The Chens' New Garden, Medium Roast
Notes of tadiq, galangal, and mango
Oolong from Taiwan・April 2021・陳家新茶園烏龍, 中火・Unsprayed / Semi-wild
We find ourselves increasingly drawn to the traditional craft of charcoal roasting and the sheer breadth of flavor and character it can coax from tea leaves under the right hands. Mr. Li is one of the last charcoal roasters remaining in Taiwan as makers move on to newer, more efficient methods of production. Yet the quality of charcoal roasting cannot be denied. For the 2021 harvest of Mr. and Mrs. Chen’s New Garden, we opted for a medium roast from Mr. Li to highlight the innate sweetness of these wild leaves.
This New Garden tea grows unattended across the dizzyingly steep slopes of Zhushan, in Nantou county, Taiwan. The plants are truly ye fang, grown with almost no human intervention. The grove is not irrigated, fertilized, or manicured, relying entirely on the natural resources of the mountain for its success. Here the roots are free to burrow deep into the soil, leaves are peppered with bug bites (a surprisingly positive quality for a tea tree, the plant sends additional sugars to the bitten leaves to form calluses on the bites, increasing the sweetness of the harvested leaves), and fertilization, sunlight, and climate are controlled by the canopy of larger trees that shade the grove, and create natural mulch for the soil below.
The rustic nature of this tea lends perfectly to traditional crafting. The temperature of the roast concentrates the sweetness of the leaves, lending it light caramel notes and a bouquet of fruit. Tadiq, galangal, and mango notes add depth and intrigue across multiple steepings.
For a more comprehensive picture of charcoal roasting’s range, check out The Chens' New Garden, Light Roast.
Brew: 6 grams・150 ml・208° F・2 min
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|