Luye Natural Farming "Grape Nectar" Black Tea - Summer 2018Taiwan Sourcing
This lovely black tea is like a mini chapter of Luye's tea processing culture, a black tea that is made from Qin Xing varietal but with the clear terroir from Taitung, the southeast part of Taiwan that is protected by the central mountain. People who are familiar with our offering will know that we two red oolongs in the line so far, and this is the first time we are offering a black tea from the same region.
If you are familiar with the red oolong, you will notice this tea is like a little brother of them. "Red Oolong" is an experimental marriage of oolong tea and black tea processing, while this tea no longer has that oolong like character, but a simple "fully-rolled" black tea No waving or killing green were involved, creating a black tea with the clear terroir of the southeast soil alongside the mesa.
Unlike "Longan Nectar" or "Plum Nectar", the result of this tea is a grape-like character, or more precisely - raisin. It is certainly a fully fermented tea, but without a thick and strong body like you might expect from a large-leaf varietal black tea. This is a very easily understanding which will not take much effort to enjoy.
Harvest: Varied / 不定
Varietal: Qin Xing Oolong / 青心烏龍
Elevation: 100 M / 壹佰 公尺
Region: Luye / 鹿野
Fermentation Level: 86% / 分之 捌拾陸
Roast Level: 2 / 貳 分
This tea is so perfectly named! There is a grape-like fruity sweet taste, with a slight floral taste. Very thick and sweet in the mouth and soothing to the throat. Very enjoyable tea that can be infused many times without losing flavor.
Refreshing light caramelized fruit dry leaf aroma in the preheated vessel. Wet leaf smells like a freshly baked grape pie. This tea is easy to brew and does well with longer steep times. It really drinks like a dessert. Each sip is a bite of comfort. I wasn't craving sweets when I tasted this tea but now I feel I've had my fill.
The teas from Luye this season (summer of 2018) still did not reach the "fermentation" we are looking for, so there will be no "red oolong" from this summer. After investigation of asking multiple farmers from Luye, an old dog believe the culprit is Taitun's TRES (Tea Research and Extension Station), which has been instructing local tea farmers how to process their red oolong for decades. Fortunately, our farmers are willing to collaborate with us by implementing our processing concept in the upcoming winter, so any new red oolong will have to wait until winter. Before that, we still have this well fermented black tea from Luye to enjoy with, which fortunately pass our threshold of fine processing, and delivers a delightful character to the palate and body. It shares lots of similarities with our red oolongs from before, but it is a one hundred percent pure breed black tea. An old dog think this is a perfect tea for people to understand the difference of a red oolong and a fully-rolled black tea because they share the same terroir, and that means this is a tea you should definitely try!