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“Tea is an Art. Let’s Look at the Beauty of the East”

September 20, 2009

Today’s Tea: Beauty of the East Oolong from Yixing Xuan Teahouse

Taught to: caclob

Once a year or so, I take an interesting trip to somewhere in the world.  One of my friends, M,  and I decided to take a trip together to Southeast Asia.  After spending a summer in China and visiting Japan, it seemed close, but not the same as the other countries.  We then booked the trip to spend 3 weeks in Southeast Asia. Our trip took us through Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. It was a fascinating trip.

Southeast Asia has huge fields of tea, which are quite beautiful, especially in the Malaysian Highlands.

All of these tea fields though produce black tea, no green, white, or oolong.  However, in Singapore I had the opportunity to go to the Yixing Xuan Teahouse.  The tea house, for SP$ 50 has a tea tasting of fine teas.   M and I went one humid afternoon (and let’s be honest, when isn’t it humid in Singapore) for the tasting.

At Yixing Xuan, we met Vincent Low, the speaker/manager for the shop.  He then explained the huge tradition and history of tea, which if you interested in look at Lu Yu. After the tasting, M and I were so impressed we bought some of the tea.

We tried 4 teas: white, green, oolong, and jasmine.  This review only focuses on the oolong; the equipment and other teas will be reviewed in the future.
The oolong leaves are a specific grouping and roasting of the tea leaves.  It comes from either Fujian or Taiwan and is lightly roasted.  Its name comes from its appearance, which is black (oo-) and shaped like a dragon (-long).

I brewed this tea in the gongfucha style, which is like a Chinese tea ceremony, except I didn’t use the little cups.  I did, however, do the brief 20-35 second steeping.

I can firmly say that this was a damn solid oolong tea.  Price-wise, getting it shipped from Singapore is not the cheapest option, but the lightly toasted flavor, with little astringency makes this tea a good solid example of oolong tea.  The blend is not one of the traditional blends, but rather a house blend of oolong.  It’s quite fantastic, and I completely recommend it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 5, 2009 6:03 pm

    Malaysia. Not the first tea land that comes to mind when you think of Asia. But those pictures of vast rolling tea gardens are quite beautiful. It’s just impressive how much tea is grown in the world. It’s beautiful. –Teaternity

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