4 Tasting Notes
American Classic Black Tea from Charleston Tea Plantation is a real (Lipton style) black tea with flavor and body, nice without anything else added. It steeps in 2 – 3 minutes and never fails to please. The plantation is stunning, beautiful but management and financial difficulties prevent its full operation. http://south-carolina-plantations.com/charleston/charleston-tea.html
Island Green tea from Charleston Tea Plantation is an innocent, low-processed green tea. If you like strong, bracing tea, this will taste like grass cuttings. So steep one tea bag per tea cup for at least 5 minutes. It is fresh, clean, light, like a Stephen Foster song about the old South that drifts through the air. It comes in little cloth pouches that resemble ladies’ hosiery. We have things to learn from the Chinese and Indians before the tea will become popular. Apparently the variable climate of South Carolina makes growing the tea a challenge. The plantation is a nice tourist attraction, but I prefer their black tea to this innocent green.
Oolong teas are like cousins. They may have the same name but each offers a different pleasure. The taste can range from clear, bright and flowery to heavy and charcoal-flavored depending upon their origin and processing. Oolong teas are withered in the sun, partially fermented, and sold as loose leaves or curled and rolled into small balls called “gunpowder.” The degree of fermentation varies between 8% and 85% which gives “Formosa oolong teas” a large range of aromatic varieties from a sweet and fruity honey aroma to a green / fresh bouquet flavor. Oolong #17 from Siamteas.com is light, fragrant yet very satisfying. You might enjoy it before meditation for clarity of vision while reducing stress, a cool fresh evening on a high mountain.
This clear, pale oolong is a new taste experience for me–delightfully light, fresh, flowery, and uplifting, not my usual bitter and bracing Twinings gunpowder green tea I normally use to jolt myself awake each morning. This #17 oolong from the mountains of northern Thailand is more like a morning walk through a spring garden.