Friday, January 13, 2012

Oolong in the Snow

Thank you Stephanie for hoping for snow for me.  It snowed!  Every little twig and branch is covered with it and it is absolutely beautiful!  I think we have about 3 inches.  Not a lot, but it is so much less gloomy looking.  The wind is blowing, so we won't have the tree beauty for long, but I love it while we've got it.

Same church, another view.  I love the soft yellow and blue.

Have you ever noticed how many things are fleeting?  Roses in June, most of the pernnial flowers, sunrise, sunset?  Perhaps if they were not we could not appreciate them as much.  But there are those which are not, the love between spouses, parent and child, friendship, and they are of value beyond price.  In the overall universe they are fleeting, what is 50 years compared to an eon?  And great moments in our lives are fleeting, but overall, we hope the love lasts and we work toward nurturing that love.

A cup of good tea is fleeting, but it's taste can go in our memory store so that when we find it again, we are cheered.  Such is a cup of Ali Shan (Formosa Oolong) from the puriTea.  I don't think I've met an Ali Shan I didn't like.  These high mountain teas are among the best Taiwan has to offer and this one is no exception.  I brewed it for 3 minutes at 180 degrees, after giving it a quick rinse to help the leaves unfurl.

The resulting brew was a soft, pale yellow, smelling sweetly of things to come.  From the aroma, which also had a slight vegetal edge, I think this is on the greener end of oxidation, which in Oolongs can range from 15-80% oxidized.  It really does stand between green and black teas.  The tea has a lovely flavor, being floral, vegetal and fruity, sometimes all at once, sometimes with 1 or 2 standing out.  It is one of those teas that seems to compell you to come back for yet another sip.

Most, if not all Oolongs can be brewed at least three times, although you should only do the first for a minute, the second for 11/2, the third for 2, etc.  Often the second one is the best, at least according to my taste.  Next time I have this, I think that is what I will do.

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