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Monday, December 13, 2010

Samovar Loose Leaf Oolong Tea 'Bai Hao'

Tea Information:
Tea: Bai Hao
Type: Oolong Tea
Packaging: Loose Leaf
Company: Samovar
Purchase: Here
Description: Really pure awesomeness. The apex of tea, our Bai Hao Oolong harks from nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, in the rugged countryside of Hsinchu Province, Taiwan. Its tippy leaves produce a tropical, floral, sweet, creamy brew. Our Bai Hao Oolong is delicious hot or cold-brewed, and it offers a long patience (an ability to re-infuse countless times).

We suggest brewing it by filling a guywan nearly halfway with tealeaves and infusing them with simmering water for just 30 to 45 seconds. This is a delicate brew, so it's best if you don’t rinse the first infusion. The first brew emanates a young wild rose character, hints of acacia and geranium, and a slight peach and honeydew melon finish. Honey notes persist throughout.

Second and third infusions brew darker, with more caramel tones and stronger stone-fruit and tropical trade-wind notes. Steep for 60 to 90 seconds during subsequent infusions to yield a strong dried fruit flavor and full-bodied astringency.

You can also age this unique oolong tea in a cool, dark, dry place for two to three years. It will improve with age, as some of the floral notes are gradually replaced with a darker, more caramel-rich flavor.

Ingredients: Taiwanese oolong tea.

Steep Information:
Prepared in store. Served in the Duck Eggshell Porcelain Guywan Set with an iron pot of water. I was pretty impressed with myself, for the first time using a guywan I only made a mess the first pour! I went through about 3+ pots of hot water and the tea was still going strong but our food was done, the parking meter was up, and it was time to go to our next scheduled event.

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: vegeal, nutty
Steeped Tea Smell: Very little to no scent
Flavor: light, silky, vegetal nutty
Body: Light to medium as it went on
Aftertaste: not noticeable, but I was also eating
Liquor: translucent yellow green

I had this for breakfast at the Yerba Buena Gardens location. I ordered it as there was no Golden Phoenix Oolong Tea available. The waitress suggested this as an alternative and i enjoyed it. I had the Ginger Quinoa Waffle (Soft like a pillow, heavenly. Served with fresh fruit & real maple syrup) along with this tea.

The location has comfortable benches, outdoor seating, huge windows for natural light and is very cozy. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.

Rating: 3/4 leaves

Leaf system:
1=Bleh! not again if it were free
2=Acceptable, if it were free or there were limited other tea options
3=I might purchase this tea from time to time, or select it while out
4=A staple in our cupboard from now on, I will purchase and keep purchasing

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