Tag Archives: hawaii

Brazier Experiments Three

Photo Jul 29, 3 53 54 PM

Significant progress with the tea stove! One of our biggest challenges was lighting the charcoal, and so we thought, “let’s go buy one of those charcoal starter chimney things“. When we were in the store looking at them, though, it seemed to me that their design was really simple. Just a grate to hold up the charcoal, a space underneath to light a fire, and a bunch of holes all around for airflow. It seemed very similar to something we already had…

Photo Jul 29, 3 54 53 PM

Hey, that’s just like the inside of the tea stove! I don’t think it was designed with this lighting technique in mind (judging by Peter Novak’s posts), but it worked quite well for us.

We filled the bottom of the stove with newspaper and set it on fire, and then placed several hunks of charcoal in the top grate. The paper burns quite quickly, of course, so we continued to feed more paper into the bottom section through the large air holes as it burned. It may have worked even better if we had some actual kindling in there to keep the fire going with less work. The result: glowing charcoal in about twenty minutes! I think we can even do better than that, now that we have some idea of what we’re doing.

Photo Jul 29, 3 55 00 PM

To celebrate, we infused several delicious pots of a buttery Hawiian oolong, given to me as a gift by the owners of Dobra Tea after their travels there earlier this year. So bold in color, but mellow and sweet in taste, I’m very happy to have this tea and the wonderful tea stove with which to make it!

Photo Jul 30, 2 19 36 PM

Hawaiian Oolong

A gift from the kind owners of Dobra Tea, this Hawaiian oolong is really a fascinating mystery. I haven’t felt adventurous enough until today to give it a try. Until a few months ago I didn’t even know that there was tea grown in Hawaii, and now I’ve sampled several.

The dry leaves are large, dark green, and quite waxy in appearance. A few blushes of red are also apparent.

The buttery, clove and cardamom-like aroma of the warm leaves reminded me instantly of christmas cookies. The liquor is a dramatic pumpkin orange, more glowing than any oolong I think I’ve seen. A little woody, the flavor of cardamom definitely lies in the flavor as well and a noticeably rich sweetness that remains on the tongue.

I managed a good 4 infusions, and I think a few more are present, but my obligations take me away from the gaiwan for now.