Summer 2014 Interview – Char (Oolong Owl)

Oolong Owl

Q1. What is your Name?

Char

Q2. Do you represent a business? If yes, what is the name and your role.

Tea blogger at OolongOwl.com and Knitting & Crochet designer behind AwkwardSoulDesigns.com

Q3. Where are you located in the world?

The sunny yet breezy Long Beach, California. I moved here 2 years ago from Vancouver, Canada.

Q4. What is your favourite Summer drink and why?

Admittedly, I’m more of an Autumn kind of person so in the Summer I like staying as cool as possible. I like making a big pitchers of iced tea, usually a green, white, green oolong tea or hibiscus herbal and load it with fresh sliced lemons from my back yard.

Q5. What is the perfect Summer’s day setting to enjoy the drink?

At an outdoor food festival in the evening. I love attending the Night Market, sipping an iced or cold steeped green oolong I brought, while eating random meat on a stick, giant fried squids, and bubbly waffles all while listening to Korean pop music blasted in the background.

Q6. Is there a right or wrong way to prepare the drink? i.e. Never drink without ice?

Yes and no. On one hand you probably shouldn’t use boiling water to steep a delicate tea (ie green or white teas) and also prepare the drink as what the tea blender has put on the steeping instructions to experience what they intend you to taste. On the other hand, one should also make tea their own and love it, so experimenting with a steep to make it awesome – try it iced, cold steeped or with milk.

Q7. Is the presentation of the drink important? i.e. ceremony, type of glass, setting.

Often I’d get caught up on wanting my tea fix now, so I’d steep some up in a huge (sometimes not clean) mug and drink while I work in the morning.

But I think it is a good idea to have a real tea break often. Bust out the yixing pot and the tiny tasting cups and with that have a dozen or so rounds of gongfu cha. I find the whole atmosphere of a good gongfu tea session is grounding and relaxing as you can take your time and reflect how the taste and colour of the tea change with each new infusion. That kind of presentation also makes for great photos! I also like having a laugh and giving my tea session some personality, so I’ll have one of my crocheted amigurumi Tea Owl mascots join me for tea!

Q8. Is there a Summer’s day drink that you feel is underrated? If so, why?

Iced Ripe Pu’er.

Rinse and steep the pu’er western style. Chill the pu’er and pour over ice. I think serving a pu’er iced may make a tea traditionalist’s hair curl, but iced pu’er has that rich iced coffee vibe to it but with tea love. I also cold steep leftover steeped ripe pu’er leaves with great success and deliciousness.

Q9. Where can people find out more about you? i.e. shop address, Twitter username, website url

Oolong Owl Tea blog http://www.oolongowl.com/
Awkward Soul Designs http://www.awkwardsouldesigns.com/
Instagram http://instagram.com/oolongowl
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheOolongOwl
Twitter https://twitter.com/awkwardsoul

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