This morning’s tea is a decadent treat.
At approximately $2.25 per cup, it is also an expensive treat! It’s name is quite fitting. Meet Extra Fancy Oolong from Taiwan (Formosa). Extra Fancy indeed.
It is described as a “style of Oolong often referred to as ‘Champagne Oolong’, and exemplifies the art of fine tea manufacture”. We can see how carefully this tea was processed by the full leaf sets still intact.
This tea has been entirely hand processed. From the careful picking of the first two leaves and bud on the tea plant to the drying and shaking of the leaf every hour to bruise and encourage oxidation to the pan roasting that halts the oxidation, the Tea Master who created this tea has synchronized all of these steps perfectly as an art form.
Because Oolong tea is not fully oxidized as is black tea, I steeped the leaves in cooler than boiling point water – about 190 degrees F for 5 minutes.
The deep sherry-colored tea liquor smells like ambrosia, giving off an aroma of fresh peaches. I can’t wait to take my first sip which fills my mouth with notes of ripe fruit, rich and syrupy. Oh, what a treat!
I know it’s a tradition to have a glass of champagne at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Why not enjoy a cup of “champagne” tea instead?
What a wonderful way to welcome in a brand new year!
Until next time, dear tea friends…
To listen to the songs of birds, I skipped the evening meditation,
enjoyed a patch of grass by the edge of an ancient mountain stream.
Pleasure recollected depends on a beautiful phrase;
the appreciative mind meets with a close friend.
Spring water cries out in a rocky valley;
pine trees echo when wind is coming.
I drank a cup of tea and watched the flowing and stillness.
Quietly and naturally I seemed to forget the return of time.