Country of Origin: Vietnam
Grade: OP (Orange Pekoe)
Altitude: 1000 - 4000 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Traditional
Infusion: Bright and reddish.
Cup Characteristics: Mild yet spicy and highly aromatic for it's type. The flavour is emphasized
with milk. A superb afternoon tea.
Ingredients: Vietnamese OP Black Tea
This tea looks very much like the more popular comparable Chinese teas, however the taste is far more spicy and soft. This tea may rather be compared to the Celyon Highland teas. It is particularly interesting to tea drinkers who like a mild but fully arromatic tea.
Orange Pekoe is a long wiry leaf, the meaning of the words are lost in the past but Orange refers to the Dutch "Oranje" which means Royal. Orange Pekoe uses the whole tender flesh of the leaves unlike plain Pekoe which makes a stronger cup due to being produced from more leaf ribs and less flesh.
As with most teas, the longer you brew this tea the stronger it becomes. If you're Irish, you'll let this tea brew a good long time and then add a wee splash of milk. Milk, in the case of a tea this strong cancels out the tannins and diminishes the bitterness that can characterize some strong teas. Debate rages from Dublin to Tipperary as to when milk should be added - before the tea or after? The milk-first camp argues that milk added after the hot tea will scald and should therefore be added first so it can warm as the tea is poured. Milk-last devotees argue that the only way to properly measure the amount to add is to pour it last. (Non-users of milk regard the whole issue as quite silly.)
Vietnamese Orange Pekoe makes a superb afternoon but can be drunk at any time of the day.
Hot tea brewing method:
Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help capture the malty character of this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea 'straight-up'
Iced tea-brewing method:
(to make 1 litre): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour ½ pint (275ml) of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]
Simpli-Special - Tea as it Should be!