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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 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.
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The new 2019 harvest is here! Da Wu Ye is a truly unique varietal in its intense savory and spicy notes. While most Dancong is all about perfumed floral aromatics, this tea is about texture and flavor. Da Wu Ye varietal takes its name from the unusually large deep green leaves. This harvest comes from mid-elevation Wudongshan stock, picked once a year and processed over 24 hours to bring out the deep savory undertones.
Master Zhang has worked for over four decades continuing his family’s craft growing true Tieguanyin varietal tea high above Daping village in Anxi. He is working to bring back the original habitat of the region by clearing mountainsides and planting trees, bringing back wildlife and biodiversity, for better tea and a better future. He has won awards across China and has been recognized as one of the leading teachers and craftsman in Anxi for his unique approach to grading teas and processing for flavor. Instead of grading solely by elevation or tree age, Master Zhang holds the “Reserve” designation for the few teas that meet his strict criteria of lingering intensive aftertaste, pervasive sweetness, and thick creamy body. This means that only the leaves whose weather, position in the field and processing come together perfectly can be offered as Master Zhang’s reserve. This reserve grade Tieguanyin was hand-picked and hand finished with an exhaustive fluffing and turning process to bring out deep intense florals and creamy texture.
Shui Jin Gui (Golden Water Turtle) is one of the four famous varietals that define Wuyi oolong teas, making it a very sought after commodity, with true Shui Jin Gui varietal in low supply. The Li Family treats this tea to a slow and subtle hand-firing to bring out the minerality that comes from growing tea in the mist covered rocky Longchuan gorge in the Wuyishan Nature Preserve without covering the natural fruit and citrus flavor that makes Shui Jin Gui so famous.
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.