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The Subject: Sumatra Oolong Barisan from TeaGschwendner.
Tea type: Oolong
Scents, flavorings, etc.: N/A
Aroma, dry: Fresh, planty, grassy
Aroma in the cup, plain: Fresh, planty, grassy
Taste, plain: Mild, smooth, planty, no aftertaste
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste, enhanced: N/A
2nd Infusion: About equal to 1st
3rd Infusion: Slightly lighter than 2nd
Chilled: Weak, hay-like edginess, not recommended
This is one of the teas we purchased during our visit to the TeaGschwendner store in Raleigh, NC. It was a bit of a drive for us, so we wanted to make the most of the trip by bringing home some high-quality teas. The quality of this tea is an indication that we did well.
Ever true to the tea principles of the Little Yellow Teapot, we followed the label directions when preparing the hot version of this tea:
3g tea (2 heaping teaspoons) per 8oz. cup of filtered water, boiled and cooled to 90˚C/194˚F. Allow to brew 2 min.Note: If you don’t own a thermometer that you can use to test the water temperature, just let the water sit for about a minute.
Since this is a full leaf tea, multiple infusions were possible, so we did 3. (You could probably do more with little degradation in flavor and aroma). The flavor of the 1st infusion was very much more like a green tea than oolongs we’ve had in the past. The pale yellow-green liquid was very mild, smooth, planty, and virtually no aftertaste until it had cooled a bit, when a slight edginess became apparent. The 2nd and 3rd infusions were each more green in color and slightly lighter in flavor. All were excellent.
Some tea leaves dry and some after 3 infusions:
As you can see, the dry tea leaves, all bunched into rolled clumps, open wide and fill the teapot when steeped. They are also very green. Keep in mind how large they get when you’re deciding how much of the dry leaves to put in the teapot.
We need to note something here: this oolong has been oxidized so little that it looks, smells and tastes very much like a green tea. As lovers of the more oxidized oolongs, this was new to us. However, we selected it at the store because the aroma of the dried tea leaves was so enticing. This experience has prompted us to add a ranking bar to this and any future reviews of oolongs. See my posting about what this ranking means.
Nevertheless, our congratulations to Ryan Hinson, Store Manager, and his staff, Richard and Griffin, on another excellent hot tea.
A tea liquid as beautiful as this one certainly deserves to be sipped from a dainty glass teacup and saucer, like the one shown here that we purchased during our visit to their store.
It’s so delicate, though, that we keep it boxed up for special tea occasions like this. I tend to be a bit of a butterfingers.
Disclaimer: We bought this tea during our visit to the store. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.