Friday, February 22, 2013

My Half Full Glass - February 21st, 2013

Tie Kuan Yin Oolong Tea

I don't really know anything about tea, and I know absolutely nothing about this style or this source (is it reputable or not to start?), but I do know that the tea tastes wonderful!

The text on the side of the tin says that it is an Oolong tea from the Anxi area of Fujian Province in China. The Wikipedia entry confirms the particulars and also has some interesting information about the style and origin. Other web sources identified this style of Oolong as much desired and typically heavier than its siblings.

For me the tea is nutty and earthy, toasted also comes to mind. It is medium bodied with a touch of acidity or tartness in the finish. I've enjoyed it both warm and cool.

What I do know about Oolong tea is that many varieties can be brewed more than once, and in some cases the second or third brewing is the most desirable. I have tried this on a limited number of occasions with several different styles of Oolong experiencing a range of second and third running's; some I liked more than others.

I typically buy my tea at C-Mart on Lincoln Street in Boston. They have a broad selection of basic bulk teas and plenty of "interesting" varieties in bag form. Teas designed for specific maladies are not something I would recommend trying however. I would rather work by varietal and know up front about any added flowers or plants in a more straightforward way!

C-Mart is not a tea shop, actually a full service Asian grocery which is also useful, so I don't believe the teas are "fine" in anyway. That said my experience with several dozen varieties of tea from there has been positive. I typically look for the clean, newer contains and some can be opened to inspect the date sticker on the vacuum sealed package to find the teas that have been sitting in the store the shortest time.



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