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After dinner tea:

Wuyi Oolong from Mighty Leaf

As my regular readers might recall, I reviewed a wuyi oolong not too long ago–one from Rishi Tea. Oolongs are very complex and varied in flavor, and, for that, I truly appreciate this category of the camellia sinensis plant.

Oolongs are between a black and green tea in oxidation: somewhere between 10 to 75 percent.

According to Mighty Leaf’s web site, this “Wuyi Oolong made in China’s Northern Fujian Wuyi mountains is well known for its smooth and rich body and taste. Long, beautiful twisted leaves impart a roasty aroma and produce a sweet, nuanced cup.”

Nuanced is the perfect word to describe this tea. You definitely get the roasted, smoky flavor found in most oolongs, but there are hints of the sweet “caramelization” of this tea that might be even more rewarding had I added sweetner.

This tea holds up well to multiple steepings, and gets better with every sip. You don’t want this cuppa to end.


Post-lunch tea:

Silver Needles (a white tea) from Narien Teas

Back on March 23 of last year, I reviewed my first white tea. I was not too fond of the unadulterated white tea at that point in my limited tea drinking experience. All that has changed.

Today I am drinking a white tea from Fujian province called Yin Zhen, often known as Silver Needles. This tea, according to the book Harney & Son’s Guide to Tea, is “widely considered the best white tea in the world.”

The tea is very subtle in flavor, with a hint of floral high notes such as jasmine. According to the book previously quoted, “Yin Zhen can sometimes begin tasting only of water. But it quickly blooms in the mouth to show a light sugar sweetness, dulled with gentle vegetal flavors of steamed bok choy. Some versions also have faint ‘heat’ notes, like toasted white bread.”

I feel my tea drinking has come full circle. I am now able to appreciate a fine quality white tea that before left me screaming, “What, this tastes of boiled water!”

Check out Narien Teas next time you are in need of quality tea.

Tonight’s before bed teatime gave me the opportunity to taste an Organic Sencha from Rishi Tea.

To me, this Japanese green tea reminds me of a fine beer. It has a full-bodied flavor like that of the aforementioned beverage and tastes of the land. I kept the temperature at 180 degrees, which according to my tea thermometer is the maximum for a green tea, and steeped for four minutes. I used one and one half teaspoons of the tea leaves for a bolder flavor, as suggested by the packaging. Another recommendation stated that the tea held up to multiple steepings. I will have to try it the next time I brew this sencha.

This green tea is very high quality. Sencha is a personal favorite of mine. While many say that the green tea genmaicha is a comfort tea for them, I would argue that sencha is a soothing companion to the ailing stomach or for those with the winter blues.