Friday, June 20, 2014

Inventive ways to combat the summer heat

Copyright © 2014 Miss Tea Delight 茶悦人生
An ice-cold beer sounds like the obvious choice of drink for a warm summer day. Hot tea may sound almost counter-intuitive, but in the Middle East, a cup of black tea is very often the most popular beverage ordered from the menu even during sweltering summer months.

Copyright © 2014 Miss Tea Delight 茶悦人生
While kids prefer to cool themselves in the shallow water pools on the marbled mosque compounds, adults prefer their hot cups of tea in the tree shades, very often with cubes of sugar. In our glasses, not, which is why you spot an unopened sugar jar to the left. According to the locals, hot tea cools them down more effectively than an iced drink. The heat from the tea helps them perspire, detox and feel refreshed for longer periods of time.

Copyright © 2014 Miss Tea Delight 茶悦人生
When in the comforts of my personal tea space, I would go for a high mountain oolong that refreshes my palates and overheated surroundings! A Ming dynasty painting of  wild orchids and bamboos adds to the 'cooling effect' of today's chaxi :-) Decorating one's tea table is a rather personal affair. However, the principles remain pretty much similar - a chaxi that offers a visual representation of what you are about to experience and taste! In our case, an Alishan high mountain green oolong tea..

Soft-stemmed oolong from last spring...mmm.. much of the light green and floral scents can still be experienced in this high mountain tea. A porcelain tea pot, warming the teaware beforehand and a strong pour of boiled water will help bring out the best flavours and taste this promising Alishan 2013 Spring Oolong.

My sensory evalutation comprises of the following: colour of brew, scents, taste. 1) Colour of brew is a of a bright, strong yellow and green hue paired with a high level of transparency.

2) A highly complex floral scent that you cannot get enough of and a hint of green apple as I exhale after a few sips of tea. 3) This tea presents itself with a rather high resolution on the tongue, coating it very evenly. It is fruity and has a sugarcane sweetness with no unpleasant roughness especially towards the back of the mouth cavity.

On this day when the thermometer reads above 30 degree celsius temperatures, this oolong quenches my parched throat very well. The aftertaste is long and comfortable as I type, words can flow thanks to the inspiration I get from my already eighth cup of tea. The mind is cool and the soul comforted ;-)

茶悦人生 Cha2 Yue4 Ren2 Sheng1 - Tea as one of life's (affordable) pleasures!

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