Friday, September 25, 2015

Dachi Tea: No 7 Oriental Beauty Oolong, A Tea Review

I totally fell asleep during my MRIs yesterday, I just want everyone to know this fact. So first was the EEG which all the strobe lights and fast breathing in the world could not make me have a seizure...though I did find out that even when I am asleep my eyes never stop moving so much so that the technician felt the need to point it out, even having it where my eyes were open while I was asleep, which made for some amusing results. Also I had a hard time falling into a deep sleep while being in a dark room with a comfy chair. But, put me in a tube with loud banging and crazy laser noises and I go right to sleep...I should point out this was also after I chugged the entire much needed contents of my travel steeper full of oolong. This just goes to show you that the brain is a weird thing, They think I should have results of the MRIs on Monday, and the way the tech went from cracking jokes to very comforting and not letting me see my brain at the finish has me hoping that he just thought I was exhausted. In all seriousness though, I want an MRI tube to sleep in, they are quite relaxing.

Today we are looking at a tea that I honestly need to look at more, but it seems that I frequently forget it exists, which is pretty unforgivable since it is a bug-bitten beauty. Oriental Beauty to be exact! This is Dachi Tea's No 7 Oriental Beauty Oolong, grown in the northern low elevation triangle (I didn't know there was one of those, which is cool) between Miaoli, Shiding, and Hsinchu, plucked during the summer, once a year, Bai Hao (this tea's other name) is the fancy stuff, like all those bug-bitten treasures it tends to be both rare and pricey. And totally worth the price (I may or may not be obsessed with bug-bitten teas, I blame my love of leafhoppers) I also blame the Concubine Oolong for my tendency for forgetting the graceful Oriental Beauty exists, for shame. So, how does this one smell, so first let me say I got a bit of a surprise with this one, the first note I detect is ever so gentle peppery nasturtiums. After that there is a burst of sweetness, rich brown sugar and sugar cane, scuppernongs, and muscadines, and a finish of honey and delicate flowers. This is a very sweet Oriental Beauty, and with a suitableness I appreciate.

The wet leaves are so colorful, definitely one of my favorite things about Oriental Beauty, shades of browns, greens, and reds remind me of autumn leaves. The aroma is sweet and slightly delicate while being very distinct, it is graceful like a silk scarf in the breeze. Notes of honey and grapes, specifically more like muscadines, and a finish of allspice. The liquid is like sniffing a honey drizzled muscadine grape, ah, like a juicy bite out of my childhood.

The first steep is sweet and very smooth, again the silk scarf in a breeze image comes to my mind, this tea is silky and gentle, distinct while light. The taste starts out with sweetness, a juicy burst of muscadine grapes and and honey sweetness, it starts gently and swells to an intense sweetness. The finish is sweet and the aftertaste is one of grapes.

Second steep time, the color is as rich as autumn leaves, and the aroma is sweet and wonderfully muscatel, honey and grapes mix with just a touch of sugar cane. The taste is sweet and gentle, me thinks that is a theme with this tea, along with its silky mouthfeel. It starts with notes of honey and juicy muscadines and moves into rich honey and a touch of allspice. This finishes with muscadines and a sweet lingering honey.

The third steep comes in with beautifully large leaves in a practical rainbow of leafy colors. The taste keeps in theme, silky, gentle and sweet. I found it did not really evolve much throughout steeping, just sweet muscadines and honey with occasional spices. It is pleasant, the muscadine notes remind me of late summer feasting during my childhood and the gentle sweetness I found to be peaceful.

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