Thursday, December 26, 2013

3 brews of Hungshui Oolong from Shan Lin Shi

Roasted Oolongs are challenging to brew well. As the brewer, you are facing the same difficulty as a tea maker: finding the right balance between the roasted and the fresh notes. Each Oolong is roasted differently and to succeed you'll have to know how your leaves have been roasted, so that you can express the characteristics of their roasting level and style.

To master a good tea brewing, it helps to practice several times with the same tea. Why? Because each tea is different and requires some adjustment. It's an interactive process that you fine-tune with the help of your senses, as you analyze each brew.

Today, I would like to show you my first 3 brews of my winter 2013 Hung Shui Oolong from Shan Lin Shi (the strong/high roast version):
What distinguishes this Hungshui Oolong is its high altitude origin and its slow/deep roast (over the span of a week). With such a high quality of leaves, I prefer to use fewer of them and compensate with longer brewing times. This has the advantage of making each session more affordable! And since the brewing times are longer, this tea allows for slower movements and a more peaceful atmosphere: you have less the stress or the concern that you'll over-steep the leaves.

Note: I don't talk during these videos. My silence (and a pleasant Christmas Oratorio) helped me to focus on the brewing.
1st brew: After a good preheating, I pour with controlled strength to make the leaves turn and unfurl well.
2nd brew: I pour carefully on the open leaves and a quick brew, because the leaves have opened up well after the first brew.
3rd brew: I pour with more strength close to the spout.
The leaves have opened nicely and occupy almost all the space in the teapot, but they are not crammed inside. They have the first class (travel) experience: enough room to stretch their legs branches!
A close examination of the open leaves shows that we find a good amount of buds, and that some of the leaves were insect bitten. Even the more mature leaves have opened up and don't feel stiff or burned at all.
The sweet nutty and creamy flavors retain their delicate high mountain freshness. The lingering aftertaste seems never to end. It's a great tea to wish you a merry and warm Christmas season!

Note: On a related note, you can check a recent review of my spring 2011 Shan Lin Shi Hung Shui Oolong by James & Denny at TeaDB.

1 comment:

Leaf said...

Hello ! ^^

Je viens de faire un petit compte-rendu sans prétention de ce thé sur mon blog à ce lien :

Il est en français, mais comme le lien de la liste de thés redirigeait sur cette page, je me suis dit que c'était probablement le meilleur endroit où lier le tout. :)

Merci en tout cas de m'avoir suggéré ce wulong, j'ai passé un très bon moment !