Flora Tehus popped up on my tea-radar when they started following me on Instagram.
I checked out their Instagram bio, which led me to their web site.
In the “Teaware” section I couldn’t help but notice that they had a beautiful handmade ceramic tea pot, which at 180 ml was perfect for gong-fu tea making. In a case of serendipi-tea, I’d been on the lookout for just such a steeping vessel for Oolongs and the occasional black/red tea. The timing was perfect, as was the location of the shop itself.
I messaged Mrs. Teaist at work…
“This is just a short stroll from your office, isn’t it?”
“Indeed it is.”
“Fancy a wee walk at lunchtime?”
“In this weather? I think not.”
To be fair to Mrs. Teaist the rain was bouncing about a foot in the air off the streets of Copenhagen that day, and her umbrella was somewhat inconveniently located 40 km away in our coat rack.
The very next day, however, was warm and sunny, and sometime around lunchtime Mrs. Teaist messaged me…
“In the shop. What do you want?”
Now, I was intending to stick to the pot, but then I noticed that they had both Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) and Frozen Summit (Dong Ding) Oolongs in stock.
A message flashed across the ether, cash and pleasantries were exchanged, and later that evening I got new toys to play with. Hurrah!
The pot was inaugurated early the next day with a session with the Da Hong Pao, and another one the day after with the Dong Ding. It’s surprisingly heavy for it’s size, and fits the hand wonderfully. It has a great pour, and excellent heat handling characteristics. It’s also even prettier in real life than the photos suggest – this pot belongs in the “take it out and stare at it adoringly even when not using it” class of teaware.
The teas weren’t bad either…!
Da Hong Pao
After heating water to 100°C, I dropped 7 grams of leaf into the pot, and warmed everything up with a quick 2 seconds rinse. The first infusion proper was a 10 second one, with subsequent steepings each 5 seconds longer than the last, until the final one at 35 seconds, making 6 in total.
The wet leaf had a sweet aroma, and the tea liquor left traces of baked honey and brown sugar on the inside of the pot lid.
The roasting left subtle traces of smoky warmth in the cup, and the liquor showed a nice, creamy body as well as a refreshing touch of astringency.
There was also a pleasant hui gan or “Returning Sweetness” – a tingly, sugary aftertaste that danced around on my tongue for a few seconds after the tea had been swallowed.
Frozen Summit (Dong Ding)
This time I was starting the session with 5 grams of leaf in the pot. Again, water was at 100°C.
After the customary rinse, I started with a 20 second infusion, adding 5 seconds to each of the following 5 infusions.
This tea was a real tease, suggesting several tastes and aromas that seemed to perpetually hover just out of reach – the scent of some unknown flower, the sweet taste of some long forgotten candy bar from the early 70s…the only thing I could half pin down was a pleasant vegetal taste that reminded me of asparagus.
So, a great new pot, and some good teas to go in it. Good stuff all round.
Something tells me this isn’t the last time I’ll be requesting that Mrs. Teaist takes a pot-lunch stroll…