Flavor Profile:Full-bodied texture, toasty aroma and a bitter-sweet chocolate flavor. Ingredients:Oolong Tea Leaves.
Grown at an altitude of 1100 meters in Central Taiwan, Strong Fire Oolong is made from the Tieguanyin tea plant varietal.
Named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yin, Tieguanyin is one of the more popular rolled oolongs. Although Tieguanyin varietals are native and to Anxi county in Fujian province, many other areas in China are now also cultivating this varietal. There are apparent differences between the various Tieguanyin varietals, each with its own unique characteristics.
In making Strong Fire only the mature, hardy leaves are plucked. They are then withered in the sun for a few hours to reduce moisture. Once suitable suppleness is achieved in the leaves, traditional rolling techniques (at least 13 different motions) are applied in conjunction with light roasting to achieve the optimum shape and flavor. A final high roast is given to complete the processing.
Strong Fire is best during spring (April-May) time periods. Since it is a heavy roasted tea, it maintains its flavor well over the months.
Apart from elevation, season and age of the plants, oolongs can be evaluated by the quality of leaf and the processing art. The leaves should be tightly rolled and should not crumble with gentle pressure (crumbled leaf is a sign of over-roasting or stale leaf).
For daily drinking, a smaller amount of leaf with a longer steeping time gives a rewarding cup with little effort. This teaâ€™s tightly rolled leaf requires fairly hot water (180 to 200 F) to bring out its full taste and unique aroma. Steeping 1 teaspoon of leaf per 8 ounces of water for 3 to 4 minutes will typically yield 2 to 3 satisfying infusions, although some oolongs will provide more.
Another common method would be to enjoy the tea â€śChinese style." Merely place a few leaves at the bottom of a cup or glass, add hot water, and cover. After a couple of minutes or so the leaf will unfurl and sink to the bottom of the vessel allowing you to drink from the top. When the water is down to just over the leaves, simply add more water. This style provides many infusions for a small amount of leaf.
Of course, the most famous way to drink oolong tea is Gongfu style. (Gongfu is the Chinese term we derive â€śKung Fuâ€ť from. It means to do something skillfully.) Though it takes many years to perfect the true Gongfu tea ceremony, a simplified version can be practiced at home.
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