Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Pot of the Lost Orange

Such a gray day, spitting rain, sleet and snow at us. But we are
Northerners and we are not fooled – Spring is on its way.

I was at one of my local shops, The Cheese Trap, and bought some Orange U Slim tea, packed for them by Teas Etc. I bought it because I generally only like citrus in my tea, and almost none of the fruit flavors. In fact, I have met very few I did like. The tea comes in a nice reclosable zip-locked packet and is billed as a “medium body dark Oolong, with dried orange and orange essence.” The leaves are of mixed size and brown and black, with dried orange peel to add some color and flavor. There was the barest whiff of orange scent. There were no instructions so I brewed it for 2 minutes with water about 190 degrees. There was no orange flavor or scent to the brewed tea and the Oolong was just ok. What a waste of money and time. I decided to try and fix it by adding two drops of orange oil and reclosing the packet. I'll let it sit for a couple weeks and try again.

After that experience, I tried an old favorite, Upton's China Superior Keemun Mao Feng. Love the “line-dried wash” smell of good fresh tea, coupled with the slight smokiness. Love the long twisted black leaves. Love the bright amber color. And the great taste! It is like some wonderful vegetable slightly grilled over a super smelling wood, that gives it a special oomph, even though there is no real smokiness or vegetable to the taste. It is just very, very fresh and full tasting. A wee touch of smoke maybe, but nothing like my wonderful Hu Kwa from Mark T. Wendell. I have mentioned these teas before, but they are worth mentioning again.

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