Batch 66 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is both rare and distinctive among Taiwan Teas. It is rare simply because there are only a handful of tea farmers who grow very small plots of this cultivar. And it is distinctive because this is a large leaf type cultivar that is processed as an Oolong (partially oxidized) tea. Virtually all other large leaf type cultivars that are grown in Taiwan have been determined to only be suitable for making Black Tea or White Tea. So Fo Shou Oolong is an anomaly in this respect.
Beyond the geeky technical reasons that distinguish this tea, we can much more readily relate to what it offers us in its aromatic and flavor profiles! Its prominent character is in its sweetness and minerality, with enough creaminess to pull those two distinctive notes together. Palm sugar is a close call, and maple syrup has come to mind repeatedly in drinking this brew. There is also refined pastry character that comes across, like quality Japanese Mochi or a French confection. It's amazing how much "sweetness" can be experienced in a pure tea that also maintains is naturally bitter and astringent base!
The complex and somewhat addictive (it's very easy to drink copious amounts at one sitting!) character represents an authentic artisanal tea. This cultivar is not easily processed into a tea with this level of refined character. We attribute its quality to the man who unquestionably puts more effort and heart into producing extremely small batches of tea than anyone else we've met — by far! And given that his expertise is in crafting Tie Guan Yin Oolong, it makes sense that he has a skillset that is on a wholly different level that the standard Oolong Tea maker.
It's a tea that is not similar to anything else we've found in all our years of cruising the tea scene here in Taiwan. This, is why we are very excited to share it with the Eco-Cha Tea Club. For Gong Fu style brewing we recommend starting with a 1:16 ratio of tea to water, and then varying it from there to experience the subtle variations of flavor that can result from a lighter or stronger brew. If you are brewing larger quantities ( e.g. 1 L ) of tea at at time, we suggest a 1:50 ratio of leaf to water (20g/liter) and brewing for about 5 minute intervals.
LET US KNOW!
Please leave a comment in the comments section below or leave any questions you may have about this batch of spring tea.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to hear more about the specialty tea industry here in Taiwan, follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram and please subscribe to our newsletter. Subscribe now and get $5 off your first order!