Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Making your own tests

Admittedly, I am not as diligent as I should be in trying out new teas. Perhaps a part of me is rather satisfied with the collection that I already have. When the weather finally turned for the better last week, I found a renewed level of strength and enthusiasm to revive the scientist in me!

Some noteworthy moments include discovering rather subtle notes in deep roasted teas, noticing very obvious similarities between different tea cultivars as a result of similar processing methods, identifying for myself exactly the kinds of teas I gravitate towards apart from the green unroasted high mountain oolongs, sharing my cup of tea with the neighbour and observing what most people like as opposed to what some people appreciate, etc.

Such tests are made on a levelled field with the use of porcelain or the fancier and more precise silver teaware because clay teaware has the ability to further refine teas. With a few grams of these handsome looking baozhong tea leaves in my preheated cup, I infused the tea in boiled water for 5 minutes because more time allows for a larger release of all things good and bad from the tea (if they exist).

Besides distributing tea amongst cups, the porcelain spoon acts like a magnifying glass. Think of it as a magnified nose, where smells are amplified when the convex side of the spoon is presented close to our nostrils.

Examining the colour of the infusion (right colour for the tyoe of tea you drink, varying intensities of yellowish green in the case of baozhong oolongs), drinking it (clean aftertaste, no churning sensation in the stomach being a good quality indicator) and finally taking a good look (tippy in dried form, buds aplenty) and feel (tenderness) of the spent tea leaves are all part of due diligence that a discerning consumer would undertake!

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