Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Raspberries and Green Tea

I love stonework. It is amazing to me that 1,000 years ago this was
built and it is still standing, still in excellent shape.

I received a sample of Formosa Sanxia Longjing tea from Aura Teas. This is the Formosan [Taiwan] take on the familiar China green tea, Dragonwell. It is what is known as a “fried tea”. That means it is dry-
fried in a cylinder or wok to stop oxidation or to partially dehydrate the leaves. One can only imagine the skill it takes to get this right and not burn it!
The dry leaves are very long and a deep green. They have a sweet scent, mixed with something that says “Christmas tree” to me. I infused this 3 times at about 180 degrees, for 50, 60 and 70 seconds. The first left the leaves slightly unfurled and tasted a little sweet, a little vegetal. The second infusion the leaves were more open and the taste had shifted to a more vegetal side of the scale. The third seemed the most hearty of all. I poured the three infusions together and the result was an almost asparagus like taste, with a much heartier body. I didn't feel it delivered much on the sweet floral, fruity taste that Aura said it should have, so I was disappointed. It also seemed to be a much lighter version of Dragonwell than I've had before. I am no expert on green teas, so feel free to really disagree.

Speaking of green teas, while I was at one of our local stores I found some instant tea packets.. They were for iced green tea with lime. They are made by the Gourmet Village company, from Canada. All you do is mix them up and voila! Green tea with lime to pour over ice. So I did. Well... it took me right back to Daily Vacation Bible School, sitting on the church steps, singing “John Jacob Jinkleheimer Schmidt” and eating graham crackers and drinking Lime Koolaid. Which,as you have guessed, is just what it tasted like, only the Koolaid was prettier. At least I won't have to worry about buying any more.

Another ice tea I made recently was also a flop. I like hot Dammann Freres Framboise [raspberry] tea. As far as I am concerned, it's the only one that really tastes like raspberries. It is light and flavorful, and this highly rated French company does its usual good job. However, as an ice tea it seems very heavy and the black tea base seems to drag down the raspberry. All together it isn't very nice. On a positive note, it is time to pick raspberries, yummmmmmmm.

Isn't it amazing how different teas can be whether they are hot or iced? Part of the ongoing journey of discovery in tea land.

No comments: