Sanxia Traditional "Fan Zhuang" Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea- Summer 2017Taiwan Sourcing
For this tea, we will use some of the same background information from our other Oriental Beauty teas, because this tea is a type of Oriental Beauty, but with a little different story. Like we already mentioned, in the old days of Taiwan, "Oriental Beauty" was the most refined "Fan Zhuang Oolong" (番莊烏龍), a name which came about in the early 20th century literally means "a tea for selling to uncivilized people", because the foreigners (especially British and American) consumed and enjoyed this style of tea very much.
The reason this tea is special, is because it is probably the best tea to be referred as "Fan Zhuang Oolong" in the 21st century. As you might have already noticed by its price, this tea is a bit too cheap to bear the esteemed "Oriental Beauty" name. Most of the "Oriental Beauty" teas that can be found on the market are incredibly high in price, and made from the "Da Mao" varietal. This tea is not made from "Da Mao" but from the "Gan (柑)" varietal instead. The "Gan" varietal is probably one of the oldest varietals in Taiwan that was mass cultivated to meet the demand of "Fan Zhuang" Oolong. And of course, the quality of this tea (thanks to modern processing techniques) is no longer inferior compared to the actual "Fan Zhuang" Oolong.
Today's Sanxia is mostly known for its green tea production, but back in the 19th century it was a very important tea trading spot that attracted hoards of tea merchants and tea farmers. Even to this day the prosperity of times past can still be observed when you visit the Sanxia old street. The character of this tea has that Oriental Beauty tenderness, but meanwhile carries something very different than the common Oriental Beauty you would find on the market. We are very glad to find this tea into our Taiwan Sourcing collection because this tea feels like that missing puzzle of Taiwanese tea to us, that it is finally being collected from the past, and appreciated as a fine tea with it's own distinctive character and history.
Harvest: Summer 2017 / 夏 貳零壹柒
Varietal: Qing Xin Gan Varietal / 青心柑種
Elevation: 300 M / 參佰 公尺
Region: Sanxia / 三峽
Oxidation Level: 74% / 分之 柒拾肆
Roast Level: 0 / 無
Dry leaf is varied in color and looks very much like other Oriental Beauties. The cup aroma in the first 5 infusions is very strong and pungent with a typical OB aroma. Tea soup is very full bodied and sweet with honey and bug bitten taste. Went 7 infusions gong fu style. The tea is refreshing, aromatic and full-bodied. Given the price it's an incredible bargain for those who love OB.
Definitely crisp sweet aromas and flavors. This is a great tea for your tumbler. It has a nice medium potency alongside it's simple satisfying quality. I found it to have a comfy warming effect as well.
An old dog is very touched to encounter this tea. This tea, like the most traditional Sanxia tea, is made from "Gan" varietal, a varietal you can only find in Sanxia. At 19th century, Sanxia was also prosperous thanks to the tea trading, and the mostly traded tea at the time was Fang Zhuang Oolong, a type of very coarse Oriental Beauty (More specifically speaking, there was first the Fang Zhuang, then the Oriental Beauty). This tea is like a relic from the past, but with the help of modern technique to make it more refined. An old dog is a Taiwan dog, so an old dog loves things that could remind him about the glorious past of Taiwanese tea. Let's enjoy ~!