Oolong And Short Of It

I am a coffee person. I love everything about it—the smell, the taste, the way the hot mug feels between my hands. I make coffee every morning in a French press, add whole milk till it’s the color of toasted rye bread, and then let its warmth and richness fill up my soul and stuff.


Recently, though, I discovered a tea that, while it hasn’t conquered the realms of my morning time yet, has taken dominion over any and all afternoon caffeine consumption transpiring in my world. Loose-leaf Coconut Oolong, procured from Tea Chai Té here in Portland. Not only is its taste rich and mysterious, Oolong is not acidic like coffee, and its caffeine delivery is much lighter. There will be no tragic crash after drinking a cup of this, no stomach ache, no jitters—only a little charge of energy and a subtle kicking of the world’s ass sensation.


For peeps who don’t know, Oolong is half way between green and black tea—kinda a best of both worlds tea, really. It has the body and complexity of a black breakfast tea with the brightness and freshness of a nice green. Plus, this particular Oolong is instilled with young coconut nectar, making it even richer, more aromatic and mysterious. You sprinkle an impossibly tiny amount into a tea strainer, let it steep for a few minutes, and then (if you’re me) pour a dash of milk in the mug. Don’t let the liquid’s pale color fool you. The concoction is creamy and smooth, yes, but it packs a hidden aromatic punch that instantly transports you someplace exotic.