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We Call it Bamboolong

I want to thank Shawny Ross who wrote a number of articles for me a few years ago. This is her article on our Formosa Oolong tea, which we, the tea team, christened Bamboolong!


Taiwan is famous for tea, especially the lightly roasted oolong tea. Teahouses exist in almost every town and most households have a tea cart to serve guests. Tea is brewed in a small pot and served in one-ounce cups. It is considered stimulating, conducive to conversation and beneficial to health. The tea gardens of the Tung Ting province in our present day Taiwan (formerly Formosa) produce this luxuriously smooth, slightly sweet oolong. It falls between a black tea and a green tea therefore making oolongs sometimes called brown tea. This brown Taiwanese tea has a rich dark liquor and a slightly sweet toasty taste.

Oolong means semi-fermented. After rolling, the tea is allowed to ferment (oxidize) only until the edges of the leaves start to turn brown. The tea is then fired which arrests the fermenting process and captures the interesting character associated with oolong tea.

In Taiwan, the making of oolong tea is regarded as a precious art that requires years of training. The husbandry of the tea farmer is a legacy passed down through many generations.

Enjoy this oolong paired with cheeses such as Brie, Cheddar or Muenster. It complements desserts too, like baklava and pecan pie!

The above article was researched by Shawny. Until recently, we called our Formosa Oolong by its name. But when we read further that most oolongs during the indoor withering process, are rolled in long, bamboo cylinder baskets to break the tea leaf cells, thus triggering oxidation, we thought it would be fun to call it something unique to Lady Baker's collection of teas. BAMBOOLONG!

Here's a delicious recipe to try for afternoon tea time:

Lady Baker's Chocolate Bamboolong Tea Loaf

1/3 cup cocoa powder                                                                      1 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup Bamboolong brewed                                                         1 large pinch salt

1 1/3 cups flour                                                                                  2 sticks butter (softened)

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar                                                                 4 eggs beaten

Preheat oven to 350° Grease and line with parchment paper a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. Brew 1 tsp. of Bamboolong loose tea in 1/3 cup heated water.  Strain. When tea is cool mix in the cocoa till smooth.

Put flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor and blend to mix well. Add the butter and 1/3 of the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 min. scrape down the batter from sides of the processor. ADd remaining eggs and cocoa mixture and blend till smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45-55 minutes until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 min. and remove from pan.



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