Linkou Organic Bai Wen "Honey Sparrow" Oolong Tea - Winter 2019Taiwan Sourcing
This varietal is now very rare in today's market. Before processing we already heard that this particular varietal could easily turn bitter in the finished product. and that was why most of the tea farmer gave up on this varietal decades ago. We are surprised someone is still carrying this varietal, but what made us even more surprised, is how close is it to the urban area.
Located right on the border of urban and suburban in Linkou, this plantation is not crazy far away from civilization like most of the plantation we have been working with. A very popular mall is only 10 minutes away by driving, so unlike other tea processing experience, we were able to feed ourselves properly anytime. A true blessing from tea God (if there is one).
Another surprising point we noticed when we arrived, was the material itself. We were already awared that this plantation will only be plucked by machine because only two people are managing it - the father and his son. "Are you sure you did not pluck it by hand? Because it 100 percent looks like it was hand picked." As I pointed out to the farmer. "Nope. We machine plucked it! This is how good we are at managing plantation." The farmer replied proudly with us in awe. "You are not the only one who made such comment. We make sure the tea trees grows under control even organically. Just that we had to put twice the labor."
The processing was quite easy thanks to sufficient supply we can get, and let's talk about this varietal. "Bai Wen" (白文) was developed back in 1983 right after the advent of Jin Xuan and Cui Yu. Its father is one of our star this season "White Fur Monkey" and "TN983." The leaf of this varietal looks feel very distinctive. It is quite thick and round. Kind of like the cute cousin of Jin Xuan. We were immediately captivated by how it taste the next morning after draft tea was done. This is another entirely new flavor profile in our collection, and most importantly, the tea is not bitter at all!
"OK. We don't know what you have done, but you must have did it right." The father told us as he tried the tea.
After the refining stage by Master Zhuang, the tea carries the distinctive "butter" like aroma from our traditional fermentation at the bottom of the cup with a hint of sugar cane in the beginning. This will be a whole new tea experience and certainly a great tea to share with friend.
Harvest: Winter 2019 / 冬 貳零壹玖
Varietal: #14 Bai Wen / 拾肆號 白文
Elevation: 200 M / 貳佰 公尺
Region: Linkou / 林口
Fermentation Level: 25% / 分之 廿伍
Roast Level: 1 / 壹 分
This is a very vibrant tea. Scrumptious juicy tang on the front end that has good buttery transitions on the palate. I brewed this in the morning and felt a clean fresh start to my day, vital and potent. There was something I was trying to pin down and I think it might be a olive oil spiciness in the depths of the throat. A curious and enjoyable rare varietal tea.
A whole new and rare varietal that shocked an old dog really much this season. This varietal was not very popular due to its difficulty to process properly, so nobody knows how it taste and feel like for decades. Our farmer made it into "frozen tea" by refrigerated it to reduce the bitterness (which made an old dog absolutely shocked). Under proper processing this problem should all go away in theory. The result is something really unique especial in the body effect.