Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Oolong tea, lemongrass, peppermint

"Oolong means "black dragon" in Chinese.  When you blend oolong with the bright, fresh flavours of lemon and mint, it's a different creature altogether."

A zesty wake-up tea that is fresh and enjoyable, but not a flavor you can drink in large quantities.  I mean, it's not sexy and intriguing like a chocolate-strawberry tea or even a chocolate-mint tea, but it's great to try out.  Expect an invigorating flavor with a subtle aroma, so have it with breakfast, but not before bed.  If you have ever used the Sandstone Soap from LUSH Cosmetics (one of my absolutely favorite morning shower must-haves), you will know exactly the vibe of this tea.

The smell of the dry leaves is absolutely delightful.  It would make a brilliant potpourri in your kitchen.  The oolong tea leaves are curled into tiny balls, a result of the tea leaves being rolled in muslin bags after withering and oxidation.  Blades of lemongrass in various sizes are scattered throughout the green mix of mint and tea leaves.

Oolong teas provide vital antioxidants which promote healthy skin and teeth and contain important vitamins (A, B, C, E, K) and minerals such as calcium, manganese, copper, carotin, selenium, and potassium.  Oolong's high caffeine content mixed with theophylline and thobromine are believed to stimulate the nervous system upon consumption and can help to improve mental functions.  The folic acid content helps convert foods into energy and the alkaloids present help the body detox. Studies have also shown that drinking oolong tea decreases stress and aids in controlling diabetes.

DAVIDsTEA recommends steeping 1 1/2 teaspoons of dry tea per cup for 4-7 minutes in 201 ̊F water.  Tea becomes a light goldenrod color that is extremely translucent.  The tea is so clear that is is as if you are looking through a dark yellow light filter.  If you have a glass tea pot, it's fun to watch the leaves unfurl as the tea steeps.  Because oolong is a whole leaf tea (which unfurls from little twists and curls), the same leaves can be infused up to 3 or 4 times.  Traditionally, oolong leaves are infused first for 10-20 seconds to prime them, emptying out the tea that has been created so that they are cleansed of tea dust, and then allowed to steep again, creating tea to consume.

Take a deep breath in, inhaling the smooth and gentle blend of lemon, mint, and tea.  The aroma is subtle and sweet with a mild bitterness that swirls through the nostrils and hits the back of the nose with a subtle blend of lemon and mint.  Very delicate, nothing overwhelming.

The blast of lemony flavor after breathing in the faint aroma may come as a surprise.  Although the lemon is prominent, the strong herbal flavor of the mint pulls in a very close second.  The flavors stay close to the front of the palate with a zing around the sides of the tongue to the back of the throat as you swallow and exhale through the nose.  A blast of flavor with a superficial taste and delicate lingering after taste.  It is undoubtedly a fresh-morning-shower wake-up tea.  Yellow Dragon is also very refreshing as a cold or iced tea, so keep that in mind.



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