Tasting Notes: Smooth amber liquor with notes of floral honey and warm cinnamon.
2019 was not a great year for the production of Guei Fei, or Concubine Tea, which is why we feel particularly fortunate to receive this special low quantity lot produced and gently roasted by our new source, Mrs. Lin.
This bug bitten oolong hails from the production area for the famous Taiwanese oolong Dong Ding; the variation in color of the leaves shows the moderate level of oxidation. A beautiful amber color in the cup, this tea is wonderfully fragrant with aromas of flowers, warm honey and cinnamon. It is well balanced, full and silky smooth, with a soft, sweet finish that will satisfy anyone who enjoys the honeyed character of bug bitten teas.
Read more about the story of Guei Fei on our blog, here.
Like most oolongs, Guei Fei re-steeps well, especially when brewed in the traditional manner using a gaiwan. Traditional brewing will generally yield up to 8 steeps and tea drinkers using Western-style brewing can anticipate 4-6 steeps. Remember to rinse your leaves first and steep for increasing time intervals on each subsequent steep!
Oolong teas, often tightly twisted or rolled, may be first "rinsed" before being infused. To rinse the tea, simply cover it in 195 degree water directly in the pot. This water, after about twenty seconds, should be poured off. Pour new 195 degree water over the leaves and steep for 3-5 minutes depending on the tea and your taste. As with Pu Er, our high quality oolongs may be infused three or more times and will yield an uniquely expressive cup each time.
What is Oolong Tea?
Oolong is the broad family of teas that encompasses a range of oxidations of the tea leaves from 10% to 70% and is nestled between the families of the lesser oxidized greens and the more fully oxidized blacks. The Chinese have mastered the art of oxidation through centuries of crafting and have shared their craft with the Taiwanese, who have been producing exceptional oolongs for only a handful of decades. The type of cultivar grown, the geographical vastness and the a range of production techniques all contribute to this diversified category of tea. As a general rule, lesser oxidized oolongs have a tendancy to be more delicate and floral while more oxidized oolongs can be more woody, honeyed and fruity.
Health Benefits of Oolong Tea
Congratulations, if you are drinking tea, you have already chosen an incredible, healthful beverage. Tea is considered in many cultures to have medicinal properties. All tea comes from the same plant family, camellia sinensis, and therefore all types and styles contain the same components that contribute to significant health benefits. Influence of the varietal, growing conditions, production techniques, and your brewing practices all play roles in antioxidant and caffeine levels in your cup. So enjoy a cup of tea, any tea, and know that you are drinking health.