Saturday, March 21, 2015

World of Tea Series: A Taste of Spring!

Northwest Tea Festival hosts the World of Tea Series on the third Saturday of each month.  This series offers unique tea tastings and workshops presented by specialists in the industry.

On March 21st, Cinnabar Wright of Phoenix Tea presented A Taste of Spring!.  While it rained outside in true Pacific Northwest style, we celebrated the return of Spring with the vivid colors, heady aromas, and fresh tastes of a variety of floral tisanes and teas.

This floral tisane has a mild and pleasantly toasty flavor, quite unlike most Jasmine tea varieties, and has good results through multiple infusions.

True Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Flower Cake
This cake of compressed flowers from tea (Camellia sinensis) plants comes from Yunnan.  The infusion is smoky and floral, mellowing nicely while continuing to be flavorful after a second infusion.

Rose Buds
The roses used in this tisane have buds much smaller than those you would see in a flower shop. With a light aroma and flavor, they are best infused up to seven minutes and cannot be over-brewed.

Golden Lotus
Lotus blossoms steep quickly and produce an almost intense flavor in the first infusion, with a citrus-like tartness that sits at the back of the palate and a wine-like taste at the front of the tongue. The taste mellows slightly after a second infusion, evening out while still remaining bold.

This hibiscus from Sudan has a different flavor profile from Jamaica (hibiscus tea popular in Latin America). The infusion is tart, and berry-like and easily enjoyed without sugar.

This floral tisane has a light fruit-like aroma with a pleasantly sweet, lightly floral green taste.  

Osmanthus Oolong
This is oolong tea scented with osmanthus has a fresh and summery green vine aroma and a green floral taste.

Snow Chrysanthemum
Unlike the boiling hot water temperature used for most of the floral tisanes we tasted, chrysanthemum should be steeped at the same temperature used for green tea (approximately 185° F). It has a spicy aroma and taste with a touch of mintiness. A second infusion brought out wood notes.

Thanks to Cinnabar for presenting and to Northwest Tea Festival for hosting this event!

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