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Pear Mu Tan

I am glad to announce that here at Local Tea Company we have added another tea to our Organic cultivation varieties.

Pear Mu Tan is a White tea grown in Fujian Province, China.  White teas are surrounded by folklore and mystique heralded from ancient China when this delicate tea was proclaimed by Emperors as “the culmination of all that is elegant”

White teas are the least processed of all the categories of tea.  The newest leaves are carefully picked when they have a silvery appearance which comes from the hair or ‘hao’.  They are lightly withered which turns them into an artists palate of hues, ranging from silver to green to brown and results in a light fluffy mixture of leaf pieces that yield a subtle and delicate flavor.

Pear Mu Tan White Tea

I had been asked several times about a Pear tea and after using this tea for several days in my travel mug, I knew we had to have it!  This type of White tea is known as Pai Mu Tan which means “white peony” and is produced from a variety of tea bush called chaicha, so it seemed natural to name this tea Pear Mu Tan.

There is evidence that Pear has been used as a food since prehistoric times so is a perfect partner for White tea.  To compliment the pear, there are dried apple pieces, mango cubes and marigold blossoms which results in shimmering golden liquor with a lingering fragrance and sweet, fresh mellow taste.  This is a truly beautiful tea both dry and infused.

Please note, this tea is organically cultivated but has not pursued the requirements to be designated ORGANIC.

White teas are becoming very popular now as they are considered to be the most beneficial of all teas for their health benefits.  With more antioxidants than black or green tea, white tea has anticancer properties, is heart healthy, has a calming (anti-sagging!) and detoxifying effect on the skin and the ability to strengthen our immune system.  An added bonus is that it tastes so good!

There are debates aplenty about the amount of caffeine in White teas; could it be that as the tea is made from young leaves that they contain the most concentrated amount of caffeine? The fact that we infuse for less time and at a lower temperature may mean less caffeine is released…and so on.  We may never know the exact reason and it really does not seem to matter too much!

In my experience I have found White tea VERY agreeable to my body function.  I do not seem to get as overheated or troubled with the caffeine content and therefore have been able to drink later into the day.   See how it works for you!

Pear Mu Tan is a tea that really keeps on giving and certainly wears the title ‘the culmination of all that is elegant’ very well.

Cheers,
the TeaLady

Oooolongs

We love oolong teas and find the flavors so incredibly unique. They say no two oolongs are alike, and that may be what we like best about oolongs, always a surprise.

Oolong means “Black Dragon”. The Chinese tea growers thought the complex character of Oolong tea was similar to the spirit of this mythical creature.

The crafting of Oolong is an art form and the growing areas limited. Conditions have to be exact and great care is taken to maintain the surrounding environment of the tea plants. Like wine growing regions, the soil and humidity levels definite impact on the taste and complexity of the finished product.

Oolongs are referred to as semi-fermented or semi-oxidized teas. (see earlier post on oxidation / fermentation) They follow a similar process to black tea but with up to 60% less oxidation. This results in a tea with characteristics of both black and green tea.

Fujian province in China is the home of Oolong varieties of tea but production began in Taiwan during the 1850’s when tea planters from Fujian immigrated to the small island nation called Formosa. The Dung Ti Mountains in central Taiwan have very fertile slopes where some of the finest tea plantations produce excellent Oolong tea. Both of our Oolong teas are from Taiwan.

Our Dung Ding Oolong is entirely hand made and has a stunning rolled leaf producing a taste which is smoother than black tea but not as grassy as green. The result is a very well balanced tea with orchid like aroma and taste.

Steep the leaves multiple times and give your taste buds an exciting journey along the way. Examine the leaves and you will see the oxidation that has occurred around the outer part of the leaf leaving the inside quite green. We highly recommend this tea which is easy to drink. Don’t forget that Oolong teas are great for raising your metabolic rate.

Our Aronia Oolong produces quite a different taste profile. This is also a Taiwan Oolong which is wiry and lively with characteristics that are much closer to black. The addition of some Sri Lanka black tea gives added depth along with chokeberries, mango, passion fruit and rose petals for a delicate floral finish. As we like to say, this tea is easy to drink, hard to resist!  And can be steeped multiple times giving a lighter color and flavor each steep.

Brewing Oolong Tea
It is recommended to rinse or flush Oolong leaves, that is pour water over leaves and immediately remove the hot water. We cannot bear to throw this lovely liquor away, and usually add it to a later steep. Then start with a 1-2 minutes steep and add additional steeping time after each infusion.

When preparing Aronia Oolong we actually brew as a black tea, using boiling water, steeping for 4 minutes, then steeping a second time for 8 minutes and combine the two steeps for a multi-fusion.

For Dung Ding Oolong we use water around 194 degrees, steep for 2 minutes and drink! This is way too good to flush away in our opinion. For the next steep add 2 minutes and continue adding extra time till the entire flavor has been released.

As with all teas there are personal preferences so be playful and enjoy the process of discovering how you like your Oolong tea.

Cheers,
the tea lady