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We’ve added American ginseng, grown in Wisconsin, to our Oolong. The health benefits of Ginseng have made it prized in the East and the West. In China, Ginseng was historically said to sharpen the senses, cure illnesses, and even prolong life. While not quite as fanciful, modern medicine has shown that ginseng does contain several unique types of anti-oxidants and other compounds known as ginsenosides. Clinical trials have also shown that American ginseng in particular can help in controlling blood-sugar levels in patients with type-II diabetes. It is no wonder that ginseng has a long-running record as the most popular herbal health supplement in the United States.
Asian ginseng tends to overpower the taste of the tea, but American ginseng is both milder and sweeter. We’ve found that our more floral teas pair very well with just the right amount of ginseng. As the steep time increases the flavor of ginseng becomes more pronounced, so a bit of experimentation is necessary for each individual brewer’s tastes. Our own sweet spot uses 3 grams of tea with 100ml, steeped at 90c for 50 to 60 seconds. After the third brew 20 seconds can safely be added to the steep time. The liquor is very sweet and savory, with a hint of nuttiness in the aftertaste. The floral flavors of gardenias concentrate on the tip of the tongue and linger.