This bundle includes four 25g bags of oolong tea and five 7g cakes for 135g total (26 sessions).
Oolong is the most technically-demanding and time-consuming tea in the world to produce, and our partners take on the challenge relying on their own hands and their senses, not machinery, meaning sleepless nights and 20 hour days in the workshop to finish their tiny micro-batches of varietal-driven oolongs that honor their specific microclimates, from Wuyishan to Daping Village.
This sampler brings together iconic oolong teas from our partners across China to share a glimpse at the magic and complexity that comes out in the long turning and fluffing process that defines oolong teas and gives you a sense of how many styles can exist within this single category, from dark roasts and aged oolong to fresh floral vibrant green oolong.
An Introduction to Oolong Craft:
Traditional Tieguanyin (25g)
Master Zhang excels at finishing his traditional Tieguanyin. He works to bring out the florals and strengthen them, allowing the green quality of the tea to shine through while providing a sweet and nuanced counterbalance through delicate roasting. This is the tea that Master Zhang grew up with and his greatest passion. The mist shaded mountain air and sweet spring water make this true Tieguanyin varietal tea even more nuanced
This tea is the He Family's answer to the challenge that oolong is only for southern China. Despite Laoshan Village only having fifty years of tea cultivation and oolong being the most technically demanding kind of tea in the world to produce, Mr. He comes through brilliantly. The careful kneading and rolling brings out a beautiful, pure expression of the minerality of the soil and the water. This tea is processed without a roast for a true green flavor of Laoshan.
Huang Ruiguang's family Mi Lan Dancong is picked only once a year from single trees that are not pruned back to encourage deeper roots & more robust flavor, year after year. His mountain plot and decades of work in improving agriculture techniques for the region have earned Huang Ruiguang's Milan awards such as the recent 2015 Gold Medal at the Sixth Guangdong Tea Expo. Mi Lan varietal is set apart with its distinctive golden green leaf color in early spring & its luscious deep aromatics.
Li Xiangxi's family grows this tea within the Wuyishan Ecological Preserve, hand picking every leaf and delicately roasting this tea in bamboo baskets over charcoal embers to bring out the natural minerality of the region. Li Xiangxi's eldest brother oversees the family's oolong teas, and believes strongly in standing against the modern trend to over-roast and cover the natural flavor of the tea. This makes the family's Big Red Robe unique among its peers. While Big Red Robe is named after five original bushes that still stand today in Wuyishan, modern Big Red Robe is made from Qidan varietal, which is known for its tremendous balance, and deep warmth. It is truly the archetypal tea of the region, and the place to start your exploration of Wuyi Oolongs as a grounding point of reference. The Li Family’s Big Red Robe consistently wins gold medals at Wuyi tea competitions.
This experimental tea uses Tieguanyin leaves, normally tightly curled, and finishes them with Wuyi-style strip-oolong processing. The tea is twisted and given a heavier roast to evoke Big Red Robe style, before being carefully steamed and pressed into 7g mini-cakes for convenient brewing, aging and transportation.. The fascinating thing about this tea is that, despite a processing style that points to Wuyi, the flavor is still one hundred percent Tieguanyin. The pull between floral-herbaceous Tieguanyin, and mineral-heavy cozy roast makes for a more dynamic tasting experience.