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I took advantage of thePuritea’s Cyber Monday deal and got a whole bunch of oolong samples to explore the different types. The shipping was super quick, which was a very happy surprise, as I’m literally on the other side of the country from them and got this 2 days later!

I wanted a darker oolong to try first, so I picked this based on the name. The smell of this dry leaf was wonderful – toasted, earthy and grassy simultaneously. The smell of the brewed tea was similar – which was very comforting and cozy on a chilly night.

The main reason that I chose to try as many oolongs as I could was because I just am not familiar with them. Perhaps it is because of this lack of familiarity that I failed to get a lot of the expected flavors out of this tea. I’m putting it down to steep time (that has been the culprit a lot recently, I think), and thinking I should have pushed it up to four minutes for the first infusion. When I do a second I will really do a long steep just to see if I can improve on the texture and taste.

So mostly, the first time around I just got a grassy, sweet green with the roasted aroma teasing me. I hope that the next time around the roasty-ness will seep into the liquor too. Oh, and some of those honeyesque, vanilla, or nutty flavors – they can feel free to join in. I promise I won’t mind! :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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