Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Weight of Oolong

People often imagine me, as a tea vendor, drinking one amazing tea after another.  I do all right, but I am also often sipping from the leftover dust after bagging a few pounds of whole leaf tea.  It's best for J-TEA and if it is the dregs from high grade tea, then it's OK with me.  But once in a while, I come across a tea so alluring, that I cannot help but "test" some of the examples of fine tea, just to know what it really is.  

This Mu Zha Competition Winning Iron Goddess from the winter of 2012, we are calling Honorable Mu Zha, caught my eye in a recent tea packaging session.  Yes, I still package tea.  I find it relaxing.    

Since this tea is so beautiful, I had to share a few photos, in the process, brewing up some of said tea, and I guess I should taste it.

While packaging this tea, I was struck by its appearance.  The leaf roasted oh-so-dark and rolled up nice and tight, it looked more like a juniper berry than a tea leaf.  

After weighing 3.5 grams of these magical kernels and snapping a few photos, I got to business.  Hot, hot, hot.  Everything is preheated.  

This teapot, dedicated to iron goddess, holds about 6 or 7 ounces of water.  Tea steeps for four minutes, with water right off the boil. 

The results shown above: an amazing complex floral candy aroma that eventually sinks deep in the tissue where the nose connects to the face, deep into the root of the nasal cavities leaving a distinct tactile experience through nothing more than its aroma.  Starting with light smoke roast and ultimately ending with berry, after passing through a number of aromas, such as cherries, wood, sweet floral, etc. 
Really clear flavor, but extremely rich.  It almost tastes like that really good coffee that tastes like tea.  The range of flavors is broad.  Simply put, this tea is so good, I cannot believe how good it makes me feel.  
After brewing again, this time for five minutes, I am thoroughly impressed.  

The leaf, large teeth, full intact leaves, fairly consistent oxidation.

After the intensive brew conditions, there were still a portion of the leaves that were left only partially opened.

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