Pinglin Natural Farming Qi Lan "Jadeite Rock" Oolong Tea - Winter 2022Taiwan Sourcing
This varietal finally returned to our shelf after so many years of absence. For years we tried to make this tea back to the shelf for its unique and powerful characteristics. Under Mr. Feng's assistance, we managed to pull off the stunt of this season, and made this tea again available on our shelf.
Technically speaking, there were supposed to be zero production for us this season in the Pingling region, let alone a special varietal like this. We realized how severe the reduction may be, so we visited Pinglin numerous times to build the proper and steady connection. As usual, we returned to Taichung after the visit and hope for the best, then we suddenly received a call right on the next day. Mr. Feng was in quite a rush.
"Hey man, the farmer just decided to pluck by machine without any notice. They are plucking right now. I will see what I can do!" Then he hung the phone up, leaving us with anxiety. We immediately contacted Peter, who has the facility for lend, and wish everything will go as smooth as possible. We then received the call from Mr. Feng 30 minutes later.
"OK you can come now, it was sorted and the material will be send to the designated facotry you wish." We hopped in the car at once, and prepared ourselves for the challenge of this whole new varietal.
"Qi Lan," which literally translated to "Fantastic Orchid" (奇蘭), is a unique existence to Taiwan. People who are very familiar with Chinese tea might heard of this name before from the "Dan Cong Oolong" or "Rock Tea," and these are both the special type of tea from Southeast coast of China. Being a neighbor of it, Taiwan was fortunately enough to have this rare varietal transferred to Pinglin decades ago.
This varietal is some of the weirdest varietal we ever encountered so far. It is very "rock solid" deep down; It refused to move a bit while withering; the chemical reaction we expected to witness simply was not happening. In short, nothing was like this. The only similar varietal to it is White Fur Monkey, a varietal that is extremely difficult to adjust the wihtering, but this Qi Lan brought that definition to a whole new level. Even after the draft tea was finished and sent to the roasting room, it was not easy to roast as well. The tea was as solid as jade that even fire could not get into it, our master roast it severeal times to finally reach the level we would like to see.
The crafting of this tea is a journey of cutting jade into a piece of art. We wish you will feel the effort we put into this "Jadeite Rock," and enjoy this hard-earned work with amazement and love.
Harvest Season: Winter 2022 / 冬 貳零貳貳
Varietal: Qi Lan / 奇蘭
Elevation: 400 M / 肆佰 公尺
Region: Pinglin / 坪林
Fermentation Level: 25% / 分之 廿伍
Roast Level: 3 / 參 分
Water is boiling!
This is such a beguiling and beautiful, sneaky smiling tea. Power and elegance both in measure, undulating. Thick and smooth body, that give way to emerging elegance with slight winter rhythm as the steeps progress - a tang and green banana.
The power of the tea settles and spreads in the lower half of the body, generating waves of potential energy to be savored.
It had been a dream for us to process this ancient varietal from China. When an old dog finally arrived at the scene the first thing he noticed was how deep the character of this tea is, and this character continued to be that way even until the killing green. The energy this material was demonstrating was overwhelming to say the least. It felt like a very thick wall blocking our access. Fortunately we did find way to bypass that obstacle and transformed it. The most intriguing part of it was when we tried to give it a higher roasting level which the tea simply refused to take the fire we tried to give it. After several attempts we decided to present it in this final form you are seeing. The color may look light, but the tea itself will deliver that punch no other Pinglin tea we had so far.