Would You Brave the Tiger for Your Tea?
Posted by Dani Noto on
In my never-ending search for fabulous teas, I come across some interesting tidbits and stories about teas and their journey to us.
I was on a mission a few months back to add a couple of new Oolong teas to my selections. My favorite, Rou Gui, was all gone. It was such a sad and bittersweet day when I drank the last cup. I savored it, but alas, the cup was finally empty. So, onto a mission to find another great Oolong. I sampled lots and lots of Oolongs before I stumbled onto Shangrila Iced Oolong. One sip told me all I needed to know. This one was a keeper!
The dark and slightly curled leaves unfurled, a fancy word for uncurled, and brewed into a light amber cup with a strong, pleasant fruity aroma. Yes, you should smell your tea before you brew it and again before you taste it. You'll be amazed at what your nose and tastebuds tell you about tea. You will also notice a sweet aftertaste with this Oolong. Shangrila Iced Oolong has low caffeine content. Still, it's very high in antioxidants, it's good for weight loss, increases concentration and focus, fights the signs of aging, and helps strengthen your teeth. I've brewed this tea up to 3 steepings, with each cup having a slightly different flavor profile.
Now onto the fun story behind this tea.
Shangrila Iced Oolong comes from the Wuji Mountains of Northern Fujian in an area the locals call Leaping Tiger Forest - for reasons one can only imagine!
The Tea Master was trudging through the Tibetan Plateau in search of the elusive Ice Oolong when, in an Indiana Jones moment, he jumped onto a plane to meet with a guide familiar with the backcountry. Bouncing along the backcountry in a jeep, the track they took wound its way along the very rough, uneven, and steep back of the mountain range. In many places, the Tea Master was forced to get out of the jeep and walk in front to give the guide foot-by-foot directions to avoid falling off the mountain — I just can't even imagine! The drive took them up over 3500 feet. After a fearsome drive, they camped on the mountainside. At 4 a.m., they were awakened by the tea estate manager. There had been a heavy frost, and the tea buds had become frozen - not a moment to lose to pick these precious buds. By 8 a.m., the sun had risen, and the frost was gone, but they had plucked an amazing iced oolong. The next day the bright green leaves were massaged into the perfect shape capturing the unique floral and sweet character of the once frozen buds. Mission accomplished!
We are the recipient of this amazing adventure and the wonderful Shangrila Iced Oolong.
I'm so glad I don't personally have to climb the mountain to get this unique tea and possibly deal with man-eating tigers. It gets shipped right to me, and I get to share it with you!