Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bao Zhong from Teas, Etc

Scent in package: very light floral
Brewed in: tea for one w/metal infuser
Steeped: 3 min@ 180 deg., 4 min. @ 180 deg.
Cup: Café mug at work

Sigh. I received this green oolong tea as a sample in my last order from Teas, Etc., and waited to try it, because I wanted to make sure I had time for at least a few infusions. The sample was only big enough to brew once, so I wanted to make it last. I got two infusions yesterday before I ran out of time, and that was enough to get me completely hooked. I want more!

The tea brews up extremely light – it looks like plain water when pouring it until over half the cup is filled. The end result is a super-light yellow liquor that reminds me of a white tea more than a green or oolong. It’s beautiful, and when you hold it up to your nose, a honey-sweet floral scent wafts up gently out of the cup. It’s very light and delicate, but provocative, especially in the somewhat thick texture that lingers on the tongue. The aftertaste is sweet and mild, and stimulates a very relaxed state of mind.

With many oolongs, the second infusion is much different than the first, and the third is something else entirely. This particular tea was constant in the second infusion – same viscosity, same lovely scent, same relaxing floral sweetness. It was almost too relaxing for work, but at the same time, a welcome respite from the afternoon doldrums.

Needless to say, I enjoyed this tea very much, and wasn’t terribly surprised when I looked up the price on the web site, and found that 1 oz. would cost me $7.95, or I could get 3oz. for $19.95. But I will have to have more…I feel like I’ve only skimmed the surface of this tea, and with two incredibly constant infusions right from the start, I’m curious to see what else these beautiful green leaves have in store. I would not hesitate to serve this tea to guests…I’m positive it will be enjoyed by whoever drinks it. For a bit of luxury, try some…you won’t regret a single minute, and I have a feeling you’ll get more than your money’s worth from it!

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