Notes of gardenia, orange blossom honey, and peach tarte tatin.
Oolong tea from Taiwan・April 2018・黃金四季・Organic
This is a small-batch tea in the truest sense. High elevation, hand-picked and bug bitten leaves are crafted using traditional methods to create a complex tea that balances floral, honey and fruit notes. The liquor is golden, and this tea is gold.
The base cultivar is sijichun (four seasons spring), developed in the 1980s to be highly adaptive through multiple seasons. Because of this, the cultivar is prolific in Taiwan, and used to produce low grade, low elevation oolongs. High elevation planting of this cultivar is unusual, as most growers prefer the clear heart cultivar for its thinner, more delicate leaves. At elevation, sijichun leaves grow thick and coarse, making it an ideal candidate for producing a high-oxidized oolong.
The source garden sits between 1500m and 1800m, and lies in the area between Lishan proper to the north, and Cuifeng in the south. This particular batch of tea comes from higher elevation section of the garden, from trees that are nearly 30 years old. Picked the third week of April, the leaves show tell-tale signs of leaf hopper bites, giving the tea its natural honey notes.
What ultimately sets this tea apart is its traditional craftsmanship. Extended withering and bruising significantly increased this tea’s oxidation rate. Lower torque during rolling preserved more flavor and aromatic compounds in the tea leaves. This meticulous craftsmanship took time: greener high mountain oolongs typically take a little over 24 hours to complete. This tea took over two days.
The result is delicious. Four Seasons Gold has a thick, viscous liquor that deepens in flavor and aromatic intensity as it steeps - and longer steeps yield a deep gold/brass infusion that is intense without bitterness.
Brew: 7 grams・150 ml・208° F・2 min
This tea was meant to be brewed at high temperatures, for longer times. We recommend 208F, and suggest pushing the brew time. The result is intensely aromatic, yet retains a thick refined sweetness with an impossibly long finish.