Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roasting 04 Hong Cha Tou

One of the new items I current stock is 2004 Hong Cha Tou - a wild Hong Yin Phoenix Oolong. This batch was belonged to and stored in the warehouse of Guang Dong Province Tea Import Export Company- Chao Zhou Branch for the last few years. It's now released to the market and I got a hold of the entire batch.

When I first tasted it, the first infusion had a sea breeze smell, not the most enjoyable, yet does not put me off type of thing. Once that's gone, the following infusions taste creamy and full of flavor. The creaminess reminds me of the nurishing stomach comforting chicken soup. No, not interms of flavor, just the feeling of it.

After a couple nights of contemplating, I remember younger Phoenix Dan Cong can use a dose of roasting every couple of years. So I did, tested with a small batch, the seabreeze was gone completely, went all the way out to the pacific ocean. The finished tea is even sweeter and smoother. With this encouraging result, I have been busy roasting the rest of the batch, all 8 kg of it. My roaster can handle 3 lbs at a time. It take 6 long hours each time.

Fill bamboo container up to rim, dig a hole in the middle of tea leaves to allow hot air travel up. Cover with clean paper, NO lid.

Set roaster to 80 C to preheat leaves.

Wait an hour then turn up the dial to 100 C, wait 2 hours, turn down the dial to 80 C again, sit and sip tea for 3 to 4 hours. Done!

This tea is now my new fave. Can't get enough of the sweet dessert like creamy texture. Great value at an affordable price.

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