Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oolong 101

Last Tuesday I had a chance to attend a small class on Oolongs by a local vendor, Swan Sisters. The class was appropriately named Oolong 101. The class covered some of the general points of Oolongs, brewing, manufacture / history of specific oolongs, and of course tastings.

There were a few types of oolong covered, Tie Guan Yin, Taiwanese Oolongs, Wuyi Rock, and Dan Cong. For a lot of the attendees the class really was also an instruction on how to use a gaiwan with a tea table. Most of them had never used a gaiwan before, let alone serving pitcher or tea table. I have a feeling that may have been more rewarding of an experience for some of them than the actual tea itself. First starting to use a gaiwan is a very difficult and somewhat painful proposition.

A few important points in brewing oolongs though were brought to light. The class focused on brewing multiple infusions using a gaiwan in a gong fu style. This mean short infusion times and lots of infusions. To prevent swimming through tea all night though we tended to stick to about 2-3 infusions, as is appropriate for beginning. I've always felt that learning to coax more out of your tea and reading your infusion is something that comes with experience and practice.

Swan Sisters plans to have classes like these every second tuesday of the month on different teas/subjects. The cost for the class was $10

1 comment:

Salsero said...

Sounds like a lot of fun!