So I’ve been holding onto this for a while, but being such a coveted tea, I wanted to make sure the conditions were perfect: I was feeling fine, I gave myself ample time to enjoy the tea, and most importantly, I brewed it correctly.
I tried to follow the Chicago Tea Garden’s direction for brewing (video number 2: http://www.chicagoteagarden.com/zealong-new-zealand-oolong), but wound up making some minor modifications.
I warmed the pot, using boiling water, drained it, covered the bottom of my pot in the leaves, then added enough water to cover them. Of course, they floated, so let’s say it was about a half cup of boiling water. Let the leaves steep for one minute like this. Drained the water, then filled the pot with boiling water. Allowed to steep for one full minute. Poured all the tea out and enjoyed.
The aroma of this is incredible; it is crisp, clean, sweet and actually smells mouthwatering, it is everything you would hope it to smell like and nothing that you would hope it doesn’t. In one word: pure. The liquor is a pale, golden yellow, not amber, yellow. The experience is cultivated in the drinking vessel, I used a matcha bowl because I wanted to get the full bouquet while drinking it. The flavor matches the aroma, clean, crisp, sweet, yet not overpowering, it tastes like the best of the best oolongs, it really just might be. I know I have had an oolong similar, though I am not sure where, it really doesn’t matter, because this is what I have now.
That was the first infusion. I did not repeat the whole tea ceremony for each infusion, just filled the pot with more water, steeped and drank. I got three full infusions out of the one sample and each was as good as the first.
All brewed hot, no additives:
Infusion 1: one minute
Infusion 2: one minute, 30 seconds
Infusion 3: two minutes
If you get a chance to try this, I highly recommend you do. I still have the other two (aromatic and dark) to give a go. Enjoy everyone!