can take tips from you!

HyBr1d

Ha, why thank you very much Bonnie, but I think I will be getting the tips from you :) So far the yanxin reserve nuggets have been the only shu that I have been able to take through multiple steepings…it really is mind over matter since it doesn’t exactly smell like it tastes.

On a side note, I noticed that the Verdant Dan cong black ends up a bit green after steeping, I was wondering if you noticed that as well? I am guessing that maybe its 80% or so oxidized, as the tea trekker Dan cong black I also have doesn’t end up green even after 10+ steepings. It’s kind of funny as I prefer the early steepings of the Verdant tea, but the later steepings of the tea trekker tea:) I just find the differences between the two interesting.

Bonnie

HyBr1d- I don’t know about the difference in the two brands. I’m still experimenting myself with what Verdant lists for steep times and letting later steeping go even longer since I like a strong black. When I so let the steeping time go 3 minutes in my gaiwan (after doing the shorter steeps the first few times), the taste profile changes quite a bit. You might want to try this and see what you think. Most of the time I western brew because of time and do 5 steepings. Sometimes I take the time for more lengthy steeping though.

HyBr1d

Thank you Bonnie, i will try doing what you said, it sounds like a good idea! I have been making the Verdant dan cong western style lately, with a little longer than 35 seconds for steeping. I have a stainless steel strainer so i have been doing more of a “modified” gong fu style short steeping time on most of the other teas i try. Anyways, i need to get some sleep :) Have a great night Bonnie!

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Roughage

Yay, mooooooooossssseee! :-) I’m really pleased you liked this one. Time to remortgage the house so I can buy some more because I finished off the last of mine yesterday. Maybe I should finish up some other teas first though since I have a few in stock still!

Autumn Hearth

“Sun dappled breeze” lovely and that also sounds like my kind of Oriental Beauty any savory or buttery notes in the taste/mouth feel or just mostly in the smell?

Bonnie

One the first steep I mentioned a roasty (little savory but not much) and it was buttery but I didn’t want to say that because it was not thick. It was the smoothness that was so outstanding and the butter was subtle.

Autumn Hearth

Excellent, thanks!

HyBr1d

I love Oriental Beauty Oolongs! I agree with you that there are elements of black tea in OB. I think of the difference as the first steep of OB being like a third or fourth steep of a black tea. About a week ago I was drinking some of Tea Trekker’s Dancong black, and around the fourth steep I stopped and said to myself that this tastes like an oriental beauty!

I have also been trying to get over my fear of puer tea! I actually just finished my 3rd or 4th gong fu steeping of shu nuggets! While the smell is still a bit more musty than I like, the actual taste has none of those elements, and a nice sweet taste :) Thank you for helping to change my mind about puer tea Bonnie :)

Bonnie

Delete about 5 hours ago
Ah HyBr1d that’s so nice! I’m glad that you had the nerve to go ahead and give Puer a try! There are so many different tasting Puer’s too. I hope you continue to explore along with me so that I can take tips from you!

HyBr1d

Ha, why thank you very much Bonnie, but I think I will be getting the tips from you :) So far the yanxin reserve nuggets have been the only shu that I have been able to take through multiple steepings…it really is mind over matter since it doesn’t exactly smell like it tastes.

On a side note, I noticed that the Verdant Dan cong black ends up a bit green after steeping, I was wondering if you noticed that as well? I am guessing that maybe its 80% or so oxidized, as the tea trekker Dan cong black I also have doesn’t end up green even after 10+ steepings. It’s kind of funny as I prefer the early steepings of the Verdant tea, but the later steepings of the tea trekker tea:) I just find the differences between the two interesting.

Bonnie

HyBr1d- I don’t know about the difference in the two brands. I’m still experimenting myself with what Verdant lists for steep times and letting later steeping go even longer since I like a strong black. When I so let the steeping time go 3 minutes in my gaiwan (after doing the shorter steeps the first few times), the taste profile changes quite a bit. You might want to try this and see what you think. Most of the time I western brew because of time and do 5 steepings. Sometimes I take the time for more lengthy steeping though.

HyBr1d

Thank you Bonnie, i will try doing what you said, it sounds like a good idea! I have been making the Verdant dan cong western style lately, with a little longer than 35 seconds for steeping. I have a stainless steel strainer so i have been doing more of a “modified” gong fu style short steeping time on most of the other teas i try. Anyways, i need to get some sleep :) Have a great night Bonnie!

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Colorado Grandma
http://www.teaandincense.com
Grandmother to 3 teenaged girls and 5 young boys. (we all drink tea!) I began teatime in the Summer over 30 years ago when my children were little. We took a break from play for tea and snacks every day. My children loved tea time.
There are several tea houses close to my home and a Tea Festival in Boulder. Fort Collins is a bit of a foodie town. We brew lots of Beer (Fat Tire is one brand) and have several Spice Shops (Savory was one featured on Food Network).
Colorado State University is a mile from my home and the Rocky Mountains begin to climb at the end of my street. The climate is semi-arid with LOTS OF SUN AT 5000 feet. (Heavy Winter snows start in higher elevations). Living my whole life in Northern California (Silicon Valley) I have to admit that I LOVE IT HERE!!!
I attend a wonderful Greek Orthodox Church and enjoy cooking ethnic foods (all kinds). I am disabled with Migraines and Fibromyalgia.
My family is Bi-racial (African-American, Scots) and Bi-cultural, (Peru, Cyprus, France, Mexico, Native American)
I’ve worked at a Winery, was a System Analyst, in telecom, been an Athlete and Coach, Artist, Vista Volunteer. Love healthy cooking (and delicious food!). Love to travel and have been to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Peru, Croatia, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska

Location

Fort Collins,Colorado

Website

http://www.teaandincense.com

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