Floating Leaves Tea Home ---Shiuwen's Blog!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tea Roast

I purchased a tea roaster during my 2004 trip to Taiwan. I used it a couple of times in the tea house, but I never really put it to work. In 2005 I visited my old tea friend, Mr. Tsai. He does lightly roasted Oolong very well. I was with him many times when he was roasting tea. The fragrance of tea roasting was so beautiful.

It takes about 6 to 7 hours to finish a lightly roasted Oolong for him. After a couple of hours, my smelling senses will be numb. One time in the tea roasting process, I asked Mr. Tsai why he went to change the temperature. He said: " Didn't you notice that the smell just changed?" I ran outside of his tea shop and ran back in, hoping that I could really detect any change, but I couldn't. After that, I was paying much more attention to any changes of smell in a tea roasting.
Because of my friend Xiao FengZi, I am drinking more roasting Oolong now. I decided I am going to make my own House Roasted Oolong for the tea shop. And I did! My first batch is only 3 pounds and it took 10 days to roast it to the way that I liked. Many people tried it and liked it so it's all gone now.

I started a second batch about 2 weeks ago. This time I was more ambitious. I roasted 5 pounds. The tea base is a lightly oxidized Jin Xuan. I started the temperature at 70C and when I detect changes in the smell, I stir the tea. I heard that it's very important to stir the tea when there's a change in the smell to make a good roasted tea. In about a week of time, I almost lost confidence because the tea didn't taste right. Its taste was between a green and a roasted oolong. But I didn't want to give up. I continued to roast the tea and the temperature went up to 100C. I tried to play it safe and didn't want to burn the tea. The final product was a chocolate-like, sweet roasted Oolong. It's nothing fancy, but I am very satisfied with the result.

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