From oolong to Pu’er, and green to black to white, tea offers such a diverse range of tastes and experiences. Choosing a favourite tea can be a challenge, but that’s what this blog series is about: exploring tea in all its diversity.
Tea is one of life’s great companions and the responses below are illuminating. So, brew a cuppa and read on.
And to all our participants and readers: thank you and may your 2017 be fulfilling and adventurous.
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1. Quality loose-leaf tea, from Pu’er to Japanese greens to oolongs
Anne Norman, musician, poet, tea nut, author of Curiosi-tea
I’m pretty much an all-rounder with tea drinking (except I do not enjoy the taste of the component parts of teabags, nor “flavoured” teas.)
At home I have a tea cupboard that in recent years has become a bit of potluck. I am away from home a lot, so when I place a new tea into a caddy and forget to label it and think I will never forget… it’s a mistake.
But then again, coming home and opening up a caddy and inhaling to deciding if that suits my current need, I am often pleasantly surprised.
I recently found a loose-leaf Pu’er that had somehow found its way to the shelf dedicated to green teas. I have no idea which Pu’er it is, but it tastes like a blended matured tea with a very dark liquor, and it has been my staple for the last two weeks.
Some mornings though, I crave the punch of a sencha to kick off the day, but two days ago that ran out, so another potluck caddy brought me a hojicha which I haven’t had for quite some time. It ages well, so it was a lovely find.
A few weeks ago I received two small packets of semi-oxidised teas at slightly different shades of the “blue” spectrum.
The Tie Guan Yin is a gem, very smooth with great low and mid range notes; and the other is a Taiwanese high mountain tea under the label of Jade Mountain. This one has more top end with a sweet fruity aroma and an almost peppery after-taste.
I sipped this one for the first time with a friend by a campfire in Tassie as a lightning storm began.
It was exhilarating on every count! The second infusion I left steeping for longer as we watched the heavens flashing, and it was fuller and more mellow. Alas, a downpour prevented a third infusion, so we missed out on discovering its changing personality.
From the kitchen at home to the wilderness, tea is one of life’s great pleasures. Anne Norman (@Camellia_Cha) on loose-leaf teas. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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You can also connect with Anne here.
2. Chai and Oolong
Belinda McLeod from Belinda McLeod Massage Therapy
It is a toss up between Chai and Oolong. Chai because I love the warmth and spices and Oolong as it is light and flavoursome.
The warmth of chai, and the flavours of oolong: both are irresistible. Belinda McLeod (@belindam73) on her favourite tea. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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3. Raw Pu’er (Puerh)
Andrew Yee from Caravan Tea Tastings
On most days, my tea cup will have a raw (sheng) Puerh tea.
I am fascinated by this tea on so many levels. It can be amazingly complex in both aroma and taste, running the gamut from sweet to bitter, from smokey to floral.
With careful ageing and fermentation, the tea will change over time.
There is the idea of chi/energy/body feel, which is my current interest. Some types of Puerh stimulate while others sedate. Still others warm the body and others cool.
Modern day collectors horde and speculate on future prices of the best vintages. And finally there is the Puerh mythology as the original tea which was introduced to the world via the tea horse road.
Pu’er tea is an all-consuming passion: Andrew Yee (@chinateatasting) on the unique powers and attraction of Pu’er tea. CLICK TO TWEET THIS.
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You can also connect with Andrew here.
And that’s it for part 3 of our series. Got something to add? If you have a story about a favourite tea you’d like to share, let us know.