April 30 Gold
Notes of jackfruit, ginger syrup, and sake lees.
Oolong from Taiwan・April 2023・黃金青心・Unsprayed
As our knowledge of cultivation and craft grows, so does our ability to play with each successive step, dialing a tea’s final character specifically to our liking, and this April 30 Oolong is one of a handful of teas that Song has had a direct hand in during every stage of production, from field to finish. We landed upon this specific iteration of this tea by chance - the result of a midnight spent working alongside tea makers on an entirely different oolong, slated for a dark charcoal roast finish. Just out of the drum ovens following a day of withering and oxidation, these leaves were a wonderful surprise of their own.
April 30 Gold was harvested in the early hours of morning from a hillside garden 1300m up the slopes of Shan Lin Xi - the same plants and garden as our April 23 Orchid. With this day's harvest, we set out to create a much more oxidized oolong, taking the profile of the tea from light and highly floral, through to a tropical fruit sweetness, with an aroma not dissimilar from Juicy Fruit.
After harvest, sun withering, and several hours of oxidation inside temperature-controlled rooms, these leaves are tossed in large bamboo drums to lightly bruise and further oxidize the tea. It’s at this stage in the process that the leaves begin to undergo this aromatic transformation from lightly verdant, to floral, to tropical, and on to sugary stone fruit sweetness. We halted oxidation just as it reached peak tropical profile, killing the green, (stopping the oxidation by heating in rotating drum roasters) to hold these scents and flavors in place.
The original 200 catties of this day's production was intended for heavy charcoal roasting, akin to our Nantou Dark. Yet so striking was the character and flavor of these leaves as they were, we made an impulse decision to hold 50 catties back to present as-is.
Rolled into tight pearls, then rested for a week’s time, the final step of the finishing process was the lightest, most imperceptible of charcoal bakes - just enough to set the leaves, and concentrate the plant’s innate sugars. The end result is a rich, fruit-forward brew, with notes of jackfruit, ginger syrup, and sake lees.
Brew: 6 grams・150 ml・205° F・2 min
More familiar with our old quantities? Here’s the conversion:
|Metric quantities||Ounce equivalent||Servings|
|30 grams (new size!)||1.05 oz.||5-8|
|60 grams||2.10 oz.||10-15|
|120 grams||4.20 oz.||20-30|
|240 grams||8.46 oz.||40-60|