December 27, 2008

My little guy,s growing up

My little Celadon Tea Pot is getting his first fracture, isn't it cute? He,s becoming a toddler. No really, the fracturing and cracking of the glaze is what Celadon is known and admired for. It will eventually become covered in small and large cracks creating a kind of spider web appearance. In some ways it,s disconcerting but that,s just what Celadon does. So if you cant stand the idea of your brand new tea ware cracking then stay away from Celadon.
Above are two more examples of Celadon that I,ve had for a while and the cracking is pretty well done it,s thing. One is a small "Monks Bowl" teacup that has the larger sized cracks. The other is a fair cup that is covered in tiny fractures. I think it varies from piece to piece with no real predictability as to which type of fracturing might take place.
note: to get a better look just click the pics.

2008, Zhu-Shan Si-Ji Oolong

2008, Hand harvested from the Zhu-Shan plantation. This Si-Ji Oolong was in Hou De,s bargain bin, hmmm, I mean on sale. $90.00 a lb. For Hou De that's pretty reasonably priced. Thought I,d give it a shot. This is an early spring tea so consequently the infused leaf is very soft. An observation, the leaf when first adding water to the pot sunk to the bottom, usually they float on top until they become saturated. I guess this has something to do with the leaf being so young and tender that they become water logged immediately. The aroma of the infused leaf has that distinctive aroma of what I describe as floral and spice. I love that smell! The flavor is a little on the light side when it comes to the veggie thing. It,s there but kinda subdued. Slightly dry mouth feel. Ever so slightly sweet and the durability is nice enough, about 4-5 pots before it gives out. This tea doesnt have any kinda viscosity, something that I love about good Taiwan Oolongs is that stickiness but this one is lacking in that catagory. This is a "good" Oolong that I would buy again but only because of the price.

December 14, 2008

Four Seasons, Like Spring Oolong

My first purchase from J,s Teas. I,d browsed his site many times and seen his videos on You Tube. He,s got a lot of interesting tea,s, for the most part Taiwan Oolongs. Instead of going straight for the premium tea selections (like I usually do) I decided to go in the other direction and try some of his least expensive tea,s. Four Seasons Like Spring Oolong is a product of cross straining but originates with the Iron Goddess cultivar. As the name implies this tea can be harvested all year round and produce,s tea with characteristics of a traditional spring harvest tea. Grown at an elevation of 3600 ft. And at $68.00 a lb. it,s a pretty affordable Oolong. In this price range it,s probably safe to say that it,s machine harvested. Which I don't mind but what that usually means is that the teas aroma and flavor are going to release very quickly, in other words, not real durable. I,d be surprised to get more than three good infusions. Lets just see what we have here.

The dry leafs appearance is actually better than I was expecting. A really nice green color and the tea is pretty tightly rolled. The dry leafs aroma is also quite nice, very fresh and slightly floral with just a hint of spice in the background. There is a lot of depth in this teas aroma, smells great! As for the flavor? Also better than I anticipated, kind of a cross between a Oolong and a Green Tea. The dry leafs aroma accurately reflects in the flavor, green, floral and spice. The durability is also better than what I expected 4 to 5 infusions. This is a really good value in Taiwan Oolongs that I would buy again. Much more complexity than I would have thought but a little on the light side. A slight resemblance of Lemon Verbena in the aroma and flavor.
Like I stated earlier, J,s has a really good selection of Oolong Tea,s. A lot of them are really high end tea,s and quite expensive. But as in most things "you get what you pay for" Josh is also pretty generous with the samples, of which he sent me several. I,ll be ordering some more of his premium tea,s soon, cant wait.