Glenburn Estate Autumn Oolong
At the NW Tea Festival last year, a woman named Shalini Prakash Agarwal arrived representing the Glenburn Tea Estate, which is located in India, local office in Irvine, Ca. Shalini is part of a family of five generations of tea growers who plant tea from the Himalayas in Darjeeling to the plains of Assam. They are one of 87 tea planters that can label tea Darjeeling, having been grown in the Darjeeling region of India. Besides the tea, Glenburn Estate owns a boutique hotel named The Glenburn, in case you are in a mood to visit India and experience for yourself tea plantations. The scenery is spectacular, the backdrop is the Himalayas. Nice place for a cup of tea. Maybe a little pricey!
In the meantime, you can try the tea without going to India. The Glenburn Estate has best growing seasons for tea: Spring, Summer, Monsoon, and Autumn. I decided on something from the Autumn collection, Autumn Oolong, which I purchased from Phoenix Tea, in Burien. Upon opening the package, the tea had a light, floral, glorious smell.
The whole leaf is used in brewing tea, and it stays intact through infusion. This particular tea is made in small batches toward the end of the tea plucking season, making it less available throughout the year. I had not thought about drinking tea in harmony with the seasons of the year, and yet, some teas are like some foods; in-season tea tastes different than out-of-season tea. Strawberries in June and July taste better than strawberries in January or February. Unless you live in Argentina. Which I don’t.
Following tea seasons can invite a whole host of new teas to try, and another way to increase your tea awareness, plus one-upping your snooty Aunt Angela who thinks that she knows everything there is to know about tea.
Now for the tea: Autumn Oolong is full flavored with a smooth light taste, like fine wine. Tea in the cup color is a reddish caramel, and there is that wonderful floral bouquet that accompanies the tea. It is easily sipped all day.