zaterdag 23 juni 2012

Teamasters Spring Jade Oolong

 My examinations are finaly finished and so are the after-examination-parties, this means it's time for some tea. Last blog I wrote was about a Jade Oolong and I thought it would be interesting to review another one of these but from Teamasters. The information on his blog says it's a tea grown at an altitude of around 800 meters which is kind of high for a Jade Oolong who are mostly grown at lower altitudes. It comes from a mountain close to the famous Shan Lin Shi with the name 'Yi Guang Shan'. Sounds promising, doesn't it? So lets go!

I was kindly surprised when I opened the package and I saw the biggest oolong ball I ever witnessed. Isn't it huge? Here a picture to compare, you have to know these jade oolong balls were already slightly bigger than normal. The balls were very sticky, like they were dipped in sugarsyrup! They had a sweet smell, almost popcorn with caramel like. I first wanted to test this tea with a competition set. So this means 3g from 6 minutes.

 After 6 minutes of waiting I poured the tea in a big cup. The brew was very clear and was yellow. I'm not sure but I think the tea is slightly roasted (catched some nutty aroma's) and also a bit more oxidized than high mountain oolong. The leafs are big,thick and smell like pineapples with caramelised nuts. The soup itself was very fruity and had much more body than previous jade oolong. It had a little bit of nuttiness but it still preserved this fresh,green taste we expect from high mountain oolong.

 A bit later I brewed the tea again but now in a gaiwan to see how the tea would behave with shorter steeps. And I think now you can see why they call it Jade oolong? The leafs are also intense green. It might be a tea from a more lower area but that doesn't change its complexity. I didn't expect it to be so complex and variable in taste. It was so much fun brewing this tea becaus every steep would taste different. While I was brewing this tea my niece came by and while we were chatting I offered her a cup. She said it reminded her of cauliflower and indeed that particular brew had lots of vegetable nuances in it. I like to let the tea rest between steeps so the aroma's have time to develop and change.
 Also this tea has a perfumy aftertaste I associate with Ali Shan tea's. Perhaps the terroir has to do with it? In the last brew while the leafs were fully unfold the tea got a lot more sweeter and I was able to detect some banana/nectarine flavours. This is just a lovely every day tea which will give me(and maybe you) a lot of fun brewing and experimenting.

The Dahlia's in my yard also started to flower and they look magnificient. Aren't they just gorgeous?My fuchsia's are full of little berries now but I took the picture of the last flower still there. Thanks to tea we are able to enjoy the small things in life like flowers :)

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