Dragons, Phoenixes,and Mad Dogs on Week 11 of my #yearoftea

Oolongs are semi-fermented and most come from Taiwan. This is a Jin Xuan Milk Oolong from Fujian in China. It's a handmade tea so has a certain rarity to it. The leaves are first withered, then heated in milk steam. They're then hand-rolled then dried gently. Steeped for 3 minutes at 75°c it has much more character than the colour of the brew would indicate. It actually tastes creamy and a little 'hazelnutty'. I loved it and while it would probably be a touch too indulgent to drink daily, I think a weekly treat wouldn't be too flash.

cup of milk oolong 1st infusionMilk oolong infused leavesMilk oolong dried leaves

A full 5 minutes and 100°c gives a really outstanding tisane. It's full of all kinds of wonderful. As well as the Chocolate (cocoa peel) & Strawberry (dried pieces) of the title, there's rosehip peel, orange peel, apple pieces, and marigold petals. It tastes divine and so full of flavour. I'm seriously considering using it for icecream or maybe for making an Almond Milk Latte.

chocolate and strawberry wholefruit infusion

I have plans for a House of Cards binge tonight so decided on this Lung Ching No 1 Dragon Well. Apparently it's particularly good for keeping you awake and alert, so I'll get back to you on that. I gave it quite a long (4 mins) steep-time at 80°c. This wasn't deliberate - I put the infuser mug down and couldn't remember where. As a result it was a little chewier than I'd usually like - lovely flavour though. A fairly typical Chinese green tea; earthy with a slight cashew taste.

Lung ching montage of tea and leaves

Day 75 in my ‪#‎yearoftea and it's a Formosa Choicest Fancy Oolong. Another semi-fermented and 90°c with a steep of 4 mins made quite a dark amber liquor. Quite 'grapey' and an almost toasted flavour. Really distinctive.

vintage china cup of formosa choicest oolongFormosa choicest oolong infused leaves

Stinging Nettle is one of my favourite herbs, it makes a delicious tea and if you pick the bright fresh leaves in the Spring you can make a lovely pesto too. According to Culpeper, today's ‪#‎teaoftheday is an effective treatment for gangrene, manginess, and the bites of mad dogs. I've been drinking this tisane all day and can safely report that I'm showing no symptoms at all. ‪#‎phew

 Stinging nettle montage of tea and dried herb

With a nod to St Pat's I've been channeling Mrs Doyle for today's‪#‎teaoftheday it's an Irish Breakfast Blend. Made up of a selection of Assam teas it's malty, robust and is fantastic with milk.

 Mug of Irish breakfast tea next to gift wrapped tea. plate of infused leaves.

 Very fragrant (in fact it makes me sneeze when it's a freshly opened packet.) delicately floral with the slight cashew nut taste you find in certain other white teas. It's scented by making six layers of high quality tea leaves and open Jasmine flowers then leaving them to suffuse overnight. The leaves are then hand rolled into pearls. I used 80°c water and then got completely distracted watching them open. It's called jasmine dragon phoenix pearl because apparently the leaves resemble fire breathing dragons and flame-licked phoenixes as they unfurl in the hot water.

 Jasmine Dragon Phoenix King Pearl

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