The flavour develops with each infusion of this clean but complex tea. The first infusions are rich with flavours of tart stewed apple and cookie dough. This leads into bright sencha greens and sherbert. Later infusions have a soft digestive biscuit note and a final mineral finish.
A gaiwan is the ultimate way to enjoy your oolong tea. Used in China since the Ming dynasty (over 900 years ago), gaiwans are unassuming but beautifully functional teapots that can be used to explore tea to its fullest – the following method can be used to make up to six infusions.
Start with 4-6g of oolong tea and pop it in the gaiwan teapot. Boil a kettle to 212°F/100°C, then pour an inch of the water on the leaf for a few seconds, and discard this liquid. This "wash" softens the rolled leaf and allows the water to penetrate.
Fill the gaiwan with the hot water to just below the rim, infuse for 5-10 seconds and strain completely into your cup or a jug. There's no need to reheat the water as you go, because the softened leaves will require lower temperatures to release their flavours - but you will need to extend the time to 10-20 seconds for later steeps. We recommend at least six infusions to allow the leaf to completely open out and reveal all its beauty.
For a more comprehensive guide to using a gaiwan see our full guide here.
Here is a short video demonstrating how to get the most out of your precious oolong leaves with a gaiwan:
Imagine blending wines from Bordeaux and Napa Valley - the viniphiles would throw their hands up in horror. Ooh la la, sacre bleu, “@~!?$*#”.
Sometimes you have to break with tradition to innovate. Combining these beautifully crafted teas, both made with infinite care to be the best expression of their terroir, creates a tea that sings of the story of craftsmanship and healthy soil. A merging of two worlds - the old and the new, the history of tea and its fresh beginnings.
We’ve created a new loose leaf afternoon tea for new traditions.
What is the best afternoon tea?
In the past we have drunk a blend of black teas to go with Afternoon Tea, but this is a loose leaf tea blend for the 21st Century. We don’t all have time to sit around at 4 o’clock eating sandwiches and scones. Tea in the afternoon is more likely to be a pick-me-up in the midst of our busy days. Hopefully a time to stop for a moment or two to recharge and get through the last push of the day.
This is an oolong tea that goes delightfully with whatever your afternoon treat is, sweet or savory: a cake, biscuit, a handful of nuts, the humble crumpet, peanut butter on toast, a banana, temaki or a taco.
The most important thing is you don’t have to be lounging on a sofa or in a fine hotel, you can be at your desk, making the kids supper or out on a stroll - wherever you are in the afternoon and whatever you’re doing you’re going to want tea. And this is the tea you want.
We really recommend using a gaiwan, the perfect teapot to make 6 short extractions and experience the flavor progressions of each infusion. This won’t take long, just 10 minutes, but its 10 minutes you won’t regret.