Batch 81 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an Wuyi Tie Guan Oolong from Muzha, Taiwan. It was made from the spring flush of this small, naturally farmed plot of the Wuyi cultivar, and processed in the traditional Muzha Tie Guan Yin fashion by our ongoing source of Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea. This is the first opportunity we've had to procure his Tie Guan Yin Tea made from the Wuyi cultivar. His spring crop produced less than 20 kg of cured leaf. That's literally the smallest batch of Oolong that we've ever heard of! All the time, energy, and cost that went into such a minimal amount of tea is nothing less than ludicrous in the eyes of most tea makers. This tea farmer and master craftsman is an anomaly in our 25 years of exploring tea culture here in Taiwan.
Our friend from whom we've been sourcing very small batches of Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea for many years embodies the tradition like no one else we've met. He cultivates very small plots of organically farmed tea, and once the leaves are on his bamboo trays of his dollhouse sized factory, does all the work himself. His curing methods take twice as long as standard Oolong Tea processing, and is more labor intensive. It doesn't stop there though. He then roasts the leaves 4 or 5 times over weeks of time for a total of about 40 hours!
While the Wuyi cultivar was commonly found prior to the 1980's, it has become quite rare on Taiwan. For the most part, it has been replaced by much more prolific strains such as Jin Xuan and Four Seasons Spring. In our experience, Wuyi has the most to offer in its aromatic and flavor profile — no matter how it's processed! In the almost 7 years of hosting the Eco-Cha Tea Club, we'ver offered it as a lightly oxidized, unroasted Oolong, a heavily roasted Oolong, and a Black Tea. Now we have the opportunity to share this classic cultivar as a Tie Guan Yin Oolong made in the local tradition of Muzha, Taiwan.
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