Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tea Tuesday: A Curious Little Blend

Teavana Image, used without permission
I figure the least they can let me do for reviewing one of their products is let me occasionally use one of their images, right? If only because I don't own any of this blend of tea myself...

This curiosity is difficult to classify as a tea in traditional terms: white, green, black, yellow, or wulong, and that's because it's a white, a green, and a wulong all in one. It's called Body and Mind, and it's a very mellow thing. The image to the left really does its liquor justice, though under different lighting it more resembles a sort of flaxen gold colour.

Like I said before, this is a bled of three different teas, each of extraordinary quality: the legendary Monkey Picked Oolong (I have heard this variously ascribed to Fujian and Anhui), Silver Needle (the very same white I mentioned on our last tea Tuesday as the source of the Silver Yin Zhen Pearl), and a rolled, jasmine-scented green tea called Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl. The flavour is as light as the colour and the jasmine is surprisingly lightly expressed, making this very pleasant hot or cold with no alterations whatsoever.

Now, reviewing this a few days after my Drawing the Bowstring rant and while being famous at work for creating extensive weekly meal plans using only locally-available ingredients is a little silly, I know. These are three laboriously-produced teas all grown in China, which must be shipped overland, over sea, and then overland again until they can reach my shop. I do however try and find some justification in my favourite loose-leaf teas being good for multiple infusions, and of course this one is no exception - brewed at about 79 Celsius for two minutes, you can easily get the first three infusions out of these leaves, and I've gone as high as three more by gradually increasing the temperature and time of subsequent infusions, though I imagine that's more an exercise in stretching things, since most of the antioxidants, EKCG complex, and whatever it is in the oolongs that stimulates the metabolism are well gone by then.

Body and Mind is a commonly-used additive by my tea friends when they are feeling hung over (or wish to prevent such feelings) or getting over morning grogs. It is very popular with a strong fruit flavour on ice (such as a Raspberry Riot Lemon Mate) for something invigorating, or with something lighter (chamomile and lavender flavours being common, or Valerian) for something soothing. All in all, a great tasting tea with a refreshing "otherness" that you just can't find in bags.

As always, I'd like to remind everyone that I am not paid by Teavanna or any other tea provider for any reviews I happen to do, or indeed anything else I do related to tea outside the confines of my actual employment. Beyond my day job, this website is supported only by the generosity of Google (the owners of Blogger) and of you, the reader. As always, I extend an open invitation for anyone in town to visit me at work.

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