Tea of the Week for September 16, 2019: Bread Pudding Oolong!
Posted by on
Bread Pudding Oolong!
Tea Description: OH WOW! This tastes so like fall! It also tastes like bread pudding! A sweet, bready, caramel-y, custard-y bread pudding with hints of raisin & a subtle kiss of cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg! I am really pleased at how well this all came together.
This tea begins with an Oolong tea - but not just any Oolong. This is an Organic Qingxin Oolong from Thailand. It's a darker Oolong, which means that the oxidation process has imparted a deep color to the leaves. The infusion is a reddish brown. These darker Oolongs tend to have more of a fruity - rather than floral - composition. That deep, dried fruit note that naturally occurs with the tea plays well to the raisin-y flavor of the bread pudding. The Oolong also has a natural warmth to it - offering hints of spice which - you guessed it - also plays to the spice notes in this blend.
To the tea, I added natural essences to create a bread pudding flavor - then I added chunks of organic Sri Lankan cinnamon & organic dark raisins to the blend. The result is a beautiful dessert-y cup - and I'm loving every sip of it. (Don't forget to resteep this tea! This blend can provide 3 flavorful infusions - or more!)
For those of you who are worried about gluten, you needn't - this is gluten-free. It's also VEGAN (yep, that's right!), organic & allergen free!
organic ingredients: Oolong tea, raisins, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, calendula petals & natural flavors
This is really good!
When I ordered this Qingxin Oolong a few weeks ago, I had some plan for it. I just can't remember what that plan was! I usually am very careful about taking very full notes about the teas that I order and what I plan to do with them - but when this arrived, I found myself at a loss & without notes to help me out of that!
So, I figured that I'd just set the Oolong aside for a month or so, hoping that I could remember my plan. Then a day or two later, I decided that I wanted some Oolong so I decided to brew some of the Qingxin - thinking that maybe by drinking it might help jog my memory.
Well, it didn't. But what it did do is bring to life a whole new idea for the tea. This idea. This tea!
As I sipped on the tea, I thought - you know what? this tastes like raisins & spice! This has beautiful complexity - many layers of flavor. I continued to sip & as i did, I could swear that i almost tasted a sort of bready note to it. As I sat at my desk - sipping - the recipe for this blend started to formulate in my head.
Fortunately, this time, I grabbed my notebook & I started writing that recipe down! The next day, I headed to the tea studio to start blending!
So I guess, the moral of the story is not to despair if you forget the plan - a fresh idea will come to you that will bring a smile to your face!
to brew: shake the pouch to ensure that the ingredients are well-incorporated. Because of the structure of the tea, the ingredients are likely to separate somewhat - so a gentle little shake will encourage the spices of the tea to mix well with the pelleted tea leaves.
I highly recommend NOT using an infuser, instead, brew it directly into a mug that you can then strain the liquid from into another mug/cup. Oolong teas are among the largest tea leaves out there - and they're quite often rolled into pellets (like these leaves are) - so they need PLENTY of room (much more room than an infuser allows) to unfurl. Unfurling is how the tea leaves release their flavors - if they're not given the room they need to completely unfurl, they will not give you as much flavor as they would if given proper room to expand. Trust me - it may seem like a little extra work to prepare your cuppa - but your extra efforts WILL be rewarded in amazing flavors!
I used a small, 2 cup teapot (24 ounce capacity). I measured out 6g of leaf, put it directly into the pot (without an infuser) & then poured in 24 ounces of freshly filtered water heated to 180°F. I let it steep for 3 1/2 minutes. The tea leaves were only partially unfurled at this point. I strained the tea, allowed it to cool & enjoyed. Then I heated another 24 ounces of freshly filtered water to 180°F & poured it into the same teapot with the partially opened tea leaves. I allowed them to steep for 4 minutes this time. The leaves are more open now & the tea is still deliciously flavorful! I completed the process again - this time, steeping for 4 1/2 minutes - to enjoy a third infusion. At this point, these big, beautiful reddish-brown leaves are fully open & the tea is still very flavorful.
I didn't take it for a fourth infusion - but I would not be surprised at all if the fourth was also flavorful. Try it & let me know!