Notes of toasted marshmallow, pine, and green grape.
Oolong tea from Taiwan・May 2017・陳家烏龍・Organic
This small batch, organic oolong is the collaborative effort between a husband and wife. Her family has produced tea for 85 years but always on contract for other growers. His family were vegetable farmers, with knowledge and experience in growing and maintaining crops. The tea they crafted together is beautifully complex and delicious.
Mr. and Mrs. Chen own a small 1200m garden on Zhushan, Nantou County, Taiwan. The garden is small; a stroll around the perimeter takes less than a quarter hour. Production is likewise low. Last year, we purchased 30 catties out of a total production of 200. This year, unusual climatic changes produced record low rainfall, which cut the spring yield to only 150 catties. We purchased 60. The entire spring crop was hand picked on the morning of May 15, and maocha production was completed on May 16. Final baking took place the following week.
What makes this tea special is the combination of organic garden management and skilled craftsmanship. The garden itself forgoes all pesticides and herbicides - and the only fertilizer used is made from organic soybean meal. With clean leaves as the starting point, the leaves are then mid-oxidized to produce a rich golden infusion. A final weeklong, low temperature bake concentrates flavors and enhances sweetness. The result is a thick, almost unctuous oolong with notes of toasted marshmallow, pine, and green grape.
Mr. and Mrs. Chen’s oolong is packed for us by the tea makers in 100gram (3.5 ounce) vacuum sealed bricks.
Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・205° F・2 min
The 2017 crop has more intensity on the finish. We suggest brewing to accentuate that finish with higher temperatures and steep times. Begin with a 2 minute extraction for sweetness and texture, and increasing it by 1 minute increments for depth and richness.