The basis for this Premium version of our Cha Khao Hom Thai Rice Tea is provided by the fine Jin Xuan Oolong No. 12, a tea cultivar imported from Taiwan to north Thailand during the early 1990s and – at altitudes around 1000 meters and in a seasonal cycle of a rainy, a dry & hot and a cold and foggy season in 4-monthly intervals – developed there to a new level of perfection. Besides the standard processing method of this tea to a regular Oolong tea of medium fermentation level, the highly versatile Jin Xuan cultivar is also processed to an impressing range of tea specialties in north Thailand, among these our DMS Jin Xuan Black Pearls Black Tea, our DMS Jin Xuan Hoarfrost Oolong, (Jin Xuan winter harvest), and: this Premium version of the exclusive Thai tea specialty Cha Khao Hom Thai Rice Tea.
To produce this tea creation, the freshly and carefully hand-harvested tea leaves – only they youngest bud along with its two pertaining most upper leaves of each branch – of the Jin Xuan tea plant are processed (or, more particular: heated) together with the 100% natural scenting / aroma agent “Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye“ (= „sweet fragrance rice tender leaves“). While the heating is an integral part of any Oolong tea’s processing, the procedure here also serves the transfer of the aroma agent’s intensive rice aroma and flavor to the tea leaves, resulting in a harmonical, decently balanced taste result, ein unique blend of the dominant finely tart and earthy taste of the Jin Xuan Oolong, typically complimented by a decent nutty and creamy note, and the intensive rice (or better: “sticky rice”-) flavor of the aroma donor.
The scenting agent itself is a herb native to north Thailand, China and some other south east Asian countries, which in Chinese is referred to as “Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye“ (= “sweet fragrance rice tender leaves“), which due to its intensive, but nevertheless pleasant rice flavor in China has been used to scent tea before, though only for the scenting of Pu Erh tea, and also finds use as a spice for certain foods. In a last processing step, the leaves of the Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye herb are rolled to the ball or pearl form that is charcateristical for Thai Oolongs together with the tea leaves, and at this procedure are virtually rolled into the latter.
In the nomenclature of this tea, “DMS” stands for the cultivation region and/or the place of processing, Doi Mae Salong, north Thailand, and “Cha Khao Hom is the Thai language term for “rice tea”, while “Premium” hints at the high quality Jin Xuan tea basis and the balanced, decent-harmonical blend of flavor. In this regard, please also note the classical version of Cha Khao Hom Rice Tea, our Cha Khao Hom Thai Reistee Classic which is based on the assamica tea plant native to north Thailand and also characterized by a scenting puttting the aroma agent more into the foreground.
For best preparation, we recommend to pour 85°C – 90°C hot water over 3.5 – 5 grams of the rice tea pearls in a clay or ceramic tea pot, with an infusion period of 2-3 minutes in a first steep. With this (rather western) apporach, Cha Khao Hom Thai Rice Tea Premium will altogether produce about 4 full taste infusions, whereas the steeping period should be increased by about 1 minute for each subsequent infusion. With shorter infusion periods (see “Tea Preparation / Gong Fu Cha Tea Ceremony), the number of possible steeps increases accordingly.
For even more information and illustrations regarding Cha Khao Hom Thai Rice Tea and a direct comparison between the Classic version and the Premium version, please read our article at Siam Tea Blog. You will be brought directly to the article by clicking on the following link: