Taste Testing - Kieb's Sub-Lime Cookie Oolong!
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Today, I'm tasting a tea that I created as a VIT blend for one of our start-up Kickstarter backers (a 52Teas Ambassador!)
Tea Description: I created this tea for one of our 52Teas Ambassadors who wanted a lime sugar cookie oolong. So I pulled out all the stops for this special customer! I used a very special TieGuanYin from Verdant Tea and blended it with dried lime segments and lime leaves to give it a delightful lime note. The cookie notes are buttery and sweet which tone down some of the tarty notes of the lime without obscuring the bright lime flavor. Then I added some beautiful lime green edible glitter (don't worry, it's vegan!) There isn't a lot of glitter to this, just enough to add a little bit of shimmer to the dry leaf.
The natural creamy notes of the Oolong meld beautifully with the flavors of lime and buttery cookie. The first infusion of the leaves has a softer buttery taste and mouthfeel while the second infusion has a stronger lime note - both infusions are really delicious so I highly recommend resteeping these leaves!
This tea truly is sublime!
ingredients: oolong tea, organic lime leaves, dried lime segments, vegan edible glitter and organic natural flavors.
It's been a while since I've worked with Oolong teas - I've been so focused on other tea types that I've neglected Oolong! But what a happy return to the Oolong this week has been (I'll have another Oolong tasting note coming very soon!) This tea is really delightful.
With my first sips of this tea, I was a little worried. The lime was a bright note but it's not overly tart. Then I realized the reason the lime isn't a puckery tart note is because the cookie flavor is there offering a flavor that reminds me a bit of shortbread cookies. It's very buttery and it smooths out some of those tart tones of the lime. But beyond the softened lime notes and the shortbread cookie is another flavor that I wasn't sure about - because it wasn't fitting into the profile of lime or sugar cookie. Hmm...
But if you're a fan of the tart and tangy lime, worry not! The second infusion brings more tangy flavor of the lime to the palate. Some of the buttery flavor has dissipated, but in it's place is a really perky lime flavor. And there's still that third flavor profile . . .
Then I finally realized - that other flavor is Tie Guan Yin! That's the Oolong flavor! I've been tasting so many black teas, green teas, honeybush blends and even white teas that my palate found the Tie Guan Yin to be somewhat foreign. Not unpleasant, mind you - because it's rather heavenly! - just different from what I've been drinking as of late.
So what finally "sold" me on this blend is that it IS indeed a really lovely combination of Lime, Cookie and Oolong tea!
I do hope our Ambassador enjoys this as much as I do!
To Brew: I didn't use my Gaiwan with this - although I typically do use a Gaiwan when brewing Oolong teas - but with flavored Oolongs, I tend to just go with my Kati Tumbler and steep it that way. The Gaiwan is great to use when you're brewing short steeps - and with a pure Oolong, that's what you want to do. But with a flavored Oolong, you want to get some of those flavors that have been infused into the tea leaves and the best way to do that is to steep the leaves a little longer.
So, I measured a teaspoon of leaves into the basket of my Kati Tumbler and added 12 ounces of hot water (180°F) and steeped the leaves for 3 minutes. Strain, let cool for 5 - 8 minutes and enjoy.
You can get at least 2 infusions out of these leaves. The flavoring (Lime, cookie) will be less prominent than it was in the first infusion, but you'll still get some of those flavors. By the third infusion, you'll be tasting more tea than flavor - but that's OK too! Oolong tea is awesome!