Longan Charcoal Roasted Oolong Tea Tasting Notes | Eco-Cha Tea Club

January 07, 2017

 

The leaves shown above were harvested in the Shanlinxi High Mountain Tea growing region last spring, and have undergone 8 separate roasting sessions. The first three preliminary roastings were done in a conventional oven in preparation for the traditional method of using charcoal made from the Longan fruitwood. 

Longan fruit (which translates literally as "Dragon Eye") is a small fruit with a leathery peel, and is related to the Lychee. It is often dried and used to make fruit tea, and is known for its warming, sweet character and relaxing effect. This dried Longan fruit  flavor is detectable in both the aroma wafting from the brewed leaves, and the touch of syrupy sweetness on the palate. This sweet note is a bit like molasses in that it is balanced with a prominent roasted character and the innate mildly bitter aspect of Oolong tea.

The overall composition of this tea is a very rich, smooth, hearty character that is achieved by extensive roasting, which concentrates the the inherent qualities in the tea leaves and infuses them with charcoal roastiness. The roasting method involves insulating the heat from the live coals at the base of the roaster with a thick layer of charcoal ash. The tea leaves are spread on a screen tray above the layer of ash and are very slowly roasted at low temperature (90°-120°C) with no exposure to smoke whatsoever. This batch has undergone 5 charcoal roasting sessions in addition to the 3 preliminary roastings, for a total of about 50 hours!

Perhaps the most evident means of determining that these leaves were expertly roasted is in the assessment  of the brewed leaves. They are still very supple and even maintain a considerable amount of their original green hue in their appearance. When this original character is preserved through such an extensive roasting process, the optimal results in quality are achieved. Due to the concentrated effect of roasting, less leaves should be used when brewing. About 20-25% less than the normal amount is recommended. So if you normally use 9-10g for a 150ml pot, only 7g of these charcoal roasted leaves are needed, and these leaves have extraordinary brewing endurance as well!

As always, we love to hear about your experience of our unique batches of tea that we only share with our Eco-Cha Tea Club members. Please post your comments, photos and tasting videos here for all of us to see. This club is not only about getting to enjoy tea that is not found on the market. It is also about sharing our experiences so that we can all learn and expand our knowledge of this fascinating world of tea!





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Alishan high mountain jin xuan oolong tea farm
Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong Summer 2020: Buttered Love

June 21, 2020

This batch of Alishan High Mountain Jin Xuan Oolong summer 2020 harvest has a very pronounced buttery character. Starting with the leaves put into the pre-heated tea judging cup, they exuded a pronounced buttered toast/popcorn aroma. But the flavor profile is replete with an uncanny buttered popcorn note, it's almost unbelievable! How can tea leaves do this?! It's not only buttered popcorn either! There are distinct floral and vegetal notes that balance out the incredulous and delicious buttered popcorn flavor. OK, enough repetitive description! Click here to get your share.

View full article →

Wenshan Bazhong dried tea leaves
Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea Tasting Notes| Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 18, 2020 1 Comment

This is what an award winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea looks like, in its dry leaf state, of course. Notice the uniformity in the size and coloration of the leaves. The yellow hues are only in the spine of the leaves, which would naturally protrude into a stem, but the stems have been removed, along with the larger, lighter colored, over-matured leaf stock. This uniformity of leaf material offers a pure flavor profile. It allows for a complexity of aromatic and flavor notes, but it comes from a uniform stock which is essential in producing a purity of character. This is a fundamental aspect of competition grade tea. It's not muddled. It's refined.

View full article →

Wenshan Baozhong tea field
Competition Grade Wenshan Baozhong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club

June 14, 2020

Batch #55 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is an award-winning Wenshan Baozhong Tea that was entered in the recent spring tea competition of the local Farmers' Association. Preparation for competition involves removing the bulkier stems from the leaves, and also sorting the leaves by coloration to achieve the most uniform stock of leaf material possible. 

View full article →