2012 Hakka Pomelo
Notes of dried cranberry, preserved meyer lemon, and sangria.
Aged oolong from Taiwan・October 2012・陳年客家柚子烏龍・Unsprayed
A new tea to ring in the new year! Aging tea in citrus is a tradition passed down by the Hakka people, or “guest families”, from generation to generation following the cycle of tea and citrus harvests throughout the year. The Hakka are a people of no one particular provenance, but rather a broad diaspora of families and their descendants who left their homes in the north to settle in Southern China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, bringing seeds and saplings to soils.
It is just such an enclave, on the western coast of Taiwan, that is home to our Hakka Pomelo Oolong, made by an octogenarian matriarch who, while warm and maternal, holds the secret of her craft close.
With no small amount of side-eye, the tea maker shared the following overview of her production with us. Spring-picked qing xin cultivar is oxidized and roasted in Miaoli, just north of Taichung, then held until fall’s pomelo bounty makes her trees bow with ripe fruit. The large citrus are harvested during the mid-autumn festival, when family gathers together to hollow the rinds of the fruit, mix the fruit pulp with tea before repacking both inside the citrus rind. They then steam, press, sun dry, and bake the bundles of fruit and tea together.
Finished, each fruit appears like a small package, tightly wrapped and hiding something wonderful within. Ten years is the minimum aging process for this pomelo tea, and when the time comes, each fruit is split open with a hammer and portioned out to enjoy throughout the winter season. Long considered an aid in digestion, these medicinal qualities are said to increase with time.
Sip your ten-year-aged Hakka Pomelo tea now, on the cusp of the year of the rabbit, or save it for a future date. The bright, clean taste of this infused tea lasts over days of steeping. Brew rind and leaves together in gently simmering water, and continue to enjoy across the week. We keep our tea brewing in a glass pot in the refrigerator for several days.
Hakka Pomelo Oolong is a Lunar New Year exclusive, and is we’re offering a limited number of fruit this year. Choose from an entire citrus, or a smaller pre-broken 80g portion, presented in a commemorative Year of the Rabbit tea tin. May each steaming cup bring fortune and favor to you during the coming year!
Brew: 8 grams・350 ml・208° F・5+ min
This tea brews better when gently simmered in larger tea pots. We suggest doing so, adding more water after each round. Tea can be refrigerated and enjoyed the following day, iced.
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|