Name of Tea — Waikato Oolong from the Rare Tea Co
Steeping Tea Method — (First steep) steeped in a French press to allow quick and complete separation of leaves from tea. (See Note on steeping below.) This particular tea was steeped three times with a quick wash prior to first steeping. First steep was for approximately three minutes, second and third were for the same amount of time as the liquor color quickly become the desired coloration to provide what I expected from an unroasted oolong.
The water temperature at the beginning of the steep was 195 degrees Fahrenheit. I personally do not like my teas to be any hotter as I feel my mouth is busy recuperating from the heat and not able to appreciate the tea flavors.
First Steeping — provided a very strong asparagus flavor with an astringent bite. Although okay, I did not find this pleasing and felt perhaps I had steeped the tea longer than was necessary.
Second Steeping — Although steeped for the same amount of time as the first, this steeping did not provide the strong asparagus aroma or taste. I was very pleased to discover a very sweet pea taste with a strong buttery mouth feel and after taste. This was definitely a pleasing cuppa. I am thinking the next time I steep this oolong I will discard the initial wash and the first steeping to get directly to this most pleasing cuppa.
Third Steeping — Once again, I steeped the tea for the same amount of time as the desired coloration developed quickly. (Yes, I do have a desired color of the tea I prefer.) Once again, the tea provided a delicious buttery sweet pea flavor and mouth feel of freshness. Definitely a breath of spring in each cuppa following the initial first cup.
Note on French Press Steeping — I do not claim to be a tea master or sommelier but do know what teas I like and appreciate. I use the French press in order to completely separate the leaves from as much water as possible between each steeping. After the tea has steeped I pour the tea into a glazed ceramic tea pot — being certain to remove as much water/tea as possible. I then shake the leaves to add sufficient air to allow drying of the leaves between steepings. Granted this might not be the most desirable way to do subsequent steepings but I have found great success with this method.
Although I only steeped the tea three times, I feel certain this particular Oolong would have provided a delicious cuppa for at least two-three additional steepings.
I am, discovering the great pleasure of a cuppa of tea from the Rare Tea Company. . .
The Tea And Hat Lady