Saturday Morning Tea

Pouchong Dry Leaf 09-14-13

Good morning, dear tea friends! I had the most interesting experience yesterday, which I’d like to share with you. As I was driving home from work, I noticed the buildup of huge puffy clouds in the late afternoon sky, however, the sun was still shining brightly on my path. All of a sudden, the heavens opened up and the rain was torrential, pouring down like glittering drops of diamonds through the sun’s rays. It was a magical moment, one that was soon followed by the appearance of a rainbow up in the dark sky as the rain passed. A moment that seemed suspended in time, just like my special moments with a cup of tea in hand.

In my teabowl this morning is a Pouchong tea from Taiwan, called Formosa Pouchong Select.

Pouchong Tea Steeping 09-14-13

A Pouchong tea is a very lightly oxidized green tea. Because of the oxidation, some consider it an Oolong tea. I’d like to think of it as being in its very own category, a unique and distinctive tea. The word “pouchong” means “the wrapped kind”, referring to the ancient practice of wrapping the leaves as they were drying.

Pouchong Tea Wet Leaf 09-14-13

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. As you can see, the leaf is enormous, likening it more to an Oolong tea than a green tea. They barely unfurled while steeping. These bold leaves are perfect for resteeping, if you wish.

A lovely floral fragrance drifted up from my glass teapot as the leaf was steeping.

Pouchong Tea in Teapot 09-14-13

The pale jade tea liquor is gently fragranced with a floral note, which carries over into its taste and notes of fruit add to its complexity. It fills my mouth with its rich buttery flavor, a wonderful experience.

For tea lovers that enjoy scented floral teas and lightly oxidized Oolongs, I highly recommend sampling this tea. And for those looking for a green tea without heavy vegetal notes, this is perfect.

PouchongTeabowl091413

Today I’m going over to the local garden center to check out their selection of spring flowering bulbs. It’s that time of year again to start planning next year’s garden. Tonight a group of us are headed over to Palette’s in Natick to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday. Palettes is a “painting bar” where you can spend an evening painting a masterpiece while sipping your favorite beverage. I always love their fruit and herbal infused water. Last time it was strawberry basil. Mmmm!

Thanks for joining me and sharing a cup of tea today. Stay tuned for next week when I will review either a new second flush Darjeeling or an Assam, newly arrived from India. Cheers!

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

~Roald Dahl

Advertisements

Saturday Morning Tea

As I sit here and sip my tea, I can feel my whole house shake from the strength of the wind outside. It’s a bit unnerving. We’re experiencing an incredible drop in temps from almost 60 yesterday to the 20s later on this afternoon. The winds are sweeping in a big change. What can I say? It’s late winter here in New England…..

On to my tea…. a lovely Pouchong style tea from the Jun Chiyabari estate in Nepal, called Jun Chiyabari Jade. A Pouchong tea is a very lightly oxidized green tea. Because of the oxidation, some consider it an Oolong tea. I’d like to think of it as being in its very own category, a very unique and distinct tea. The word “pouchong” means “the wrapped kind”, referring to the ancient practice of wrapping the leaves as they were drying.

Back in 2000, brothers Lochan and Bachan Gyawali realized their dream of starting their own tea garden/company and Jun Chiyabari, meaning “moon tea garden”, was born. I wrote about their amazing story here.

A recent article in the Nepali Times wrote about their commitment to empowering women in the tea business. Nearly 80% of their over 230 work force is women.

This is a great photo from the article, showing the women gathered round sorting the tea leaves. A circle of women. Very powerful.

They do a great job. Look at the beauty of that intact tea leaf.

I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water. The aroma is sweetly floral, like a lightly oxidized Jade Oolong.

The golden liquor is amazingly sweet, almost as if I had added sugar to my tea. Hints of melon and apricot whisper in the flavor.

I think they’re producing some great teas out of that tea garden. This tea was delicious. And I say “was” because my cup is now empty.

Time to go make another pot!

“You must have a room or a certain hour of the day or so where you do not know what was in the morning paper…a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are, and what you might be…At first you may find nothing’s happening….But if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen.” ~Joseph Campbell

Saturday Morning Tea

pouchongwetleaf.jpg

Pouchong tea. Is it a green tea or is it an Oolong tea? Technically, it is described as a slightly oxidized, or fermented, green tea. Well, so is Jade Oolong tea lightly oxidized. Hmmmm, isn’t it interesting how we as humans always like to put things in a category? Give a label? I like the idea of this tea being in its own little group, its own little tribe. The leaf is very large and twisted and pleated. I had fun arranging the wet leaf in a curling pattern, one leading to the other. The dance of the leaf tribe.

pouchongdryleaf.jpgpouchongcuppa.jpg

Pouchong tea is produced in the Fujian province of China and also in Pinglin Township near Taipei, Taiwan. This tea is often used in scented tea such as jasmine. It doesn’t have the vegetal quality of a green tea but is more floral like a green Oolong.

This morning as I get ready for my show, I am sipping a Formosa Pouchong tea. The liquor is light and fragrant and the aroma of flowers gently drifts from my cup. The floral quality is also apparent in the taste with a light honey note. It reminds me of Jade Oolong but not as heavy sweet. A perfect cuppa to start the day as I venture out to my show on this cold clear morning!