Master Xu’s Jin Fo 金佛 2018
A roasted oolong from the inner Zhengyan area of the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian made by Master Xu, the maker and one of the guardians of the Da Hong Pao mother trees. This tea is processed from trees of the Jin Fo (Gold Buddha) cultivar, and are grown on Jiu Long Ke (Nine Dragon Nest), the same cliff that houses the Da Hong Pao trees. Jin Fo is a rare historical cultivar that Master Xu has helped to bring back into production and gets its name from the story that the mother tree grew by the river in Wuyi, so the local people bowed down every day to wash their clothes facing the tree.
Master Xu processes the leaves entirely by hand – from the picking and sorting, through to the kill-green stage and rolling. The roasting is done carefully at a low temperature (around 75 degrees Celsius) over hours, and often re-roasted over the course of many months until he is satisfied.
This tea was picked and roasted in 2018 and has been left to settle for a year before being released. It has still has a strong roasted taste as well as a deep minerality, with a vanilla and dark fruit sweetness which will become more intense as the roast settles down. This is an exemplary example of a heavy roasted tea done well.
Master Xu, Jiu Long Ke, Wuyishan, China
SIZE OF FARM
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, Jin Fo cultivar. Medium-high charcoal roasting. Harvested early Summer 2018.
90-95°C, 6g per 150ml. 5+ infusions.
When we first met Master Xu, he tested us by making lots of different teas to see which ones we preferred. Luckily for us, his and our taste coincided and we have been working together for many years. Walking with him around the historic cliffs where he produces his sublime teas and where he supervised parts of the production of mother tree Da Hong Pao on 3 occasions is like being given a tour of Wembley stadium by David Beckham.
Eagle-eyed viewers may have also caught Master Xu and Lu from Postcard Teas showing Victoria Wood around Wuyi on the recent BBC documentary Nice Cup of Tea, which you can watch here!
Master Xu (1971- )
Master Xu is a graduate of tea studies at Fujian’s University Of Agriculture and Forestry In Fujian. He later worked for The Wuyi Institute of Tea where he specialized in researching and developing new varieties of Wuyi rock teas from historic trees as well as supervising the tea growing and processing in the Unesco protected World Heritage Wuyi Mountain area. He was responsible for taking care of the Da Hong Pao mother trees for over 15 years and he led the team that picked and processed the last ever production from the mother trees. Although he still works for The Wuyi Tea Institute, he also hand produces tea from four families land totaling just eight acres in the heart of the Unesco protected park