Zhushan Organic "Tall Tree" Light Roasted Oolong Tea - Spring 2018Taiwan Sourcing
This tea was featured in our blog post three years ago, a post that explains in detail how we process Oolong in Taiwan. Without knowledge of processing being very matured at this point, this tree "Tall Tree" should be a very different but even more matured tea this season, except for the fact that tree is no longer that tall for management reason (which is a good thing).
Again, the garden where this tea was grown was filled with all sort of insects and spiders. But thanks to a better managing technique than its previous manager, this tea was able to get bug bitten under the organic environment without grasshopper being devoured by its enemy. The tea trees are no longer as tall as a human being (around 2 meters tall three years ago), and due to that reason the root no longer needs to send all of the nutrition to a huge tree, but instead a bush that is compact enough to create a thicker character.
There will be another sister tea goes along with this "Tall Tree", which is a Four Seasons Spring varietal (四季春) growing at the same plantation. The matured processing technique we started using in Winter 2017 has been applied to the processing of this tea and gives this tea a surprisingly tranquil inducing state for the mind/body of the drinker.
This special tea disappeared from our offering for nearly three years, but finally it's available to us again!
Harvest: Spring 2018 / 春 貳零壹捌
Varietal: Qing Xin Oolong / 青心烏龍
Elevation: 400 M / 肆佰 公尺
Region: Zhushan / 竹山
Fermentation Level: 25% / 分之 貳拾伍
Roast Level: 2 / 貳分
The dry leaf aroma has a slight baked quality but is not as distinct as the rich floral notes. I used 4 grams and steeped it 2 and 3 minutes at around 205 in a 150ml gaiwan. Pushed it a bit beyond 3 minutes too. Definitely thick, smooth yet climbs on the tongue. Again, the light roast is barely present. The flavors are mellow under-ripe fruit and some fresh vegetal qualities hard to pin for me. It is humble, comforting and solid. The aftertastes are buttery and floral. Quite nice and easy to enjoy.
An old dog has been exploring the new possibility for teas since last winter, and this is our latest work from Zhushan. Qin Xing Oolong is a remarkable varietal for being very humble from the beginning. It is a very steady tea when at lower elevation but with depth cups after cups. When grown with clean environment, it just doesn't want to flatter anyone unlike its sister (the "Milk Tree"). Getting its job done as a great and durable tea is what it is trying to deliver. An old dog is very very happy to see the return of this tea in such matured character!