Saturday, June 20, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #25 - Osmanthus Oolong
The elusive Dong Ding I ordered, it turns out, is being shipped from *China* and not the California office I assumed, and goodness only knows when it will arrive. So I'm moving right along to the next tea on my list, Osmanthus Oolong.
Category: Oolong Tea
Purveyor: Harney & Sons
Dry leaf appearance: Large chunks of leaf with a few tiny bits of yellow osmanthus blossoms scattered throughout.
Wet leaf appearance: Large bits of tea leaf, but choppier and not as whole as with some of the other recent oolongs.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 3-1/2 minutes.
Scent: The wet leaf reminded me of something woodsy/earthy, and the liquid itself was almost reminiscent of the "roasted" scents in some of the green teas I tried. Interesting.
Color: Medium gold.
Flavor: This tea definitely had a different characteristic than the previous oolongs I've sampled. That woodsy/earthy thing was present in the taste, and I was reminded very, very slightly of the puerhs I've tried. Just a bit.
Additional notes: Michael Harney comments on what he calls the "ingenious" pairing of this lesser grade oolong (as compared with the Ti Guan Yin) with the osmanthus flowers. He says scientists have shown that "teas oxidized 40 percent or more, like this oolong, develop the same carotenoid aromatic compounds, called 'ionones' and 'damascones,' that form the classic apricot and cooked peach flavors in the fruits and in the osmanthus flowers. Osmanthus is a delightful, muted dark oolong, lovely for everyday drinking."
Next week's tea: Dong Ding Ramalamadingdong (OK, I made that up) or Fenghuang Shuixian