The flavour is a cross between Oolong and White - not as strong as China Oolong, but not as delicate as a white. It tastes delicious, and because it's so delicate and refreshing, it's perfect to enjoy at any time of the day.
We're off to the other side of the world this month for Tea Tasters, to try the fierce sounding Grey Dragon Tea - a dramatic looking hybrid of black oolong and white tea that, despite its name, is actually beautifully light with a delicate floral taste.
WHAT IS IT?
As tea growing areas go, Indonesia is quite an underrated origin. This is surprising as, at nearly 200 years old, it's as well established as the tea estates in Sri Lanka and India. This tea that we're going to try is really wonderful.
It comes from the central part of Java - Indonesia's 4th largest island, and is grown in a very picturesque tea estate near the sea called Dewata. In local Indonesian language, Dewata means 'home of the gods and goddesses' - which perfectly suits the spiritual feel of the place, nestled high up in the rolling hills at a breathtaking 1000-1500m metres above sea level.
HOW WE DISCOVERED IT
The story behind how we at Twinings first came across this non-seasonal blend is as fascinating as the tea itself. In fact, it was almost discovered purely by accident. Way back in 2008, when we went to Indonesia with an order for White Tea, the guys in Dewata were experimenting with a White Tea clone called Dewata 27 - a very bespoke plant for this particular tea estate. They left the handpicked leaves to naturally dry in the sun and oxidise for over two days. Grey Dragon Tea was the very flavoursome end result - a lovely tea, with its very needle-like shaped leaves and stylish black and white look and texture running through it.
For what is essentially a very special Dewata 27 clone, this tea is a bespoke blend for us where only 80-100kgs are produced a year - all handmade with a lot of expertise.
BREWING, SERVING AND TASTING YOUR TEA
When it comes to the absolutely ideal way to make the tea - place two teaspoons in water that's just coming up to the boil. Then brew for two minutes. You'll see that it's a very clear, light yellow liquor with a lovely floral aroma.
The other factor that makes Grey Dragon Tea so interesting is that it's a hybrid clone. By this we mean it's a combination of Assamica, and Sinensis (Sinensis is Latin for Chinese and Assamica means Assamese). The Sinensis helps mellow out the Assamica, which is a very thick, strong plant variety.
The flavour is a cross between Oolong and White - not as strong as China Oolong, but not as delicate as a white. It tastes delicious, and because it's so delicate and refreshing, it's perfect to enjoy at any time of the day. So, that's Grey Dragon Tea… and until next time, happy tea times!
GREY DRAGON VIDEO
Our master blender talks you through the wonder of Grey Dragon.
Watch now >