Notes of graham cracker, lilac, and kirsch.
Oolong tea from Taiwan・April 2020・台灣肉桂烏龍・Unsprayed
We discovered Formosa Rougui in late April 2019 through sheer happenstance. While awaiting a much delayed harvest season for high mountain oolongs, we took a short trip to Ping Lin, a small tea growing area northeast of Taipei known for a lighter style of oolong called baozhong. Mr. Liang’s family tea garden was one of the few stops we made in Ping Lin - and as expected, we were first presented with a selection of baozhong teas.
A fundamental component of Song’s sourcing lies in people skills. With a penchant for the unusual and experimental, and always in pursuit of teas we’ve never seen or tasted before, it often takes some gentle prodding to convince growers to reveal their most prized leaves. With Mr. Liang, our perseverance bore fruit. Mr. Liang offered us a maocha - an unfinished tea - from rougui bushes he had planted less than a decade ago. That tea we had that day was transcendent - thick and creamy, with floral and fruit notes evocative of rouguis from the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve in Fujian.
But Mr. Liang’s young trees had produced only a small handful of catties in its debut harvest - and all were spoken for. Perhaps he could tell how devastated we were, and how smitten. So he made us a promise that the 2020 harvest - his second - would be ours. This spring, ever true to his word, Mr. Liang sent us 70 catties of this Rougui. The leaves arrived as maocha, and we added our own finish, with four consecutive days of in-house roasting until the tea was just right.
Unlike its Wuyishan counterpart, Formosa Rougui is a loosely rolled oolong - similar in style to our Shan Lin Xi Winter Sprout or traditional Tieguanyin. A mid-to-high oxidation gives the tea its heady floral and fruit notes, and our tuning adds sweetness and texture, and an exceptionally long finish.
We intend Si Fang Cha to showcase unusual teas that we play a critical role in creating. The unusual nature of this tea- a Rougui grown in Taiwan-and our contribution to its final profile and character, makes this the perfect tea for this collection. We hope you enjoy this tea as much as we did sourcing, roasting, and cupping it.
Formosa Rougui is packed in 100gram (3.5 ounce) vacuum sealed bricks. Tea ships in imported Si Fang Cha canisters.
Brew: 6 grams・150 ml・208° F・2 min
Inspired by the intimate supper clubs of the Song Dynasty, Sifang Cha is a small series of exquisite teas for special occasions. Each tea is carefully packed in hand-made canisters.
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|