An experimental hybrid tea with the best of Tieguanyin, Wuyi oolong and malty black tea. . . .
Fo Shou or “Buddha’s Hand,” is a varietal of tea from Wuyi, traditionally twisted and oxidized into an oolong tea. This revolutionary Fo Shou Black Tea is an experimental crop transplanted in nearby Anxi and fully oxidized as a black tea. The fusion of rocky Wuyi flavor, malty black tea flavor, and hints of Anxi Tieguanyin flavor make this a worthwhile and intriguing creation all of its own.
Wang Huimin, one of our dearest tea friends and first mentors has known the Bi family for years, and when they started producing this unique black tea in addition to their better known Tieguanyin, Wang Huimin was determined to help them share their work.
The early steepings have strong rocky notes that hint at the Wuyi origins of this tea similar to a Big Red Robe. The smell is that of German chocolate cake with hints of walnut, coconut and caramel. As the rocky notes unfold, a luscious almost alcoholic taste starts to open up as if the chocolate cake we are tasting has been soaked in spiced rum.
As the infusions play out, the sweetness grows, evoking butterscotch (simmered with almond extract and a mature single malt scotch). The aftertaste hints at floral creamy notes that Anxi imparts to its famous Tieguanyin. In late steepings the chocolate intensifies to the taste of raw cacao powder melted on the tongue with a whipped cream chaser.
Seeing the flavors inherent in the varietal as well as the land come through in such a new and exciting way is well worth trying. This experiment is sure to grow into a flourishing new kind of tea- one that we hope to support with Wang Huimin’s help for years to come.
Date of Picking:2012
Location of Picking:Bi Family Farm, Anxi County, Fujian
What Was Picked:Fo Shou varietal leaf from Wuyi
Quantity Acquired:We made an initial purchase of 20 lbs.
Sourcing Agent(s):Wang Huimin
Brewing Shui Xian Wuyi Oolong, a similar varietal to Fo shou
Use a small cup and brew basket, a gaiwan, or an yixing clay teapot. This tea performs much better brewed in small quantities and resteeped many times. Start with filtered freshly boiled water and use 3g-4g of tea for 4 ounces of water. Steep for 10 seconds maximum, increasing each steeping by a second or so.