Saturday, December 4, 2010

Beauty in the Snow

Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin'? In the lane snow is glistenin'.

Just getting ready, it is supposed to snow, anywhere from flurries to dustings
to actual snow for the next 5 days.

My local chain - Weis Markets, has Christmas teas from Bigelow, Stash and Celestial Seasonings. Maybe yours does too. They are also carrying a line from Bigelow that is probiotic, anti-inflammatory and something else - three separate one. I got a couple Christmas teas for guests, but didn't feel like trying anything too new today.

Except, of course, some tea. Today's' cup is Teas Etc. "Oriental Beauty" Oriental Beauty was my introduction to Oolongs and I fell in love with it. I have never had any as good as that first batch, but I've had some good ones. This one smells like baking bread, in the dry leaf. The leaves are quite mixed, with some beige and silver, some long slender pieces and a few shaped like clover leaves. I just did this a little below boiling, for about 2 minutes. It came out a medium old gold in color and as soon as I sipped it I was struck by its full, round mouth feel. It smelled slightly spicey, and a little like corn silk. The main flavor was that of honey and clover, sweet but not at all sugary, with a touch of astringency at the end. The aftertaste was of sweet bland crackers, like perhaps Marie Bisquits. A very nice tea for a quiet afternoon and a rather different Oriental Beauty.


Steph said...

Like baking bread....mmmmm!

Alex Zorach said...

I have yet to try any oriental beauty oolong that really impresses me. But maybe I just haven't tried the right one yet.

I also have been having trouble classifying teas in this style. It seems to have a lot of names: Bai Hao, and Dong Fang Mei Ren (which translates as oriental beauty), but...I'm often unsure exactly what / where the cutoff is. I've seen oriental beauty from China, and then, I've also seen some of the dark "Formosa Oolong" classified as Oriental Beauty. But is all the generic "Formosa oolong" really of this style? I'd be grateful if anyone has any insights into this!

Marlena said...

You and me both Alex. I at first thought that all Oriental Beauty would have pretty much the same flavor profile, but they don't. Some taste very, very roasted, with little floral, some almost green. From my limited understanding, OB is a category of Formosa Oolong, like Ali Shan. But I spend my time with them feeling confused. I am going to try and find out who sells that first one I had, as it was so good. Of course, that goodness may hove only been an untried palate.