2003 Aged Hakka Pomelo
Notes of dried cherry, preserved meyer lemon, and classic old fashioned.
Aged oolong from Taiwan・October 2003・陳年客家柚子烏龍・Unsprayed
Aging tea in citrus is a tradition passed down by the Hakka people, or “guest families”, from generation to generation following the cycle of tea and citrus harvests throughout the year. The Hakka are a people of no one particular provenance, but rather a broad diaspora of families and their descendants who left their homes in the north to settle in Southern China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, bringing seeds and saplings to new soils.
It is just such an enclave, on the western coast of Taiwan, that is home to our Hakka Pomelo Oolong, made by an octogenarian matriarch who, while warm and maternal, holds the secret of her craft close.
This tea is produced using spring-picked qing xin cultivar that is oxidized and roasted in Miaoli, just north of Taichung, then held until fall’s pomelo bounty makes the trees bow with ripe fruit. The large citrus are harvested during the mid-autumn festival, when family gathers together to hollow the rinds of the fruit, mix the fruit pulp with tea before repacking both inside the citrus rind. They then steam, press, sundry, and bake the bundles of fruit and tea together.
Finished, each fruit appears like a small package, tightly wrapped and hiding something wonderful within. Ten years is the minimum aging for this type of pomelo tea, but this year we found something even older, and more enticing. With each passing year, aged tea mellows and matures in flavor, easing off it’s initial tangy notes, and transcending into a brew that is rich and layered.
We’ve reached back farther in time for this year’s pomelo, offering a 20-year-old tea that is a decade older than our original in 2022. At the 20-year mark, this aged pomelo tea is ripe for drinking. Place into a linen bag, split open each fruit with a strong hammer stroke, and enjoy this delightful, warming tea all winter long. Long considered an aid in digestion, these medicinal qualities are said to increase with time.
The bright, clean-taste of this infused tea lasts over days of steeping. Brew rind and leaves together in gently simmering water, and continue to enjoy across the week. We keep our tea steeping in a glass pot in the refrigerator.
This 20-year-aged Hakka Pomelo Oolong is a Lunar New Year exclusive and available in 4 gift-boxed whole fruit sizes and a smaller 80g portion of loose tea, packaged in a limited edition Year of the Dragon Song Tea canister. May each steaming cup bring fortune and favor to you during the coming year!
Brew: 8 grams・350 ml・208° F・5+ min
This tea brews better when gently simmered in larger tea pots. We suggest doing so, adding more water after each round. Tea can be refrigerated and enjoyed the following day, iced.
More familiar with our old quantities? Here’s the conversion:
|30 grams (new size!)