Flavor: Sweet Lemongrass aroma. Smooth, balanced character with evident Lemongrass notes over subtle honey/nutty flavor. Clean, refreshing and lingering finish.
Garden: This source is the most innovative and progressive tea producer we know. A husband and wife team cooperate with neighboring farmers to produce an impressive array of naturally cultivated tea in the historical tea growing region of Songbolin in Nantou County. From wild and heirloom tea strains to modern hybrid cultivars of tea, they have researched and developed eclectic processing methods to make some unique styles of tea. This is the first source from whom we've been inspired to offer tea blends. Their ideology of natural farming methods combined with their comprehensive knowledge of tea production that enables them to produce exclusive batches of tea inspires us to represent them to the best of our ability.
Harvest: Machine harvested, small batch, summer 2016, Songbolin, Taiwan.
Brewing: 9g in 300ml 95°C water, steep for 3 minutes. Re-steep. Adjust to taste.
This batch of tea was made from naturally grown Four Seasons Spring tea leaves. It's quite interesting to experience the contrast between lightly oxidized Four Seasons Spring leaves and fully oxidized leaves from the same plant. This tea type is most commonly produced as a "green Oolong" where the leaves are lightly oxidized and left unroasted. In recent years however, Four Seasons Spring is being made into Black Tea, particularly from summer harvests, to produce a very satisfying, fragrant brew that is a bit lighter than the standard Black Tea profile. The floral character of this tea is mellowed by full oxidation but still has a more complex aroma and smooth, palatable, more refreshing character.
These leaves were infused with organic Lemongrass in the final stage of their processing, as they finished being rolled and dried. The distinct yet compatible characters of this fragrant Black Tea with the flavor enhancing qualities of Lemongrass provide a brew that is both soothing and refreshing. We've discovered that this tea works equally well as a cold brew or a hot brew. Our favorite method to date is to brew the tea with 95°C water at fairly strong concentration and then chill it to be served over ice. For those with a sweet tooth, a touch of honey is all it takes to make it sweet enough without compromising the original character of this brew.
Mr. and Mrs. Xie manage their cooperative of certified organic farms in a way that combines tradition with an eclectic knowledge of tea production. They have an integrated understanding of what works in terms of tea cultivation and processing as well as consumer market trends. After visiting them numerous times in their home and gradually learning of their overall production from their humble representation that would only be offered when warranted by our relentless questions, we discovered this tea type that is unique in our knowledge of tea making.
This batch of tea is a combination of Four Seasons Spring tea leaves made into Black Tea and infused with dried, naturally grown Lemongrass in the rolling and drying phases of processing. We've tried several tea blends from this source, and despite the fact that we have been tea purists up to now, we've finally been convinced that tea blends are well worth sharing when they are made with the right ingredients and prepared with world-class skill and knowledge of tea making. This selection is our favorite blend so far, because it is substantial in character without an overwhelming floral character that masks the tea flavor. It is truly a balanced profile of flavor and composition that has but the concept of tea blends into a whole new category for us!