Luxury Ingredients: Oolong tea
Country of Origin: China
Region: Fujian Province
Shipping Port: Fuzhou
Grade: Big Flower Grade 1
Altitude: 1500' 4900' ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: Oolong
Cup Characteristics: Notes of light floral with mild fullness reminiscent of Pondicherry red pepper. Tend full bodied with an astringent finish
Infusion: Pale green yellow liquor, tending slightly amber
Most of us are familiar with the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus, the young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Fewer are familiar with the legend of Narcissus Oolong, this fabulous tea from the Wuyi region of Fujian Province. A legend told in a handful of villages along the 9 Bend river, Wuyi's famous waterway, tells of a similar tale in which a young maiden who was out collecting flowers happened to catch a glimpse of herself along the banks of the famous river. Like her Greek counterpart, so taken was the maiden by her own reflection that she remained riveted in place for weeks. No one could convince the girl to leave the river and come home. Finally, a magician who was travelling from town to town stopped by to talk to the girl, having heard about her from other travelers on the road. Instantly, the magician fell in love with the girl, so captivated was he by her beauty. Asking her to come with him to be his bride, the maiden refused, stating that she could not bear to leave her reflection. The magician countered with a bargain. He asked the girl if she would consider leaving with him if he returned with something, anything, that compared to her own beauty. The girl agreed and so the magician set off.
Weeks passed and the magician repeatedly came back to the girl only to find his offerings rejected flowers, jewels, embroidered robes nothing compared to her beauty. Finally he gave up hope and decided to go on his way. The very next morning, he came across a tea bush growing along a seldom-used trail and plucked a few leaves for his pot. The tea was like nothing he'd ever tasted before, full of flavor and deeply refreshing. From the first sip he knew he'd found what he was looking for. He raced back to the girl and presented her with the tea. As she sipped it, her heart opened to the magician. She finally turned her back on her own reflection and the two were married that same day.
To this day, Narcissus Oolong is considered one of Fujian Province's finest exports. Lovingly crafted by artisans skilled in the ancient arts of Chinese tea, this is the type of Oolong you can sip all day and never grow tired of. Perfect on its own or accompanied by light snacks, we know you're going to fall in love with this one.
Hot tea brewing method:
When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180�F/82�C**. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon in your cup let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Adding milk and sugar is not recommended. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea, 6 tea bags or 6 Q3 portion packs into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1 cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves or removing the tea bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)