Thursday, December 23, 2010

Norbu Teas 2010 fall harvest Lao Tai Di Qing Xin Oolong

Winter is here.  That doesn't mean much to me, as the south doesn't get cold like the Dakotas do.  With that seasonal change comes a change in my preference for tea.  The green teas and unroasted Tie Guan Yin fall to the wayside for darker, more robust teas.  In this case, Roasted Formosan Oolong.  It's a new joy of mine, that stuff.
One Heck of a Surprise

I stumbled upon it recently.  I recieved two packages of tea and tea samples, with pu-erhs, greens, oolongs, whites, and even a small packet of sencha from a close friend.  I had no idea what to do, and cue in the little packet of Lao Tai Di Qing Xin Oolong from Norbu.

This fall 2010 harvest didn't impress me at first.  I've had unpleasant experiences with roasted teas in the past, which tended to bias the choices that I make when buying tea or choosing a sample.  Most of these roasted teas were flavorless, bland, bitter, or overwhelmingly smokey.  These Surprising little leaves were delightfully different.
See The Difference? Me Either.

4 grams | 160 degrees | 60s, 40s, 45s, 65s, 90s, 125s, 195s

The infusions were long, I know.  I beleive that a combination of too little leaf and too low of a brewing temperature may have made this happen.  Either that, or the fact that I am not too experienced with brewing roasted oolongs.
The Third Cup

The Key flavors here were a caramel sweetness and floral/buttery notes.  The toasted flavors came and went through each infusion, and seemed to enhance the sweet flavors when the cup was toastier.  This was especially enjoyable.

My favorite infusion was a tie between the second and third infusion.  The toasted flavours mixed perfectly with the  caramel sweetness and floral undertones.  There was even a slight tartness, which in my opinion,  gave better balance to the tea and allowed it's complexity to shine through even more.

That covers the interesting part.  the final 3 cups, or infusions five, six and seven, were merely ghosts of the amazing flavors that were there before.  Next time, I'm using more leaf.

The Leaf.  (Duh)

In closing, try this tea at least once.  The complexity and richness of flavor is tough to beat in a tea at this price range.  Also, the calming effects on this tea was quite substantial.  I figured the caffiene would have gotten me, but I was already prepping for sleep once I put my utensils away.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time.

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