Tuesday, August 3, 2010

High Mountain Oolong

Some connoisseurs claim that this is the ultimate masterpiece in the art of Chinese tea. It’s grown in the Taiwanese mountains, where cool morning dew is quickly dispelled by hot sun, creating a leaf that’s richly flavourful. To release the precious oils, it’s rolled and partially dried over and over again in a meticulous, handmade process requiring a tea master. So delicate, so pungent, so alluring.

A few months back, I went on a day trip to Edmonton with some friends. On this trip, I made my very first visit to DAVIDsTEA. While I was there I purchased the High Mountain Oolong, just for something new and different. Since then, I have probably tried it 3 or 4 times on different occasions.

I have to say, I wasn't all that fond of it at first, but I find that it is starting to grow on me, mostly because it's so darn confusing. The colour of the leaves is quite light, as is the liquor when it's brewed, and it smells light and slightly floral, but the flavor is actually quite roasty, like you might expect from a much darker oolong tea. It's not as delicate as it lets on! I don't love it yet, but I have to admit that I'm fascinated with it. This is the amazing thing about oolongs - nothing is impossible when it comes to flavor!

Pu-erh Ginger

I have always had this terrible tendancy to over eat & I used to wind up feeling awful for the rest of the day. That was until last year when I started working at Elixir, and I discovered Pu-Erh Ginger. This tea is amazing! It's better than Pepto for a sore stomach, and it's a heck of alot more appetizing.

We all know that ginger is good for your stomach - I had to chug ginger ale when I had the flu as a kid - but not alot of people are familiar with pu-erh's benefits.

Pu-erh is actually the least known type of tea (and I think it's the most interesting).  Unlike any other type of tea, pu-erh is fermented. (Often, black and oolong teas are called 'fully fermented' or 'partially fermented', but this is incorrect. They're actually oxidized, but the Chinese use the same word for both oxidation and fermentation, which has caused a translation confusion. What happens when you cut open an apple and it browns is oxidation (purely a chemical reaction) - the creation of wine is fermentation (carried out through the actions of microbes)). Pu-erh can be very valuable, as it (again, unlike any other tea) gets better with age.

Pu-erh helps to boost blood flow which aids in the removal of toxins. It has an amazing ability to break down oily and fatty foods and aid in digestion. The combination of this Chinese "Wonder Tonic" and ginger creates an amazing stomach soothing blend. Even more important is that it's really delicious!
Pu-erh can often taste very earthy, musky and even dirty! I am a big pu-erh fan, but lots of people don't enjoy it, because of it's earthy flavor. Pu-erh Ginger is earthy but not overly so - the ginger is the star! The flavor is full bodied, sligtly spicy with a hint of cirtus! Yum! I feel as good as new and as an added bonus, I can usually get 4 or 5 steeps off of one tablespoon of leaves. I'm working on my third infusion now, and I'm still going strong! I would seriously reccomend this tea to anyone suffering from digestion problems, a sickness like the flu or even a store stomach because you've eaten too much.

More about Pu-erh Ginger available here!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Orange Blossom Oolong

Today I’m feeling nostalgic! When I was in high school a friend and I would have tea at the Oolong Tea House in McKenzie Towne all the time. Since graduating we haven’t seen very much of each other. I also haven’t been to a tea shop that is not my own in what feels like ages, so I figured it was about time for some tea from Oolong.

I love how it looks!
(hate how it smells)

"Orange Blossom is a blend of Oolong teas from Taiwan, Sri Lanka and India. This loose leaf tea is combined with jasmine petals, fruit peel and natural flavors giving it a light, airy character with delicate orange flavor. This is an excellent beverage with morning toast and marmalade. The aroma will leave others wondering what's in your cup, so make enough to share. Orange Blossom Oolong tea also makes a refreshing and exotic iced tea."

I really like oolongs but I was really wasn't feeling this tea at first because the dry leaves smell like old lady. Surprisingly, I actually liked it! The orange didn’t over power the flavor of the tea, which often happens flavored teas. It has a roasty flavor and a very subtle citrus twist.