Thank you Roughage for this Sample Tea
Ah Saturday morning, and this morning looks more like Spring than Summer. Another one to throw open my oversized windows and let the sun dappled breeze push aside the white cotton drapery to freshen up my house.
A perfect tea to start the day would be…one that has been chewed on lovingly by crickets. Yes, nice little nibbled edges right before harvest that stress the tea tree into a defense mode which produces a uniquely smooth citrus flavor. The nibbled edges oxodize before picking and my packet showed a dry blend of dark green, golden brown and pale silvery leaves.
2tsp. tea, 200ml water, 195F, 3 infusions at 2 minutes each
The large wet leaves first smelled like carmalized sugar tomatoes then second steep like boston brown bread and last a light sweet tobacco. At each infusion the leaves changed color from olive and rust brown gradually fading to brown ocre.
All three infusions produced an amber brown liquor beginning with a medium dark color and getting lighter with each steeping. The scent was peach and raisin.
1. The first sensation was a bright mouthfeel, thick and peachy with a little roastiness. I was looking for the citrus flavor but couldn’t find it. I was surprised at the lack of any tannin or astringency even when the tea cooled, and at how smooth and rich this tea was to drink.
2. The flavor was much lighter in a wonderful way. Sparkling warmth filled my mouth and the taste of ripe loquat and apricot…fuzzy fruit with a bit of citrus and still without any acidity or bitterness. Very, very smooth. The best, sweetest cup.
I can see why this is prized. As an Oolong, I am reminded of some of the things I love about Black Tea’s. The peachy, yammy, smooth and bready tea’s or those with a bit of citrus that offer comfort and perk up my day. Oolongs usually have floral or an astringent character that identifies them as that category of tea for me. So, maybe I’ve been narrow minded. This Oolong is different and I like it!
3. The final steeping was crisper and dryer in the mouth but still had no astringency. This is a fancy tea. I added a little sugar and enjoyed the end of a beautiful tea sunrise. It was almost as though a huge golden orange sun had come up over the Plains blasting me with full flavor on the first steeping, then gradually mellowing to the second and best cup, and finally the fading last but still sweet third steep.
Roughage and I had a conversation about how an Elk is a Moose in the UK and the definitions in the America’s, we ended up with some nice youtube critters…here you go…(I used Elk and Moose from Colorado)
http://youtu.be/-6HkU-P81HI ELK in Estes Park an hour from home (common around town)
http://youtu.be/5r0gAWiahig MOOSE (During the fires one came into my complex but I haven’t seen one yet)
http://youtu.be/Av51kZhRHRk European ELK (from ROughage)