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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oolong Refresh/Roast Part I

This past week, I did two really fun tea refresh/roast classes. Here are some results:

During the first class, we worked on a Buddha's Hand Oolong I received in Spring 2012. The bag of tea was rolled up, but it had not vacuum sealed after I opened it last year. The tea was a bit stale and it lost some of its strength. I initially thought to turn it into a medium roasted tea, but didn't like the results from my experimentation. The "Buddha's Hand" fruit taste disappeared quite a lot through the roasting. I roasted a second batch and intended to preserve the Buddha's Hand tea flavor. I touched this tea up in my mini tea roaster for just about an hour: 40C for 30 minutes and then 50C for 30 minutes. The touched up tea is noticeably more fruity and has more tea body, too!

Next, we tasted a DaWuYeh Phoenix Oolong. The original tea tasted fine, but I wanted it to have a deeper body. I touched this Phoenix Oolong up in the mini tea roaster for more than an hour: 40C for one hour and 50C for another 20 minutes. The tea tasted deeper, with a longer lasting aftertaste, too.

Then I used a candle and a Yixing tea pot to do spot roasting. I wanted to show the participants that they can easily use a small tea light to roast some tea at home. To make this method easier, you can use a butter warmer stand and set the tea pot on top so that you don't need to hold the pot the whole time. Some butter warmer stands are taller than others and will cause the tea pot to heat up a lot, so from time to time, lift the tea pot from the stand and set it aside for a bit. This method only takes around 15 to 20 minutes and the results are pretty clear. You will have a nicely roasted Oolong to drink for sure!

In my next post, I will share experiences and insight from our second roasting class. If you ever try any of this at home, please share your results with me!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Comparing Menghai Factory Puer #7542

In our previous tea club meeting, we tasted seven 7542 puer cakes. As usual, we had a great time drinking tea together. Here are some tasting notes:

We started with a 2011 #7542 puer cake. Overall, the tea is a good daily drinker. The tea broth has a medium amount of body.

Then we proceeded to brew two 2008 cakes side by side. One of the 2008 cakes is from a drier environment. Both teas still taste green and young. At this stage, we prefer the cake from the drier storage, because the tea has more aftertaste. Between 2011 to 2008, we noticed the liquid of the 20098 teas are a bit thicker.

We finalized our tasting with 4 different years of 7542: a 2003, 1997, 1991, and a 1988. The 1991 cake has clearly been in wet storage. Both of the 1991 and 1988 tea broths have changed into that beautiful, dark amber color, and have a much richer mouthfeel, too. Amazingly, we all like the wet storage cake the best. The bad "wet storage" taste is not in the broth at all and it turned out to be the richest and roundest tea among these 4 teas.

Our impression of the 7542 cake recipe is that it's a good tea to have on a daily basis. If one stores the cake long enough, it will turn into a nice warm, sweet, and thick cup of tea.

*photos provided by Jason Gift.