Notes of cardamom, pear, and bergamot.
Red tea from Taiwan・January 2016・冬片紅・Unsprayed
Winter Sprout Red was crafted from the same leaves as our Lishan Winter Sprout. This tea has all the uniquely aromatic and luscious character of its oolong counterpart - but skilled oxidation created a tea with eye-opening fruit and spice notes.
Record breaking low temperatures and snow storms in December and January pushed forward the harvest date for this tea to late January 2016. When this tea was picked, snow blanketed the 2000m tea garden. The wintry conditions is important in understanding this tea's unique character.
As temperatures drop, the tea plant will begin to accumulate sugars. This process of winter hardening thickens the leaves, and increases the accumulated nutrients, flavor compounds, and chlorophyll content in them. These are the building blocks of flavor, complexity, aroma and sweetness.
This tea was hand-picked and withered indoors for over eight hours. They were then bruised and allowed to gently oxidize for nearly two days before being baked dried. The dried tea leaves are large and thick - with a red brown sheen. The aroma of the dried leaves are subdued, but will begin opening and developing as soon as steep water is added. The resultant aroma and flavor is sublime - hitting notes that are impossible to achieve under different weather conditions or with less experienced craftsmanship. This tea drinks like a sweet herbaceous and aromatic root beer.
Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・205° F・1.5 min
This tea is nearly impossible to mis-brew. Because it has very little innate astringency, it takes well to slightly longer steep times and higher temperatures. Longer steeps will yield complexity and herb notes without sacrificing sweetness.