Friday, October 19, 2012

A Pouchong Moment

It's week 2 of the Canton Tea Co. Club launch, and I can see this is going to be just lovely. Last week, I missed the grand launch because of work travel. I was home just long enough to pick up my package of tea and take it to my next work travel stop. While I loved having a beautiful, full leaf green tea to keep me company as I ran between hotels for a conference and strategic planning, this was not the way I envisioned enjoying a tea with a name as fun as Green Twirl!


Week 2 has allowed me to enjoy tea in my more natural enviroment, and this week's pick by Canton Tea Co founders, Barney and Jennifer, does not disappoint. As I've been sipping it throughout this hectic week, it has been a strong yet subtle companion. There is great debate among tea enthusiasts on how to classify this tea called "Pouchong," grown in Taiwan, high on the slopes of Wen Shan mountain. The locals call it a green tea, but others insist it is a lightly oxidized oolong.

I have always found Taiwan's oolongs to have a distinct floral perfume, and I detect no such perfume here. While more earthy than grassy, there is an almost spinach quality to its scent. I have to side with the locals on this one. It's a green.

I unveil my full tea nerdiness now, in that one way I have found to slow down a little this week is to watch the Pouchong tea leaves unfurl as they steep.  For those who have not indulged much in full leaf teas, I will say it's one of life's simple pleasures to watch the tightly rolled, dried leaves slowly untwist, stretch and relax into the steaming water.


What can I say? It makes me happy.