Gui Hua Cha – 桂花烏龍茶
I’m without a doubt a coffee junkie as well as a tea addict, with preferences for original tea leaves than ordinary teabags. Freshly brewed teas, steep straight into an original porcelain teacup or earthenware mug with a strainer or a glass mug. The featured photo shows the large orange canister “GuiHua Wulong Cha” 桂花烏龍茶 or Osmanthus Oolong Tea produced by Ten Ren Tea, Taiwan. Read my very first introduction to the Osmanthus flower tree story here.
Just the combination of thinking about my favourite teas, tea shops with special tea’s I so much enjoyed, it brings forth even more stories and anecdotes. Discovering ‘My Teacup” trails, we’ll share a pot with tea leaves information and savour each sip. A world of tea I had no idea before there is so much more to tea than you might have thought. In distinction to Wine and Whisky sommeliers, Coffee connoisseurs; baristas, Tea sommeliers experts are on the rise. Sharing knowledge on Tea gastronomy promoting and marketing worlds finest eclectic Teas, it’s hip and trendy as ever.
Osmanthus Tea is composed of the high-quality Taiwanese Oolong tea scented with fresh Osmanthus flowers. Osmanthus is an evergreen shrub with attractive foliage and clusters of small, very fragrant flowers. These flowers are also used in some of the world’s most famous and expensive fragrances. This type of tea is categorised as scented tea’s, made by mixing various flowers and petals with green or oolong teas and among these is worldwide known Jasmine tea.
Osmanthus Oolong tea, Gui Hua Cha, 桂花烏龍茶
Description names: GuiHua Wulong Tea or Osmanthus Oolong Tea
Origin: Taiwan, (is a large producer of Oolong Tea with high-quality grades and distinctions)
Tea type & features: Oolong mixed scented tea, rolled tea leaves when steeped some tiny little white/yellowish petals may appear.
Brewing: 2-3 grammes of tea leaves for every 150ml of water
Preparation: Place the tea leaves in the scalded pot or cup. The amount is a matter of taste; say, 3 grammes per cup. Add some cold water before adding a small amount of boiling water. This is to keep the temperature below 80 Celsius; green teas should never be subjected to boiling temperature. Leave to steep for 5 minutes. The first decoction may be either discarded or drunk according to preference. This preparation is according to Chinese medicine practice another oolong tea preparation with more elaborate information click here.
Taste: One single sip produces a fullness of rich and mellowness, with a lingering sweetness and a clean aftertaste together with the osmanthus scent lingering on.
Oolong tea is a semi-fermented tea which is known for its rich taste and pleasant lasting aftertaste. Oolongs are further classified as Dark or Green with Dark Oolongs baked longer than Green Oolongs. Green Oolongs (which are not related to Green teas in any way) tend to have a stronger fragrance while Dark Oolongs tend to have a stronger aftertaste. Special Baked Oolong is the only Oolong that is an intermediate Dark-Green Oolong. “Ten Ren Tea”
On another note:
The brewing method used for Wulong tea throughout China and Taiwan is the Art of Gongfucha 工夫茶, where plenty of leaves are skillfully brewed to perfection in a very small teapot and the fragrant concoction is sipped from fine porcelain tiny teacups. Gongfucha is often referred to as ChaoSan Gongfucha as the original place where making “tea with effort” was an integral part of daily life. Gongfucha is also written as 功夫茶 referring to the skill, for linguistics semantics do matter but for tea aficionados and critics, the taste, fragrance and serenity enjoying a hot brew weighs more than words.
Gui Hua tree
It is believed that in Fujian province, Chaoshan area the local Chaozhou (Teochew) people started this tradition of tea culture. Early settlers who moved to Taiwan have brought the custom along with them, where the tea ceremony has evolved in a masterful art performance as also influenced by Japanese culture (Japan first invasion was in 1874 and ruled as a colony from 1895 till 1945). Click on the following link to read more about: “A bit of Tea History of Taiwan”.
dried Gui Hua flowers
In the past I had to bring dried Gui Hua flowers with me on my travels, nowadays these very fragrant dried flowers are available at the larger Chinese supermarkets. Enjoy your GuiHua Wulong or Osmanthus Oolong tea and please share your palate experience and favourite brand with us.