April 16, 2013

Tea Review: Le Palais des Thes Butterfly of Taiwan

If you recall, I went to the Le Palais des Thes shop in Soho a few weeks ago and purchased two teas. The Butterfly of Taiwan oolong was selected for Rotea.  One morning I steeped a cup for myself and fell in love.

The dry leaves smell like cocoa nibs!  Earthy flavors dominate the wet leaves.  Wet forest - not a rain forest but a temperate forest after a rain.  Maybe the smell released after kicking up a layer of downed leaves.  The cocoa smell transforms into something spicy after steeping - not chili peppers, think spice islands - and deeply nutty.

Here's an excerpt from the tasting notes on the Le Palais des Thes website:
All the qualities of Wu Long (oolong) teas are well defined in this tea: it is woody and honeyed, round and long lasting in the mouth. This is the tea to sample first when discovering these typical Taiwanese teas.
The recommended steeping temperature is 205-degrees F (95-degrees C) for 5-7 minutes.  I steep 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water for 5 minutes.  Perfect!  Of course, if you use a gaiwan, do less.

If you like oolong, add this to your list.  If you've never drunk oolong before, I think this would make a good starter tea.

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