An incredible realization of the crisp florals of green oolong and the rich creamy soybean taste of Laoshan green, this is an entirely new contribution to the world of oolong . . .
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Our friend and grower He Qingqing in Laoshan has always loved Tieguanyin. Three years ago, He Qingqing alluded to her desire to try making a green oolong with her family’s rich and beany Laoshan tea leaves. We were ecstatic, and promised to buy the whole harvest. True to her word, He Qinqing hand-picked and processed every leaf this spring, despite oolong being one of the most intricately difficult and labor-intensive kinds of tea possible to produce.
The result is a stunningly unique contribution to the world of oolong. Only the third ever harvest of this brand new oolong, the closest comparison is the very green Wenshan Baozhong of Taiwan, which has all the chloryphyl taste of green tea but the creamy florals of oolong. The aroma of the wet leaf is an intoxicating combination of edamame and steamed buns.
The early steepings are full of light florals accented by a bold and assertive mineral flavor. This minerality is so pronounced it takes us right back to hiking Laoshan and drinking straight from the mountain’s famous springs. The emphasis on minerality is new to Laoshan Green oolong, a sign of its evolving role and the He family’s mission to produce ever more refined teas. In a way, it evokes the Wuyi mountains or Dragonwell in its mineral texture and lingering sweetness.
Green bean and arugula notes come through, true to the character of Laoshan green tea, but they are tempered by complex woody flavors and orange blossom more reminiscent of Dancong oolong. We are super excited at the way this tea changes throughout each steeping, and the way the tea has grown over just three seasons. Drinking this tea is drinking history in the making, the birth of a whole new genre.
Date of Picking:April 20th, 2015
Location of Picking:Ocean-facing slope of Laoshan Mountain in Laoshan Village, Shandong Province He Family Farm 15-20 acre plot fed by the mountain spring running down from the rock face of Laoshan.
What Was Picked:Young leaf material with buds
Quantity Acquired:15 lbs
Sourcing Agent(s):Mr. He of Laoshan Village hand selected this batch of leaves as an ideal picking to show off the best his cooperative can offer.
If possible, use filtered or spring water, freshly boiled.
Use 4g of tea (1T) in 6-8oz of fresh-boiled (205°F) filtered or spring water. Steep for 30 seconds in a brew basket or equivalent. Enjoy many infusions. Add 10-15 seconds with each steeping, or to taste.
Gongfu Style Brewing (Recommended Brewing Technique)
Use 5g of tea for a 4-5oz gaiwan or yixing clay teapot. Pour boiling water into pot and immediately pour out into pitcher. Pour this rinse over the pot and cups used. The rinse helps open the leaves up slightly for the first infusion. Steep for 3-6 seconds each infusion, and enjoy at least 18 infusions. Increase time as the tea starts to get lighter. If you don’t have special equipment, just use pyrex cup measure, a small mug, or any vessel around 4oz. Pour through a strainer if you have one, or use a fork to stop the leaves from pouring into your cup.
Iced Tea (Cold Brewing)
Use about 4 grams of tea for every 12oz of water. Combine with room temperature water in a covered vessel and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Enjoy!
Iced Tea (Flash Chilled)
Use 1TB (5 grams) of tea in a 6-8oz vessel. Steep for 30 seconds with filtered boiled water. Fill a martini shaker (or equivalent) with ice, then add brewed tea and shake until well-chilled (usually 10-30 seconds). Pour out through martini-shaker top over fresh ice in a new glass and serve.
Making Laoshan Oolong Tea
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