April 30 Dark
Notes of milk bread toast, toffee, and bananas foster.
Oolong from Taiwan・April 2023・紅水烏龍・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 Dark is one of a handful of teas that Song has had a direct hand in during every stage of production, from field to finish. You may recognize this date from elsewhere in our collection. Indeed, April 30 Gold is the same exact tea, harvested and processed identically to this April 30 Dark. The difference between these two teas lies in their finishing roasts, and the results are strikingly distinct.
Both April 30 teas were harvested in the early hours of morning from a hillside garden 1300m up the slopes of Shan Lin Xi. After an extended withering period, leaves are tossed in large bamboo drums to lightly bruise and further oxidize the tea, transforming their aromatics from lightly verdant, to floral, then 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.
Rolled into tight pearls, then rested for a week’s time, the portion of this harvest set aside for April 30’s Dark iteration underwent multiple rounds of low-temperature charcoal roasting over longan wood pits, bringing the innate sweetness of the leaves to the forefront and caramelizing the tea’s natural sugars. The result is a tantalizing sweet brew, with an intensity that delivers layers of aromatic and textual character. Find notes of Milk Bread Toast, Toffee, and Bananas Foster.
Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・205° F・2 min
We crafted this tea for depth and range. To truly appreciate this, we suggest using the 2 minute steep time as a starting point. A 2 minute brew yields a light, toasty tea akin to hojicha. Three minutes yield increasing complexity. Four minutes yields a rich, hearty brew with layers of fruit and toffee. This is our preferred steep time.
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|