November 2016
#12 - Tieguanyin Oolong Tea

Traditionally made Tieguanyin Oolong entails a labor intensive, time consuming process of slowly oxidizing the leaves. It takes about twice as long as other Oolong types to make. It also involves a unique drying and roasting process where the leaves are put in low temperature ovens while still somewhat moist and wrapped in cloth balls that are commonly used for rolling the tea leaves. This results in a slightly tangy, smoky character in the finished product that is unique to Tieguanyin Oolong.

Specific Information About This Batch

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Tieguanyin Oolong Tea

This farm is the only place we've seen the baskets shown above still being used in Taiwan for harvesting tea by hand. They are now typically displayed as a memoir of generations past. This in itself is a symbol for the tradition that this farmer has made his vocation to preserve. At the young age of 20, he inherited his family farm in the historical tea producing area of Muzha in Taipei County, and has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to keeping the tradition alive by making the type of tea for which this place name has been renowned for well over 100 years - Tieguanyin Oolong.
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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Tieguanyin Oolong Tea Tasting Notes

We already knew that this is our favorite source of traditionally made Dong Ding Oolong Tea, but in the last couple years, we've come to realize that their Black Tea is also something very special. In a word, it's the balance of flavor and character that we find unique among Small Leaf Type Black Tea makers. In many cases, traditional styles of tea making involve much more "curing" of the tea leaves that has the dual purpose of bringing out a strong, distinct character, and stabilizes the tea leaves to maintain its flavor — giving it a prolonged shelf life as well as a discernible profile. In this sense, Tieguanyin Oolong is a prime example of a traditional product of regional origin. Initially brought from mainland China, this tradition took root in Northern Taiwan in the 1800's, and it has survived to this day.
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