My desire for warmer weather was subtly fulfilled this week with the release of Teavana’s spring tea collection. New flavors include Jeju Island Green Tea from Korea, the citrusy Strawberry Grapefruit Xue Long Green Tea, the sweet-smelling Marshmallow Macaron Herbal tea and Grape Wulong Oolong. While all of the flavors were enticing, I decided to try the grape oolong, because of its sweet Jolly Rancher-like aroma, and I was not disappointed.
To prepare this tea, I added about 1 teaspoon of the loose leaves into my glass infuser mug, and about half a teaspoon German Rock Sugar to the blend, to accentuate the grape flavor. After boiling water, I let it sit in the tea kettle for a few minutes before pouring it over the tea. As suggested, I steeped the tea for 3 minutes.
When this tea is warm, like most teas, it is less sweet, though still very flavorful. Grape Wulong takes the senses on a journey. The main note of the aroma is a very sweet grape jelly fragrance with floral accents; but when it came to the taste, oolong was the first flavor to greet my taste buds, with a sweet grape-blueberry taste following shortly after. Grape Wulong also has floral notes of rose and hibiscus, adding to the springy vibe of the beverage.
When prepared over ice, the grape flavor comes out even more. For the iced portion, I returned the tea infusion to my cup, and steeped a little longer. After about 1 minute, I removed the infuser, added a pinch more of the German rock sugar, and transported the tea to a a glass filled with ice.
I enjoyed this tea both warm and chilled. Fruity and exotic, this tea is very fresh, and as Teavana put it, Grape Wulong Oolong is “perfect to balance your senses senses any time of the day.” This tea reminds us that spring is on its way. Enjoy a warm cup after a day in the cold, but save some for next season, because it will be the perfect cool drink to enjoy on ice during a picnic or barbecue.