Last Saturday, my friend Josh Chamberlain (the owner of Jtea in Eugene, OR) came up to Teacup to pour tea for some of my friends and clients. Teacup has sold many of Josh's Taiwanese oolongs since we first met him over 5 years ago and I consider him to be one of my early inspirations to study Mandarin and to travel in search of fresh tea.
Before the tasting we selected four of Josh's excellent teas to present our guests. We cupped (in this order): Four Seasons Oolong tea (四季烏龍茶), Dong Pian Oolong (冬片), Charcoal Baked Dong Ding Oolong tea (凍頂烏龍茶) and Lishan High Mountain Black (aka Red) tea (梨山高山紅茶). All of these teas were made in December of 2008 and imported by Josh during his most recent tea-buying trip.
The Four Seasons and the Dong Pian were both lightly oxidized oolongs. Though these two were grown below 1000 meters they have very good body, long lasting aftertaste and a rosy-sweet aroma. The Charcoal Baked Dong Ding poured a delicious and warming brew that had people sighing with pleasure as they sipped. Our last tea was the Lishan Black. It had big, black leaves that were slightly twisted and very beautiful. It poured a dark red color and had a roasty, winey aroma. All of the teas were very well received. If you're in Seattle and you get a chance, please stop by the Teacup and try some of these teas. We should have some in stock for a little while. Or feel free to contact Josh through his website or blog, as I'm sure he'd love to tell you more about his teas.
Thanks so much to all of you who made it to the tasting. I had a great time and look forward to doing more of these special tasting events. Also, big thanks to Josh for finding some great tea, driving it up to Seattle, and expertly preparing it for all of us.