Been drinking through a few samples of Asian grocery oolongs courtesy of tunes&tea from ::gulp:: Christmas. Should have brewed these long ago, but was overwhelmed by too much tea, bouts of depression where I didn’t want to drink tea (silly as the ritual of tea helps me) and various cold/flus/infections and travel.

I started off yesterday with one labeled: “Asian grocery oolong, red octagonish can, $5.99- 8oz, similar to Wei Chaun” after some searching it seems Wei Chuan is a brand not a varietal and since this is a greener oolong, I’m guessing it’s similar to a tieguanyin. This was my least favorite of the three, there was something in the smell even after two rinses I wasn’t digging. I’m guessing it was stale, which is my fault for keeping it in a ziplock for 5 months, but I gave it my best shot, 5 infusions a few sips of each but ended out pouring it out. It wasn’t that it was undrinkable, I just didn’t want to waste my time drinking it. I know that probably comes off snobby or ungrateful, let’s try: “too much tea, too little time”.

I rinsed my teaware and moved on to the “traditional Asian grocery Dong Ding” and as soon as the water hit the leaves I could I was going to like it. Most of the first infusion went into an offering cup, because it smelled heavenly but I figured I should still treat it as a rinse (good tea goes in offering cups, blah tea goes down the drain and I brew more than one offering cup can hold) still I took a sip. Yes very nice roasted Dong Ding. I enjoyed several infusions before making cous-cous for dinner. Had to take the tea into the other room as the kitchen was becoming saturated with cumin and curry. Have plenty of leaf for a least two more sessions.

The third I have just started on this afternoon. It’s labeled “Ti Kuan Yin, asian grocery- good though” and it is! Very good indeed. It’s a darker roasted tieguanyin and these are always a rare treat for me! Going to savor this one. I’m eager to try the “Asian grocery Pouchong” as well, but that will probably be for another day, or perhaps this evening. Thank you “tunes&tea” sorry it’s taken me so long to get to some of these.

Also wanted to mention here that my dad has recovered very well, he was given the go ahead to drive by the doctor two days ago (I had a dream the night before that he had my nephews on his lap in the drivers seat and was accidentally squishing my sister into the side of the garage when I volunteered to drive and had to go with him on the road for business for the next three months, very strange) and I have gotten over my flu and have been cleaning. These teas are a bit of a reward for a clean kitchen ;)

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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