It is apparently Oolong week for me. Today serves up this earthy, woody leaf. I took a note from some r/tea submissions to “rinse” the leaves to remove debris/dust and the initial harshness from the leaf. Also it apparently wakes the leaf up and adds more depth to flavor. So today, I used about 2 1/2 tsp in about 12/13 oz of water in my ingenuiTEA after two 10 second rinses.
The smell in the bag doesn’t give much away, but the minute it began to steep, you could smell the aroma of a very strong brew. 3 minutes and I got it into my mug. Smelling it, it is really earthy and kind of woody. The leaves are broken up, but not destroyed. It brewed this beautiful dark amber, almost chocolate colored tea. First sip has a slight bitterness, but it is barely there. Really, I feel like I am drinking a forest. It lends itself to some fantasy day dreaming of a woodland realm. Looking forward to my next steeps… Stay tuned.
Steep Two: Wow, just an amazing experience. No bitterness and the color is now dark amber. A beautiful earthy flavor. I steeped again for 3 minutes in the ingenuiTEA. Paying attention to steeping times sure makes a difference and I think the rinses were beneficial as well. The woodiness is definitely a finish experience in the back of my mouth as I swallow.
Steep Three: I stuck with the same three minutes, and in hindsight, and extra 30-60 seconds may have increased the flavor. But all in all, the tea is hitting really clean although not nearly as earthy as my other two infusions. Which in no way is a bad thing. It’s a lighter amber with a smoother finish. I have to say, Good Work Finland!