Archive for juli 2011

Another tea from from Simply Tea, http://www.simplytea.dk.

Region: Anxi Mountains, Fujian Province, China
Style: Semi-ball rolled
Price: 258 kr – 100 gr (sold for 134,- kr 50 gr)

Steeping: 2 g, 200 ml, 98 C, 3-5 min, 5 or more times (Steeping in a small amount, I would recommend many short steepings ( fx 1. 30 sec  2. 20 sec  3. 30 sec 4. 30 sec  5. 60 sec …)

The homepage tells: “Most commercial Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess) are grown about 400 m, but this high altitude oolong is grown far away from the city and its people, approx. 800 meters high, in mist-covered mountains. The result is a tea rich in amino acids with a complex aroma and slight hints of citrus. Tea master is very careful to keep the leaves whole to create a smooth flavor that is never bitter. This is a special tea made entirely of leaves of Tie Guan Yin bush.”

This is one of the light oxidised, “green” oolongs, must be about 25-30% of oxidation. Small dark green balls of rolled leaves unfold into huge green wet leaves steeping after steeping,… much more than in the picture, which is from the 1. or 2. steeping.  Some of them with oxidized, brown edges.The aroma is light, the liquor light transparent yellow, and the flavour light, floral. It goes on and on, still light and floral after many infusions.

A good one, delicious!

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Oolong are so different, depending on region, tea bush varity and level of oxidation and roasting:
1) As I can understand, the origin is in the Fujian province, in the north, in the Wu Yi Mountains (Wu Yi Rock tea, yancha). Here the dark oolongs (wulong) are produced, with a high oxidation and high roasting. (Dark oolongs are said to smell like different kinds of fruit.)
2) In the southern part of Fujian, they tried to make the same tee, but because of the other region, climate and tree varieties, it had to be done different. So they are making the very light oxidized/green oolongs (Tie Guan Yin). (Light/green oolongs are said to smell like flowers.)
3) Further south in the Guangdong province, again you find highly oxidized/dark oolongs (as Feng Huang).
4) The last category are oolongs from Taiwan, typically very light oxidized/green oolongs. Some compressed to small balls, other as loose leaf tea.

One of the two teas I bought at Simply Tea, Aarhus, (www.simplytea.dk) is a Wu Yi rock tea: “Premium Rou Gui, medium roasted”. 

Region: Central Wu Yi Shan, Fujian, China
Style: Open-leaf style (3 leafs) = zhong kai mian)
Harvest: maj 2010
Price: 248 kr – 100 g (sold for 128 kr – 50 gr)

Their homepage says (my translation): “Central Wu Yi Mountains with their earth rich in minerals. Strong and full taste with hints of dark chocolate. Long lasting aftertaste, leaving a light sweetness and aroma. Rich flavour. Many infusions.”

And the leaves are very, very dark. The tea liquor beautifully orange, like a light darjeeling, but with this distinct oolong roasted flavour and some fruity taste. And it was elderflower-time, as you can see…


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Simply Tea, Århus.

Draget af thé-husets indre, spørges der til Oolong og andre duftende théer. Fra hylderne drages indbydende poser, og klippes op. Duften vælter ud. Tættere på théen! Tættere på forklaringen af dens mystiske navne. For eksempel ”Rou Gui” betyder Kanel, på grund af thé-busken af samme navn, højt oppe i kinesiske bjerge, hvor tågen råder, og ingen af byens støj når frem og forstyrrer. ”Da Hong Pao” betyder Rød Kappe, efter historien om en kejser, der igennem theen fra disse buske fik kureret sin mor fra en sygdom. For at ære og beskytte de særligt udvalgte buske, lagde han en rød kappe om dem. Og bladets farve er rød og mørk og mystisk også, de lange snoede blade lover godt. De antager nyt liv i skålen med låg, hygger sig, varmer op, folder sig ud, giver liv til vandet, der omgiver det. De æteriske olier forbliver inde, transformerer vand til berusende thé, cha, chai, thé, tea. Væske tages fra, smagen i bladene skal bevares og ikke udnyttes fuldt ud, skal gemmes til flere og uddybende trækninger. Den mættede duft, der orangerøde farve, ristet, sød og fuld og den femte smag umami fordeler sig bagom i munden. Energien fordeler sig i kroppen. Saligheden breder sig i sindet.

Tågede bjerges
duft magisk transformeret
til livets eleksir –

kh Ulla

PS. De tre theer jeg smagte, og som er vist på billedet, fra venstre til højre, er: 1) Tie Guan Yin High Mountain Anxi Oolong, 2) Da Hong Pao Oolong let- eller mellemristet, og 3) Premium Rou Gui Oolong mellemristet.

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This discription was quite good for me to have a bit of an idea how to procede. I found it in the book “A Passage to Chinese Tea”, Purple Cane Enterprise, 1999. I hope there are no problems showing it here, else, please tell me.

1. Getting ready – place utencils in proper order on a tea tray or similar. Hot water in a kettle and tea close by. Relax.
2. Getting tea leaves – use a scoop to transfer tea leaves to a tea receptacle. Appreciate tea leaves.
Amount of tea:
1/4 full w fine straight green tea / 1/3 full w compr. aged pu erh
1/2 full w compact oolong / nearly 1/1 full w loose crooked oolong 

3. Warming the teapot – pour water with left hand, close lid.
4. Warming the pitcher – pour water from teapot into pitcher with right hand.
5. Warming the tea cups – pour water from pitcher into all the cups, from left to right, right to left, and left to right.
6. Putting tea leaves into the teapot – open lid, use a tea scraper.
7. Shaking the teapot – lift with right hand and pat lightly against the left palm.
8. Warming up/rinsing – pour hot water in the teapot, remove quickly by pouring it into pitcher.
9. The 1. brewing – pour water into teapot, replace lid.
Water temperature:
Green tea (60-)80C / semi-ferm. oolong (82-)95C / Compr. tea 100C
10. Pouring over teapot – pour rinsing water from pitcher over teapot and let soak for a while.
Brewing time: 
Generally for oolongs, 30 sec for the 1. brewing, 20 sec for the 2. brewing, 30 sec for the 3. brewing
11. Drying of teapot – lift up teapot, wipe the bottom on a tea towl to make it dry
12. Pouring out the tea – pour all the tea into the pitcher.
13. Emptying the warm water from the cups – using a pincer, tip each cup over the tray, emptying it – start left.
14. Pouring the tea into the cups – equally from left to right.
15. Serving the tea – place each cup on a saucer and serve.
16. Savouring the tea –  sniff the aroma, look at the color, taste the tea!
17. The 2. brewing – repeat earlier steps, serve.
18. The 3. brewing – repeat earlier steps, serve.
19. Discarding of the sediments – use a scraper to remove the tealeaves.
20. Cleaning the teapot – pour hot water into and over the teapot, empty.
21. Tidying up – return saucers, pour hot water in pitcher, then in cups, empty, turn cups around.

This might just give a short idea, since the pictures are missing…

Best tea-regards,

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The other tea from Tee Gschwendner in Flensburg, Germany. I was luck I bought at least 50 gr of this one, because it turned out SO good: “Nepal Oolong Jun Chiyabari”.

Region: Dhankuta District, Nepal
Style: Open-leaf style
Price: 85,75 kr (11,50 EURO) – 100g

The homepage says: “Magical carefully rolled oolong speciality, from the Dhankuta district, Nepal. Gently floral, slightly nutty with golden-yellow color in the cup.”

The dry leaves have a not very even color, some greener, some darker oxidized. First I thought that to show a lesser quality, but it surely does not apply to this oolong.  It seemes to be  medium oxidized, and makes a fresh orange color of tea liquour. The 2. and 3. brewings are best, the taste keeps changing (what is most interesting about oolongs), and it keeps going after so many infusions. Even after it stood the night over, I had another cup, a bit weak, but still clean and light greenyellow and lightly fragrant…! The wet leaves show quite small ones in different states of oxidation.

Here the pictures:

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A trip to Flensburg in germany, and I returned with some samples of Oolong tea, from the teashop Tee Gschwendner in the pedestrian street, http://www.teegschwendner.de. Wanting to know more about oolong, I went home with a bag of Nepal Oolong, and a taste 5 gr size of “Oolong Sumatra Barisan”. A surprising place to get oolong from, but it gave me a great time.

Region: Sumatra, Indonesia
Style: Semi-ball rolled (if I remember, photos are missing)
Price: 65,50 kr – 100g

The homepage writes: “A gauzy, nearly green oolong from Indonesia, that can match the good oolongs from Taiwan. Tea liquor: jade green. Soft, vegetable-like, full of alive freshness.” – Price: 100 g 8,80 EURO.

My experience: It was light, fresh and yellow green like good green teas, but with the typical floral, orchid-like aroma of lightly oxidised oolongs. Nice and clear, still good after 3-4 re-brewings, and even after that.

I used a lidded teabowl from China, called gaiwan, with dark purple clay on the outside, but white and shiny pocelain on the inside, making it possible to enjoy the unfolding of the tealeaves, and watching the colour of the tea “liquor”.

A picture of the wet leaves shows their size, I am quite amazed, how big oolong leaves are, compared to all the chinese green teas I have been drinking. But big obviously does not mean less quality, I learned that… aren´t they beautiful, the leaves?

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One of the small teapots I am dedicating to oolong tea only – and this one only for the light oxidised oolongs like Tie Guan Yin. I found it on a market, the sellers said it was from Taiwan, and they thought it was for children use, for their dolls… it holds 200 ml and gives to medium sized cups, or four smaller cups in the chinese tea ceremony. When I drink alone, I use an even bigger teabowl, where all 200 ml fit in. I put a matchbox in the first picture to show the tiny size.

Holding it and pouring from it, you put our  forefinger on top of the lid, and grab the handle with your thumb and the rest of the fingers.

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