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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 the most iconic oolongs 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.
Master Zhang is proud to be sharing true Tieguanyin varietal oolong, fed by mountain spring water and grown without pesticides or fertilizers under the high mountain mist. Most Tieguanyin sold is actually Benshan or other similar varietals which lack the long drawn out aftertaste of Tieguanyin. The biodiversity of Daping lends complexity and depth of flavor to this tea, and the compelling combination of fresh aroma, clean flavor and compelling aftertaste make this new 2019 spring harvest a must-try.
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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.
The new 2019 harvest is here! Fo Shou, or “Buddha’s Hand,” varietal is a more exotic and luscious tea in the Li Family collection. The Fo Shou is a wonderfully nuanced citrus fruit, and this tea gets its name for its Fo Shou citrus aromas. The citrus is bolstered by a cinnamon and sandalwood spice, a beautiful compliment brought out through slow hand-firing over low heat. The uniquely large leaves of the Fo Shou varietal unfold beautifully over many infusions.
Tie Luohan (or Iron Arhat) is one of the four famous varietals that define Wuyi oolong teas, making it a very sought after commodity, with true Tie Luohan varietal in low supply. The Li Family cultivates a small amount of Tie Luohan on their mountainside plot facing the Longchuan Gorge. While some Tie Luohan can be overly roasted for a flavor that is almost smokey, the Li Family’s careful finish allows the natural complexities of the varietal to shine through for a brew that engages the whole palate and satisfies with a compelling, lingering finish that goes on and on.
Master Zhang is making some of the finest Tieguanyin in the world. Based in Daping village at the very highest peaks of Gande, Anxi. His terraced fields are overgrown with wildflowers, and fed by naturally sweet and clear mountain spring water. Master Zhang’s slow and subtle roasting and aging process adds deep lingering spice to the Tieguanyin florals. This ten year old harvest is already rich and full of spice.