Hey there Teacups! For today’s Teamas post, the featured tea from Chariteas is their Red Buffalo Oolong. When I saw that this tea had been included in the samples that Chariteas sent over to me for this series I was really excited because this year really has been a year of change in terms of my tastes in tea and Oolong especially has completely taken the top spot, I’ve been drinking so much more Oolong this year over varying levels of oxidation and prepared in so so many different ways. I used to think that no tea would ever been able to take over my love for black tea but this year Oolong has proven me completely wrong, and this beautiful sweet and malty Vietnamese Oolong from Chariteas was the perfect Oolong to to finish off the year with and tie all of the amazing Oolong experiences I’ve had this year together.
I’ve found really that ever since I started my tea journey, each year my tastes change a little bit as a learn more or find a whole new tea I’ve never heard of before that I end up loving. But there has been a few gradual changes that I have expected because with the more teas I’ve tried it was only going to be natural that my palate get better and I would be able to notice nuances that I hadn’t noticed before. But 2020 has been a year unlike any other and my tastes buds just decided they wanted to change completely and not only did another tea beat black tea off of it’s hot spot, but I enjoyed more than one tisane with hibicus in it hot, a mint blend, more and three bend with fennel in them, a flavoured white tea, a tropical fruity flavoured blend steeped hot, multiple blends with Lapsang in them and more chocolate blends than I can count on my hands. All of which I never would have enjoyed last year and probably never would have tried if it wasn’t for my blog.
Once of my main goals during 2020 was to push myself out of my tea comfort zones and I definitely think I did a great job of doing that this year, and it’s really helped me to diversify my taste in tea. it’s also helped me to re-visit teas and tisanes that I had tired in the past and not enjoyed. It’s enabled me to try teas I never would have been brave enough to try this time last year and I’ve had so many great tea experiences because of it. When I set that goal at the end of last year I honestly did it to help myself get out a of a constant rut I felt I had been stuck in mid 2019 and I never expected it to help me as much as it has. It’s definitely going to be a permanent goal, I’m going to keep on my list going forward every year from now on because who knows what it might result in in and how it might shape my taste in tea as the years go by.
If you feel like you want to be a little more adventure with your tea during 20201 I recommend adding this goal to your list of goals for the year as a subtle reminder to just push yourself to try new things every now and again. You ever know, you could end up finding a new tea, tisane, tea brewing method or tea preparation method that you love, but you’ll never know unless you try it out. Just look at me for example, before I started my loose leaf tea journey I never would have know what Red Buffalo Oolong was and I never would have been brave enough to try it… yet now I love it and even have a preferred way of preparing it.
As for this specific tea, I prepared it western style and I steeped it three times. Each steep was fantastic and very well rounded and normally while I would steep a tea like this in my gaiwan I was simply not feeling well enough, but this tea steeped perfect western style and would honestly even be great steeped grandpa style as well. It’s a highly oxidised oolong and as result its got a nice malty characters to it, its sweet and also as a stone fruit note, a hint of brown butter and a woodiness. I have a little of this let and I’m planning on drinking this on new years even to ring in 2021 in a delicious way. (OTR: 5/5)
If you want to find out more about Chariteas and purchase some of this tea for yourself, you can do both here. Always ways if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawish and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again tomorrow. Happy Steeping – Kimberley