Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Formosa Mingjian Osmanthus Guihua Oolong



Unfortunately this tea wasn't as good as its name is long. However, the fault was probably my own.

The tea hails from Aura Teas, who being located north of the border are currently offering a Boxing Week sale. They suggest a one minute steep for the first flush, and since that's longer than I usually do, I put it out of my mind until twice that much time had passed. As a result the brew was dark and somewhat bitter, and subsequent ones were just the opposite: light in color and flavor. Again, my fault.

But what I really want to know is whether the tea actually contains osmanthus. I would think that it did, because it's a popular herb to blend with tea, yet the ingredients on the tin say "100% tea leaf." True, osmanthus is a type of tea in the generic sense of the word (as is peppermint), but I have a feeling they mean tea the tea made from tea. Also, one usually finds osmanthus in flower form, so it's unlikely that the "leaf" refers to it.

To confuse things further, teas are often named for stuff that they don't actually contain. For instance, Honey Orchid Gold Medalist #2 contains neither honey, orchids, gold medalists, nor "number two."

But I have a feeling that a tea wouldn't be named after something that is often found in tea. Therefore my conclusion is that the ingredients label on the tea is incomplete, but I'm not going to let that ruin Boxing Week.

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