Arbor Ruan Zhi
Notes of cassava, nigella seed, and rye bread.
Oolong tea from Taiwan・May 2019・野放軟枝・Arbor, semi-wild
This is one of two teas in the Si Fang Cha collection that is semi-wild grown. It comes from 30-year-old ruan zhi or “tender stem” trees on Shan Lin Xi mountain in Nantou County, Taiwan. Arbor Ruan Zhi was made for us by the same producer who crafts our iconic, cotton-candy-like Winter Sprout. And while both teas share the distinct, caramel sweetness of high mountain oolongs, Arbor Ruan Zhi brews with a darkness and maturity of flavor that represents a pantheon of unique tasting notes. You’ll find everything from Peruvian salsa huancaina and Japanese ume plums to thick, black Scandinavian rye.
Each leaf and stem combination was picked by hand on a single day in early May 2019 from a small, unattended garden that yielded a mere 36 kilograms of finished tea. We bought the entire lot. The production was meticulous - each small step was labored over to ensure that not a single leaf went to waste. Withered and slowly bruised by hand on woven bamboo trays, the tea was then oxidized and rolled in cloth globes and finished over charcoal for sweetness and depth. This traditional crafting style maximizes the character and body of the tea leaves.
The result is a tea with distinct, complex character and weight - sweet, and floral, yet with heavy texture and persistent finish. We are releasing only a small portion of this tea at this time. The rest will be stored carefully for aging.
Arbor Ruan Zhi is packed in 100gram (3.5 ounce) vacuum sealed bricks. Tea ships in imported hand-made Si Fang Cha canisters.
Brew: 6 grams・150 ml・208° F・2.5 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, and shipped in a cloth pouch.
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|