April 23 Orchid
Notes of ginger blossom, orchid, and rice milk.
Oolong from Taiwan・April 2023・蘭花青心・Unsprayed
This April 23 Orchid Oolong is the first of three teas featured in this year’s collection that Song has had a direct hand in during every stage of production, from field to finish. 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. While there’s always room for surprises along the way, our intention with this April 23 oolong harvest was to produce a tea with emphatic fragrance, sweetness, and clarity.
Picked in the early hours of morning from a hillside garden approximately 1300m up Shan Lin Xi, this tea was crafted at the source garden, eliminating time spent in transportation to an offsite production facility, and any premature oxidation of the leaves en route. This quick turnaround from bush to sun withering helps maintain the light, floral qualities of these leaves, and slow, temperature-controlled indoor oxidation concentrates the sweet notes of the tea.
Prior to kill green, the leaves are tossed in large bamboo drums to lightly bruise and further oxidize. It’s at this stage in the process that smell becomes very important. After withering, bruising, and further resting, the leaves become increasingly aromatic. Kill green, stopping the oxidation by heating in rotating drum roasters, is done as soon as the leaves take on the scent of orchid flowers, a harbinger of the aromatics and flavor profile of the finished tea.
Rolled into tight pearls, then rested for a week’s time, the final step of the finishing process is a light charcoal bake that sets the leaves, and concentrates the plant’s innate sugars. The result of each step, fine-tuned and carefully thought through, is a light, balmy oolong with notes of ginger blossom, orchid, and rice milk.
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|