Shihmen Wild "Stone of Crimson" Bug Bitten Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea - Summer 2022Taiwan Sourcing
There is a reason why the Shihmen production from this season was released this late at the end of November in 2022. The yield was way too low for anyone to consider this a serious production, but now we decided to release it after realising that the profile is simply too magical to not share with you.
A major issue that a region like this was facing was the uncertainty of harvest labour. What we were dealing with at Shihmen this season was unprecedented. Normally, summer harvest is the best time to produce tea such as Oriental Beauty, as the plantation was bug-bitten this season, and that was very prominently shown on the sister tea of this Shihmen tea. However, the hot weather made the major task force of plucking in the region, a group of old grandmothers, not willing to perform the plucking task under the harsh sunblast in Taiwan. This forced us come up with an contingency plan, and therefore two friends from the cities were volunteering to pluck the tea leaves with Mrs. Xie.
We assumed this arrangement would at least give us some advantages to overcome the situation - two big men with an experienced grandma, so nothing could go wrong. It turned out tea plucking was not an easy task to learn instantly. Not only the yield of this Hard Twig was less than 1300 grams, its super bug-bitten sister tea "Cui Yu" was less than 600 grams.
The only "victory" we can claim from this seasons battle, can only be the quality we were able to fetch from such small production. Both teas reach a new height of what potential their varietal can become. Hard Twig reaches the deepest rhythm we could have ever achieved, and the Cui Yu was just filled with honey aroma all over the cup. We hope the existence of both tea could bring the unprecedented experience to whomever gets it into their tea cup, and may the tea be with you.
Harvest: Summer 202 / 夏 貳零貳貳
Varietal: Hard Twig Red Heart / 硬枝紅心
Elevation: 100 M / 壹佰 公尺
Region: Shihmen / 石門
Oxidation Level: 70% / 分之 柒拾
Roast Level: 1 / 壹 分
Love at first sip, gentle fruity sweetness with character. Immediate depth, clear clean flavor density and transitions. The impression was first sip to last drop. Deep and clear, soupy, juicy, chewy. Stewed fruits and herbs but with some unique almost aged charm. It’s another example of a tea that saturates you, drinks you at the same time as you imbibe it. For the sensitive there’s a lot of comfort and warmth to relish. Its kind of tricky to drink this tea now, being only about 5 months old. This kind of processing requires time to settle and transform into itself. Gestation period unknown, yet here now.
Another reason of why we released this tea so late, was due to the deep nature of this tea. If anyone has track of our production, you may know that in the winter of 2020 Shihmen had an extreme low yield as well. The difference is the depth of this tea is just very different,