Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Peony Tea Shop Jade Oolong
Leaf Appearance: dark green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 45 seconds
Water Temperature: 195 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold
This tea was delicate and floral with a lingering sweet but clean aftertaste. There was also some very faint vegetal notes, almost like fresh baby spinach. It had a buttery mouthfeel and there was no astringency to speak of. I was able to get five fairly uniform infusions before becoming utterly tealogged. I tend to shy away from green oolongs (they upset my stomach sometimes) but this one had a nice balance to it. Once unfurled, the leaves were very large in size. They were the kind of leaves that you just can't help but play around with between steepings. I love tactile teas and this was definitely one of them. Peony Tea Shop is a fairly new company to me but I'm very impressed with this offering and I'm looking forward to trying others in their catalog.
This tea was part of an interesting conversation during a Tea Geek Google + hangout. The tea of the week was Fo Shou (aka Buddha’s hand) but since I did not have any in stock, I chose this tea as it was the most similar tea that I had on hand. Apparently jade oolong is a cultivar that originates in Nantu, Taiwan but it is also used as a general term for a rolled oolong from Taiwan, primarily dong ding. This certainly gave us some food for thought and sparked some wonderful debate on terroir. Is a jade oolong a jade oolong when grown outside of Nantu? We found a lot of comparisons to the world of wine on this topic. When purchasing a jade oolong, buyer beware. You may want to make sure of its origin to make sure that you are getting the real thing.
You can find this tea here.