Flavor: Integrated floral and tea aroma. Substantial, mellow Oolong character with distinct flowery overtones. Heady, yet clean, vibrant aftertaste.
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 organically 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, medium batch, spring 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 a combination of organically grown Tsui Yu and Four Seasons Spring tea leaves. These tea types are most commonly produced as a "green Oolong" where the leaves are lightly oxidized and left unroasted. The floral and herbal characters of these teas have been mellowed by substantial oxidation but maintain their complex aroma and smooth, palatable, refreshing character as a more traditionally made Oolong.
These leaves were infused with organic hand-picked Gardenia flowers in a post production process. The distinct yet compatible qualities of a flower essence combined with a rich, well oxidized Oolong character offer a very interesting and satisfying brew. We've discovered that this tea works equally well as a cold brew or a hot brew. The beauty of this batch of tea is that you can sit down and brew it Gongfu style and marvel at the intricacies of a traditionally made Oolong combined with a flower essence to produce a heady, complex, almost magical brew. Or you can just toss some of these leaves and flowers in your water bottle and let it sit for a couple hours at room temperature or in the fridge overnight, and enjoy it all day. And it only gets better as the day goes on!
Mr. and Mrs. Xie manage their cooperative of certified organic farms in a way that we 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 naturally cultivated Four Seasons Spring and Tsui Yu tea leaves with organically grown Gardenia flowers in a post-production infusion process. 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. Honestly, we are not big fans of flower blends, but this blend has us captivated. It's the balance of a significantly oxidized, traditionally made Oolong with a mild, yet distinct flower essence that is undeniably satisfying, either hot or cold, that has compelled us to put this tea on our shelf!