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Old Grove Iris Fragrance

Old Grove Iris Fragrance

Regular price $53
Regular price Sale price $53
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Notes of stargazer lily, peach melba, neroli.

Oolong tea from Guangdong, China・April 2018・老叢芝蘭香・EU standard conventional

This rare oolong hails from the Phoenix mountain range in eastern Guangdong Province, China. The garden is located at 1100m on a peak called Wudong Shan, the most prized oolong producing area in the Phoenix range.

Phoenix oolongs’ unique aromatic character is an expression of a particular mother tree. Once that character and expression is identified, that plant is cloned and propagated to ensure that the genetic make-up of the plant does not change with each successive generation. In China, these oolongs are called “Dan Cong,” meaning single grove or single origin, a term that refers to this method of cultivar isolation and propagation. Today, over 100 aromatic profiles exists.

The source garden is over a century old, and the plants that produced this tea are 80 years old. These older trees have deep root structures that allow the plant to absorb more complex nutrients, while the garden’s higher elevation climate slows leaf development.

Old Grove Iris Fragrance teases. Brewed, it is in constant evolution over a sip, the course of the cup, and pot by pot. Only the very best teas do this in a manner that’s not jarring. Smooth transitions hit in the upper registers of floral tastes and aromas, without any rough edges to speak of. This is a very sophisticated tea.

We’ve intentionally held this lot back for nearly three years, allowing it to mature into itself. When we first tasted it, we found it light and fleeting, yet possessing of an underlying complexity which time would draw out. Aging allows a small bit of oxidation that sweetens the leaves, lessens some of the deep minerality in the flavor, and creates an almost fermented character (though no fermentation takes place). The result is much richer, with a more deeply colored liquor, and increased depth that only time can draw forth. Now, it is perhaps our favorite, and certainly our most sophisticated tea. Within you’ll find notes of, Stargazer Lily, Peach Melba, and neroli, and more.

You may want to stock up. We acquired only 10kg, but believe Old Grove Iris Fragrance is a wonderful candidate for aging at home, and will continue to develop layers over time.

Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・208° F・1.5 min

This tea likes to be brewed hot at 208F or higher. High temperature brews bring out a distinct aromatic clarity that makes this tea so special.

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