Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Oolong

This is a very old creche scene in a very old church in Germany.

Our poor guest from South Africa will not be visiting as he had spent 2.5 days waiting in various airports only to have to return to Atlanta. For his next attempt, they called him 3 days earlier and said his flight was canceled! So I thought I might as well share some tea with you before the next lot of company arrives

Thanks to tea swaps I have been getting to try a number of Oolongs and I am finding myself enraptured by them. One of the ones I recently got was Summit Tea's Jin Xuan Golden Lily Oolong. This comes from the Fujian Province of China, which the company says yields a more robust and fuller bodied tea than it would from Taiwan. I don't know enough to tell and I don't have the Taiwanese version to compare it to. So it will just have to stand or fall on its own merits.

The dry leaves were small tightly rolled balls with the wonderful scent of a good baked custard or crème brulee. I rinsed it off with nearly boiling water and then let it steep for 2 minutes for the first infusion. The second was for 2.5 minutes with slightly cooler water. The brewing tea smelled of lilacs along with the custard. It tasted custardy and of vanilla and lilac. As it cooled it tasted more like baked vegetable, almost like asparagus. The second infusion was so mild there was almost no taste, just a very faint floral. Put together, the resulting combo didn't taste much different from the first. I may order a sample and try this some more, as it is intriguing.
With many Oolongs and with other teas with big leaves, I find you really have to play around with quantity to get the brew you like best. I brewed all I had, but I might have done differently if I had had more.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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