December 2016
#13 - Honey Fragrance Oolong Tea

This batch of tea was harvested from the family-run farm where we regularly source our Dong Ding Oolong. They noticed the presence of the Green Leafhopper on this plot, and harvested it independently from other plots so they could specially process these leaves by letting them oxidize more than normal. The leaves were then only roasted once at low temperature to completely cure them.

Specific Information About This Batch

Eco-Cha Tea Club: Honey Fragrance Oolong Tea

Bug-bitten leaves are tricky to process, and have relatively unpredictable results, so the artisan must rely on experience and understanding of the unique condition of the leaves when harvested to achieve the desired result. Our friend decided that heavier oxidation of the leaves would produce a more balanced composition, which proved correct. He then decided not to risk losing the elusive "honey fragrance" by roasting the leaves to the degree of a more standard Concubine or Dong Ding Oolong. The final result is a batch of tea that is similar to a Hongshui Oolong, but with a distinct "honey fragrance" character that puts it in a flavor profile of its own.
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Eco-Cha Tea Club: Honey Fragrance Oolong Tasting Notes

The tea leaves shown above are from a rare batch of winter tea that was affected by the Green Leafhopper. This is the insect that is responsible for the existence of the renowned Oriental Beauty Tea, and the more recent innovation of Concubine Oolong Tea. The presence of this insect indicates that pesticides were not administered during the growing season to deter it. And the effect it has on the bug-bitten leaves is a distinct honey like character prominently in the aroma, but also in the flavor. Read More

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