Flavor: Berry/rhubarb compote aroma. Blackberry syrup/molasses flavor. Lasting clean, sweet/tangy finish.
Garden: This tea is made from Jin Xuan Tai Cha #12 cultivar grown in Meishan Township, Chiayi County. Similar to Small Leaf Black Tea production methods, the summer/fall crops are used to make this heavily oxidized Oolong Tea. This region produces some of the best quality Jin Xuan Tea, and using the summer/fall crops provides the best produce for processing it as a hybrid Oolong/Black Tea.
Harvest: Hand-picked, medium batch.
Hong Oolong, as the name of this tea indicates, is literally a combination of Oolong and Black Tea processing methods. And the results of this hybrid processing method are evident in the flavor profile of this tea. It has a rich, mildly sweet fruity base, combined with the more refined and complex aromatic notes of an Oolong Tea. It's a character that is satisfying to both newcomers to tea drinking as well as veteran tea drinkers. It is a very palatable and brew friendly tea that can be made basically any way — from cold brew to iced tea to Gongfu Brew and it brews well in all brewing methods!
This tea is made from the Jin Xuan (Tai Cha #12) cultivar, using summer/fall harvests. This tea farmer had been using this season's crop to make into a standard Small Leaf Black Tea. Our friend who sources winter and spring batches of this farm's produce made in the fashion of High Mountain Tea — or a lightly oxidized, uroasted Oolong suggested that this farmer try using his summer/fall crops to make Hong Oolong. The reason being that it is a more interesting character of tea that is much less common, particularly in this region.
The farmer followed our friend's advice, with good results! Our friend, who is a master tea roaster, sourced a full day's harvest, and has been mildly roasting these leaves using a special infrared equipped tea roasting oven. After the leaves have undergone low temperature roasting with infrared, they brew a particularly balanced, yet complex, full-flavored tea.
Mug: 9g tea in 300ml 95°C water. Steep for 3 minutes. Re-steep. Adjust to taste.
Cold Brew: Use 7g of tea per liter of water. Brew tea at room temperature for 2-3 hours, and enjoy. Or you can put your cold brew bottle in the fridge to brew overnight and be ready to drink the next day.
Iced Tea: Use a 1:50 ratio of leaves to water. Brew with near boiling temperature water for about 10 minutes. Drain (or remove tea leaves). Allow to cool. Pour over ice, or put it in the fridge for use anytime for 2-3 days.
Gong Fu: Use 10g for a 175 ml pot. Use boiling temperature water and brew for one minute, then 50 seconds on the second brew. Increase brewing time with each successive brew. The leaves can be brewed 6 times.