Mid Autumn Festival
As the shape of the moon grows fuller towards what the lunar calendar marks as Mid-Autumn, Mooncake Festival is around the corner. There is a popular belief that pu’er would be the tea to pair with the heavy grease contents of the festive dessert. In practice, the post-fermented tea has to be used well in order to deliver the anti-guilt benefits.
If you need a shu cha pu’er to help you degrease, in feeling and in your system, never drink it cool, but always quite hot. Never too weak but strong enough to the maximum limit of your taste. Rather like an expresso.
Shengcha is another story. I shall discuss that in another post.
There are actually a few other teas that possess the needed health protection characteristics and are good matches with the intensely sweet lotus paste. They are generally a lot easier than pu’er when it comes to helping the digestion situation.
One best group of candidates are the Wuyi oolongs. They are strong enough in taste even when in moderate to lighter strengths, and pair well with the many popular varieties of mooncakes. My personal favourites are Red Cloak Grande and Meizhan Classic. They both have a distinct bitterness that define better the taste of the lotus seed filling and in turn taste better themselves because of the raw cane sugar in the paste of the cake.
One can even prepare the same tea in gongfu style in added strength after the food craze to sooth the stuffed stomach.
Another potent group is the Phoenix oolongs. Use the classic style ones when the tea is enjoyed with the mooncakes. Honey Orchid, Orchid Gratus, Phoenix Classic etc are classic style. As for the bouquet style ones, drink them afterwards.
Similarly, baked tieguanyins, such as Alishan Guanyin and Tieguanyin Classic are effective too.
Green and white teas are generally richer in catechins, however. They play well the day after, and perhaps lasting a few days more, depending on how indulgent you have been in the full-moon night.