Verdant Tea

Ancient Oolong Craft: Tasting Revival Style with Master Zhang

Ancient Oolong Craft: Tasting Revival Style with Master Zhang

Regular Price $24.00 $19.20
in December
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This bundle includes three 25g bags of oolong tea for 75g total (15 sessions).

This special tea sampler highlights Master Zhang’s work to bring back an ancient oolong finishing technique - the Revival Style. This technique comes from years of research, travel and cultural exchange with other oolong communities, and extensive interviews tapping into the oral tradition to uncover the way that oolong was finished long before the modern rolled style that Tieguanyin is famous for.

In this kit, you’ll get to explore light roast, dark roast, and, aged comparisons to see how the Revival Style brings oolong to life with deeper aromatics and more powerful texture and aftertaste, all while connecting with a rich tradition of craft that nearly died out over the last few hundred years.

The Revival Style takes more than twice as long to make as classic Tieguanyin thanks to the extended yaoqing process of turning and fluffing the leaves and the fact that so much has to be done entirely by hand, but the results are stunning - a half-twisted half-rolled style that Master Zhang describes as a Dragonfly shape.

 

This bundle includes five 25g bags of oolong tea for 125g total (25 sessions).

This special tea sampler highlights Master Zhang’s work to bring back an ancient oolong finishing technique - the Revival Style. This technique comes from years of research, travel and cultural exchange with other oolong communities, and extensive interviews tapping into the oral tradition to uncover the way that oolong was finished long before the modern rolled style that Tieguanyin is famous for.

In this kit, you’ll get to explore light roast, dark roast, aged, and varietal comparisons to see how the Revival Style brings oolong to life with deeper aromatics and more powerful texture and aftertaste, all while connecting with a rich tradition of craft that nearly died out over the last few hundred years.

The Revival Style takes more than twice as long to make as classic Tieguanyin thanks to the extended yaoqing process of turning and fluffing the leaves and the fact that so much has to be done entirely by hand, but the results are stunning - a half-twisted half-rolled style that Master Zhang describes as a Dragonfly shape.

 

  Explore Anxi Revival Style Oolong teas: 

Original Wulong Revival (25g)

Master Zhang is a true innovator. He doesn’t make tea to follow trends. He experiments and takes risks to make tea better for the generations to come. This Original Wulong Revival uses the older Ben Shan varietal leaf and undergoes three times more careful hand turning and fluffing than modern Anxi oolong. For finishing, it is loosely rolled in the oldest style of oolong making that is half strip style and half ball, with many of the leaves more strip-style than rolled. Master Zhang describes the shape as a dragonfly. This hand processing and shaping yields a different tea- a genre of its own outside of Wuyi style, Guangdong style or Anxi style. The light roast is rewarding and brings out a unique savory sweet complexity we don’t see in other teas from Master Zhang.

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Full Roast Wulong Revival (25g)

Master Zhang’s classic Oolong Revival is full of deep rich cozy toasty overtones, enveloping the palate with a thick texture. This year, Master Zhang is complimenting all these cozy flavors with a deep, dark roast which caramelizes the sugars in the leaves and produces beautiful dark sweet dessert flavor to the forefront. As always, Master Zhang’s expert roasting preserves the vibrant fruity “core” of the tea without overpowering, a difficult feat to achieve after a full 24 hours straight of withering, turning and fluffing that is highly variable and dependent on each day’s specific weather.

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Original Tieguanyin Revival (25g)

This unusual tea is based on Master Zhang's ongoing research into early Anxi oolong teas with a half-rolled / half strip-style shape, and a very meticulous turning and fluffing process that goes further than most modern tea would. In this experimental offering, he applies this research to the Tieguanyin varietal and provides enough roast for a deep, rich aroma. The result is a very well-balanced tea full of toasted sweetness, delicious complexity, and a juicy, lingering aftertaste.

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Special Grade Rou Gui Revival (25g)

Master Zhang’s reserve designation is an almost impossible standard, requiring the perfect combination of high elevation rocky soil, cool stand-out weather during the growing season and on the picking and finishing days. Some years Master Zhang doesn’t designate a reserve or special grade for certain teas. It all depends on the final tea, which needs to satisfy a certain level of sweetness, a long lingering aftertaste, and thick balanced texture and evocative aroma. This reserve designation Rou Gui was hand finished using a very old, traditional technique that Master Zhang has been researching that involves three times the usual turning and fluffing and a difficult half-rolled half-twisted shape. The result is a textural sensation with a deep intensity.

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2005 Aged Wulong Revival (25g)

The “Dragonfly” style was the most traditional oolong finishing technique in Anxi before the rolled ball became popular. Master Zhang has been experimenting with this style for years as part of his work as a teacher and community leader for other farmers in Daping. Every year Master Zhang sets aside any interesting standouts for lon