Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ageing gracefully - 2012 Oriental Beauty

2012 Oriental Beauty
Many consider stashing aside pu'er teas because of their high investment potential. Of course with time, storing tea under proper conditions can also transform what used to be pure and fresh tea into something that isn't just very pure in taste, but has mellowed while its flavours have become richer. And I am not discussing pu'er teas alone. Well-made teas such as red or roasted teas can mature equally well over time and are easy to store as long as humidity levels are low and conditions are dark and cool.

For reasons above, I have placed my bet on this two-year old OB which has been deep  roasted. Its dry scents and fragrances after infusing are not as heavy or full-blown when compared to standard Oriental Beauties. Rather, they have more complexity with an overall pleasant bouquet and a depth to match.

To see if this tea is well-made, the brew should display a high level of transparency regardless of its colour.  Porcelain teaware is my favourite material of choice thanks to its non-porous nature that hardly influences the taste and flavour of tea.

It may come as a surprise to some as to why a light-tasting tea like this could evolve well with the passage of time. I will have another go at clarifying this part better. When tasting this tea, the notes felt very light yet pronounced, but not bland. In combination with the complexity and depth of this tea, the elements for a successful recipe of a tea that can age well all seem to be present. Undeniably, intuition also has a role to play in this case, and my goal as a tea drinker is to sharpen my instincts through learning and experience.

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