When I try to describe the taste of The Teacup’s Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong, I keep wanting to use the words “grassy” and “woody,” but in the tea-taster’s vernacular, those are negative terms. (I’m going to continue having trouble with that, since a friend and I love to describe tastes and smells in terms of nature.) It’s another one of those teas that pleasantly calls to mind woodland parks with untamed, grassy fields just waking up from winter hibernation.
I made the mistake of a particularly long infusion right after I brought it home. It almost gave me what is otherwise known as “bitter beer face.”
I didn’t time it today, but I skimmed quickly through my work email and then removed the basket from the pot and saw the tan-green color of those grassy fields I mentioned above. The scent is also of sweet grasses and honey, even though I left the sweeteners on the shelf. I keep sticking my nose into the storage tin and conjuring memories of our local Discovery Park.
My recent foray into higher quality teas has had quite an effect on my preferences, and when I look into my stash for something to drink, I glance over the old grocery-store-bought bagged teas and my eyes glaze over. I find myself dreaming of something fresh and loose. Something that can be enjoyed without adding cream or sugar. Something that requires more work than just tossing a bag in a cup. I’m beginning to understand why it can be such a big deal. Once you begin your journey into the way of tea, there’s no going back. You simply won’t want to.