Sunday, October 25, 2015

Come over to the dark side!

Last night I headed out to another tea tasting event with my fellow tea lovers. This time, we were invited to cross over to the dark side. Halloween is just around the corner after all. Moohoohaha! Actually, we had the pleasure of tasting a few different black teas. Please do read an earlier post I wrote about regarding the terminology of black and red tea. The difference in meaning is geographical.

The teas we had included:
  • Oku Yame Black from Japan
  • Keemun from China
  • Golden Assam from India
  • Vanilla Bean Black from USA. This is a blend.

The tastings were quite interesting and there was a lot of chatter around the tables about our experiences with each brew. Our event took place in a new tea establishment called Infuse CafĂ©. This tea shop uses the BKON method to brew their teas. 


Just the facts please!

I’ve never heard of this technology so I can’t say too much about it other than the fact that there is a noticeable difference in flavour, aroma, and colour of the infusions compared to traditional brewing methods. BKON is something I’m definitely going to look into further in order to form a better opinion. 

Infuse!

We were provided with two tastings of each tea. One brewed using a regular steep and filter method, the other using the BKON method. What a difference! 

All done!


Can you see the difference?

The BKON brews of each tea were bolder and stronger in every sense. Like most Westerners, I’m a milk and sugar kinda gal for some black teas, particularly Assam. We didn’t take our tea with any additives so I’m sure the astringency and aroma of the BKON infused Assam would have been subdued with milk and sugar. It made a lovely cup with a regular steeping.

Take these leaves...

The Oku Yame on the other hand was like night and day. It was as though we were drinking two completely different teas. The BKON yielded an astringent, smoky cup whereas the filtered method produced a sour almost lemony flavour. Interesting! 

...and brew them old school...

The Keemun and vanilla bean blend teas weren’t too bad either way though I did lean more towards the traditional brews for their mild tastes and light aromas. The BKON brews were far stronger. 

It was definitely a fun event with lively discussion. Always fascinating to see the latest technologies even in the world of tea. It will be very interesting to see where systems like the BKON will take us tea lovers. 

...to get this cuppa!

However, I’m not entirely keen on tea becoming the next coffee where it involves speed. I like taking my time in preparing a good cup of tea, watching the leaves slowly unfold revealing themselves and changing the colour of the water. Still, I’m not dismissing BKON, and will learn more about it.



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